Friday, February 24, 2012

Under the Moroccan Sun

We arrived in El Jadida, about 100kms south of Casablanca, still on the Atlantic coast, and found the camp without any trouble. Unfortunately, the facilities are really in a bad state, and won’t even improve with the Kate Loughton scrub and clean. I’m leaving a trail of clean showers and toilets in my wake, but these ones are beyond even me. Fortunately we can be completely self-contained when needed.

The Cysterne, El Jadida
This town is known for a small Portuguese Medina. It was a little dilapidated, but had a wonderful Cisterne that was the town’s water supply during its heyday in 16th and 17th century. Funnily, after the Portuguese left, it was undiscovered for 200 years. It was really worth the visit.

We hit the markets and bought fresh juicy dates, fat, ripe strawberries, fresh walnuts, sultanas, cous cous and merguez sausages. We felt quite pleased with ourselves, being the only ‘etranger’ in the place. Everyone is very friendly with many people simply saying “bienvenue en Maroc” and sweet young girls with fresh faces singing out “Bonjour Madame” and touching you on the elbow. We don’t feel hassled at all.

For lunch, we splashed out on a 6 euro seafood platter!! Really delicious meal, even without a beer. Most restaurants are ‘dry’.

The weather is getting a little warmer everyday. We haven’t had the heater on at night at all since we’ve been in Morocco. The sun is still shining and the max temp is probably about 22-23 degrees.

After El Jadida, we spent the night in Safi. The Medina here is even more ‘low key’ but not so interesting. On we went towards Essaouira.
Safi Medina - see what I mean?

There seems to be only one road rule in Morocco “Insha’Allah”, this applies to cars, trucks, donkey carts, pony carts, push carts, bicycles, scooters, mopeds, tractors, pedestrians, prams, dogs, cows, sheep and goats. Lawrence just ploughs on through admirably. I close my eyes.

We seem to create a reaction wherever we go, with lots of bystanders, especially young boys herding their goats on the side of the motorway, waving at us, smiling. I feel like the Queen.
The Coast Road

The police are everywhere, splendidly turned out in white leather belts, white leather holsters and white leather handbags. They loiter on roundabouts and motorways and wave their arms frantically; we have no idea why.

Our camp just south of Essaouira is really lovely, with CLEAN toilets and showers. Everyone is really friendly and of course interested in our vehicle. For once, we are not a novelty as there are quite a few large and slightly odd vehicles here, so we don’t’ stand out quite so much.
Now - that IS Mad!!

The beach is very close to our camp, and we walked about 2 hours along it today, and met very few people and only one donkey.

Our Local Beach 

Shopping here is a breeze. You just sit in the sun reading a magazine, and the shopping comes to you. Bread, veges, fruit, and fish – marvellous! Dinner is delivered to your door for about 10 euros.

Next stop Marrakech and LUXURY!!! – before we head to the desert and God knows what…

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