11 August 2006: Today we wake up late feeling relaxed. We are planning to travel west towards the coastal area and visit the small town Essaouira, which is located 180km away. We get ready and go down to take our motorcycles. With the help of the Marrakech map we start our journey searching for the exit which leads to our destination. Although Marrakech is a big town it is easy to find your way in it. At the centre of the town there are 2 big squares where there are signs to all exits as well as for the old city and the Djemaa-el-Fna square.
Following the signs to Agadir and Essaouira we follow an immense straight road. Before that we filled our tanks with benzene so as not to have any surprises. The road is narrow and not so good. The bad thing is that we found traffic, something that makes our driving exhausting from the first km. In all this I have to add the bad driving of the local drivers which makes our driving dangerous. Until Chichaoua where we found the node to Agadir, the road conditions have not changed while the scene contains few floras and some olive trees. The villages that we found do not have anything special to demonstrate, except the beautiful Indian red colours that are painted with. In one of them the road passes inside its market and many people pass across the road like they pass a small alley in their neighbour.
As we left Chichaoua the road becomes narrower and more danger. The scene is beautiful and unfamiliar. It is the first time I realized that I am in a different continent. The picture that I see is a vast steppe valley where the horizon is vanished in a dullness of dust. There is less floras in the scene and sometimes we meet some vertical dirt roads on the road that we move. I follow with my eye the route of these dirt roads and I see that they stop at some garrison houses. Some of them seems to be liveable while others not. At some point we met a herd of camels and we stopped to take some photos and suddenly their owner comes to the scene. I believe that you can guess what happened. He showed us his hand and expected his tip… We keep driving while been careful not to step on anything bad and destroy our tires. The scene continues to be the same for 30km to Essaouira and before Ounara. After that the road becomes better and the flora increases.
Few km before Essaouira we find traffic again, while another car driver played his headlights. Because this thing happened before without any reason I did not give further notice. After 2-3 turnings and after I did some overtaking I see a policeman to wave to me to stop. I take out my driving licence and I am waiting to tell me the reason that he stopped me. Finally he told me that I drive fast and that another policeman with a conventional car saw me, without any radar and by the use of his eye, and because I overtake some cars he realized that I am driving to fast. I realized that something is wrong so suddenly I forgot how to speak English! The policeman couldn’t understand what I was saying so he let me go with a warning. After a while we see Essaouira. From far away we can distinguish its castle which rests next to the towns’ port. As we entered I think that I am in Greece and this for many reasons. First of all we see many guys holding their keys, implying that they have spare room at their hotels (See Greek Islands), secondly, at the coastal road there are many cafe and third the houses are white-painted with blue colour at their windows and doors.
Next to the walls we park our motorcycles to a secure place with a guard. We enter the walls and we think that we are in a Greek Island. Alleys with stores, cafe and restaurants comprise the scene. We sit on a cafe to have our first coffee and we eat a Portuguese omelette so as to gain energy. After having the coffee we start to make a walk to the alleys. There are many people here mixed, locals and foreigners. The tourist standards here are different with what we have met until now. Everything here is pure…this was proven also by our walk to the local market. Following an alley which continues parallel to the walls Ploumisti found some shops to make her purchases. We found a place at the walls where there are loopholes with canons while further down there are some shops selling wooden fine piece of work. The prices are good but unfortunately for us we do not have enough time to spend. However, we bought some things. Later on, we walk towards the exit to take our motorcycles but Ploumisti wants to swim to the sea before we leave, but as we reach the beach we see a big crowd so she decided not to.
At 17:00pm we decided to return back to Marrakech and enjoy the sunset at the main square Djemaa-el-Fna. At the return we had the change to enjoy for one more time the steppes. Before Marrakech we find heavy traffic and for a couple of times we found ourselves close to an accident. Finally at 19:30 we reached the hotel. I sat at the bar to have a drink while Ploumisti enjoyed her swim in the Hotel’s swimming pool. Next we went for a dinner to a restaurant with a balcony, to enjoy our last night at the beautiful Marrakech…