This was a long drive today over the Tishka (or Difficult Pass) to Essouria.
This was the only way the caravans could cross from the plains and desert over the mountains. It was an arduous journey and in winter it was snow bound. Today they are widening the road so our journey was beset with road works. It was another winding road so I sat in the seat in the middle behind the driver to avoid feeling car sick. Rasheed our driver is fantastic. Very safe and a smooth driver. We have all felt very comfortable with him at the wheel. Leaving the valley on the east of the mountains.
Thé terrain changed from desert to quite lush green once over the pass. We stopped for a grilled bbq which was to be a special treat. The butcher minced the meat right in front of us and then we went next door to get it cooked. We took some photos but one of the men wanted Ridouane to order extra salads and food because we are tourists. He wanted us to have an authentic Moroccan experience and was offended by this fellows attitude. Ridouane was very angry with him and reported him to the manager. He was very upset with this man’s behaviour. Ridouane is always courteous and never tries to take advantage of us or let anyone else do that either. The meat we had was very tasty and different from our other meals.
after lunch we hit the road again, encountering almost endless roadworks. We were fascinated by the children sitting watching the big machinery. No health and safety here!
The road was another winding descent until we got to the bottom and it became desert or arid again. Our next stop was a brief bank visit in Marrakech before the argon oil cooperative which we arrived at quite late. The woman guide was very pleasant but spoke so fast and wasn’t really good at listening to our questions. After the brief tour we ended up in the shop where this super saleswoman told Anne she needed Argon oil for her hair! They also sell a miracle serum from Cactus flowers which we all needed according to her! Curiosity got the better of us and we bought the products and had them all shipped to Anne’s Mum in Australia. We are going to be looking amazing by Christmas.
Argon oil is quite rare and exclusive to Morocco. The tree bears nuts shaped like olives which are shelled and ground into a paste and then distilled. We tried this super delicious Nutella like paste made with almonds honey and argon oil. That was a definite winner.
From here we finally arrived in Essouria on the coast. What a shock. Desert, snow capped mountains, gorges, lush valleys and the sea all in one day. It was grey and cool when we arrived.
When we arrived at our hotel in the Medina Anne and I had a double bed and a trundle. I was not very happy and requested a new room. We were refused politely and we were too tired to argue. The room is lovely otherwise, though we can’t get the Internet in the room. We can cope.