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Saturday 20th May.
Away from Marrakech on a fantastic and very cheap toll road to Essaouira. Easy for our drivers, but quite dull compared to the scenery on the way to Marrakech.
The one completely and utterly amazing thing we did see (and we stopped on the hard shoulder as others had done in front of us) was goats that climb trees to feed....that was such an incredible thing to witness. We were all so so glad we had seen it and it's one of the things that will make this tour memorable for all the right reasons. Please do see the pictures, they have to be seen to be believed.
Today the temperature has dropped, as forecast, the heatwave is over. It's still in the low 30's, but more bearable.
We arrived at the campsite at Essaouira after lunch. This was a tiny walled site with poor electrics, scruffy and we all had to manoeuvre very carefully, which took a long time, especially in Steve's case....he even went back towards the town to see if they could park at the Aire instead, but it wasn't secure and they would not risk it. So they came back and parked alongside one wall, it was for just one night anyway as they were leaving next morning, intending to do the 750kms in the one day, get the ferry back to Spain tomorrow night.
We were being treated to a meal by Ray and Hammed in the town that night, so we rested in the afternoon, and were collected by taxis early evening. We walked thru the town's gated walls, thru a pretty, clean and family orientated square to a lovely hotel where the restaurant was on the ground floor in the central gardens. Gorgeous surroundings, but the meal was only just acceptable. Vegetable soup was super, both choices of main course were inedible, deserts were passable. The walk to the taxi to take us home was enjoyable, a very pretty town. Not quite pretty enough to make us want to return the next day to shop. So we decided next morning to get "home" to Spain, but we didn't want to rush.
Sunday 21st May.
Steve and Jade had got off early. (Back to toll road and motorway all the way to Tangier Med port). We said our goodbyes about 10am and left on the scenic coast road to Safi. Interesting drive, impossible to hurry, but we'd had enough of the bad road by the time we got to Safi and headed for the motorway.
We arrived at the port an hour after our friends - unintentionally! So we were behind them in the queue .... then a security scare and instead of sailing at 9pm, we sailed at about 1.30am..tired wasn't the word, couldn't sleep on board, then a long wait to get off the other side, because, we assume, of the same security breach, everyone except obvious European tourists, was searched thoroughly, so it was 4am when we got to the nearest Aire to crash out.
So happy to be in Spain again. Glad we've done it, wouldn't have missed it but don't think we'll be tempted to return. It reminded most of us how Spain was in the 1960's, peasants and donkeys alongside cars and buses on the terrible roads. And look where Spain is now. A road system that is years ahead ready for it's future use, which puts the UK to shame with its dreadful congestion, lack of space and backward thinking.
Morocco may well still be a third world country, but with it's new king in charge, who is spending money on the infrastructure, it may well emerge into the 2020/30s golf playground/holiday resort of the future. Maybe by then the women will be regarded as equals too?
End of our Maroc love/hate relationship.