Sonny Daze World Tour travel blog

On the bus between Marrakesh and Essouira. They use briar sticks as...

Beautiful countryside on the way to the coast

A stop along the way to pick up passengers. They like to...

Farming Moroccan style

Notice the people working the fields by hand and the fences made...

A guy getting a goat out of an argan tree. The goats...

The next three pics are a panorama from the window of my...

The stones behind Zack are a Jewish cemetery that's been there for...

Just to the right of the last photo. Notice the horse-drawn taxis....

A close-up of the last pic's view.

Essaouira, formerly Mogador, is a fortified city that has attracted traders from...

A look to the left upon the ramparts (the Skala of the...

A look to the right. Imagine Roman galleys settling their sails as...

Moroccan police station on the road to the port

One of the towers that protected the port

The view from one of those towers looking toward the city and...

Looking the other direction from that tower

The fishing boats come into the port from below that bridge

This place is bristling with cannons

Essaouira was the main port for goods coming from the Middle East...

 

This place was chosen by Orson Wells as the location for his...

One of the shops in the Kasbah

Me dressed as a Touareg, the local tribe

Meat stored out of doors all day scares me, too !!!!

A very unique sculpture in a small park just outside the medina

I met these guys on the beach

They had been raiding a camel caravan minutes before

I wanted to join their group but I was still wearing the...

I had to take 10,000 photos to get one like this

Sunset on the beach in Morocco, my toes were in the sand...

There in the distance... Is that what i think it is ??

It sure looks like it

That's got to be man made !!

As I got closer the sky took on a dramatic look

This is the place: Castles made of sand melt into the sea,...

I was there !

Ahhh the sunset. Nice ending to a great day

The beach goes on for miles from here

A Muslim moon is in the sky tonight

Four kittens and a straw mat

Outside the city walls

Children on the beach

Looking out into the Atlantic

Strange shapes

A view back toward the city from the port

Looking down at the port

A hard days work

A pile of squid

:-)

Here's a nice view of the port

Wooden ships on the water

The planks are hand hewn and shaped

A view inside the bow

A boat has arrived full of crabs

Those babies are BIG

Fisherman's boats await the new day

On the edge of the Sahara

Their hoofs are as big as plates (and these things are quite...

Zack gets all the pretty girls. That's Kyle from BC on the...

A street musician playing the Ud

Narrow street in the medina

Camels on the horizon

The lovely Awatifa on the bus (I don't know the child's name)

Sailing away from Africa (for the time being).


So I moved to Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. On the bus there we stopped at a small village and a man wearing a turbin and carrying a rifle got on board. I was a little nervous, but he only asked that I salute Allah and kiss his feet while denouncing George Bush -- Not A Problem ----- and before you knew it we were back on the road to the coast.

It was windy, sunny, cool and MUCH more laid back in Essouira than Tangier or Marrakesh. Good, because I needed a break from EVERY MOROCCAN I MET trying to get money from me.

I stayed in the house of a family near the bus station who had turned a floor of their home into four rooms and rented them out to travelers. On the same floor were four guys from British Columbia ( a salahm alikum Derek, Trevor, Galen and Kyle) and Nick from London. We all fast became friends, and before I knew it, I was feeling comfortable in Morocco. This allowed me to let down my guard and explore this ancient land.

The whole town is painted white with blue windows and doors. There are many layers of formidable city walls with several gates. On the seaward side the ramparts were defended with well placed cannons which would have deterred any attack from that direction. The marketplace is vibrant and thriving. Even though this is still very much a tourist hot-spot, there is considerably less hassle for the traveler than in Tangier or Marrakesh.

The beach here is very long and quite deserted if you don't mind walking a few kilometers. It is here that Jimi Hendrix found the inspiration for the song, "Castles Made Of Sand." I knew that was the case but wasn't sure exactly WHERE until I saw a clump of rocks in the distance and decided to investigate. At first I thought I was seeing a natural formation but as I got closer my excitement rose upon realizing this was indeed the place: Borj El Baroud, a Portuguese fort. Local legend has it that this Lusitanian outpost was swallowed by the sand because a Soussi magician put a hex on it, as his region's trade was being ruined by the Portuguese.

Images:

Eating olives and dates and sipping mint tea by the sea

Horse drawn carriages clomp, clomp, clomping by my window at night

Camels trekking off into the Sahara

Back toward Spain:

I'm on the Marrakesh Express headed back to Tangier and I must say that my Moroccan venture has turned out to be rewarding despite it's rocky beginning. Mostly I have the wonderful Canadians and the Englishman I met in Essaouira to thank for the turnaround. That and the more friendly and real Moroccans I met there and since (Hello Awatif). It takes some patience and tough skin to adjust to the Moroccan approach. It drove me crazy in Tangier and Marrakesh and it wan't until I reached the coast at Essaouira that I was able to relax and let my guard down some. The sales tactics were still as aggressive as ever but without the sense of desperation I received in the former.



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