morocco part II // all roads lead to essaouira

Bonus of hostels: when you’re sleeping two feet away from your adventuring companions, there’s a pretty strong likelihood that someone will wake up on time, even if it isn’t (ever) me.

So, we managed to drag our sleepy asses down to grab some free breakfast and, more importantly, coffee, and actually met up with bus driver on time, and after some walking and another bus, we were en route to Essaouira!

Which I still can’t pronounce and am not sure if I’m spelling it correctly, or even consistently.


The bus trip was uneventful, even if I did spend much of it wallowing in resentful envy of everyone else’s ability to sleep in transit.

And we stopped at an actual, real live goat tree!

There were some locals under it predictably asking for money in exchange for photos, so we ended up just snapping some ninja shots from the rain-smeared bus window. Very random stop, but neat to see.


Fucking goats, man.

Post-goats, we made one more random pit stop at a little argan oil cooperative somewhere in the desert, for a quick free tour. It was small, but kinda interesting.


I bought a token not-quite-obligatory bottle of plain oil, which ended up serving me well later when I accidentally bought two bottles of shampoo and no conditioner. And my hair, if slightly greasy, was god damned soft.

After getting dropped off in Essoiuwiewutioeriortura proper, the first thing we did, of course, was bounce over to the beach. Whereupon the first thing I did, of course, was take off my shoes and socks and splash around. I realized that Essaouira is actually just about the same latitude as my hometown in Florida, so I waved across the ocean.16174523_10102063920593397_5875336860845284877_n

The water was a bit chilly for splashing, but I have always been psychologically unable to be near a body of water of any size and not splash around a little bit. And then regretting it when it’s time to put sandy shoes and socks back in.

But the sun was warm and the breeze lovely, and we had a lovely time taking pictures of the water, taking pictures of each other, and taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other.


Professionals, all of us.

Finally we wandered into the old city and souks. It was a lot more chill than Jemaa al-Fna in Marrakech, which was kind of a welcome break. I’m still not 100% sure that the markets of Morocco actually end anywhere, or if the labyrinth of alleys is actually fucking infinite.


Also, since it’s been awhile since I posted gratuitous pictures of cats that aren’t mine: here, have some gratuitous pictures of cats that aren’t mine.


We had a couple of hours until we had to back on the bus, so of course we went back to the water, this time to the slightly wilder, rockier area on the other side of the harbor. Where I discovered that my traveling cohorts are in fact part mountain goat.


I, in depressing contrast, am much more of a sloth/lizard hybrid in terms of agility. But through a joint effort, they all mostly kindly managed to protect me from myself, and I managed to survive intact without nary a skinned limb or sprained ankle or anything worse than a slightly scraped knuckle and some wind-burn on my face.

And it was really gorgeous. There weren’t a lot of people in the area, and the views were beautiful, out to sea in the west, and the fortified walls of the old city on the shore.


I think the tide may have been coming in at this point, because the smaller waves lapping against the rocks started getting bigger and stronger, leaving shoes and jeans unpleasantly wet. In famous last words, we’re like yeah, we’d better go back, let’s wait for a big one to pass and then go. [pause] Okay, we should be good. Let’s g- –”

And then got nailed in the fucking face with a giant wave of cold saltwater. Two of us, anyway, myself of course included. Fortunately it did not claim any expensive electronics as sacrifices (although I guess we did have one iPhone + ocean = bad moment within about thirty seconds of stepping on the beach the first time.)

And now I am shamelessly stealing some of my (much better photographer) friend Andy’s group photos, in which we pretty consistently look equal parts awesome and ridiculous and possibly like some really lame ’90s band. Personal favorite is the alley picture where I look like I’m all cooler-than-thou until you realize I’m actually staring at the inside of my shoe.


So yeah, Morocco was a shit ton of fun, and I very much hope we manage some more random adventuring together someday in the future. ❤

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