Morocco: Day 8

I’ve gotta say…it was SO nice to not have to pack up and head to a new city this morning. We still got up fairly early to walk into town for the first of 3 ATM stops (spent way more money in Essaouira than anywhere else…) before Joe and I went our separate ways for the afternoon! Joe went for an hour of quad-biking on the beach, and I went for a 3 hour horseback ride. With Atlas, the most ornery horse I’ve ever ridden. Not that I’ve really ridden that many horses, but Atlas was somethin’ special. He had two speeds, snail’s-pace or fast trot, and he stopped at pretty much every shrub, bush, and tree for a snack. As frustrating as the ride was though, it definitely was something I’ll most likely never experience again, and I’m so glad I did it! Totally worth the zillions of bruises covering the lower half of my body afterwards.

After showering off horse-stank, Ann and I walked back into the city center to meet up with a few other people for a massage. Horseback riding and massages, two things I can say I’ve done in multiple countries (Horses: Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Morocco, US. Massages: Thailand, US, Morocco, Hong Kong (?)) Anyway. We left our hotel with lots of spare time, but still managed to be late. Not that we had service to run Google Maps, but Google Maps wouldn’t have really helped us in the twisty, turny inner-workings of the Medina. We were able to pull up the general location, but at a certain point we just had to hope we’d find the spa, following sporadically placed signage, intermingled with signage for other spas, restaurants, and Riads. It’s much harder to work your way through the Medina when you’re actually looking for something!

Our masseuses spoke about 8 words of English between the 4 of them, so when I was closed in a dark room – minus one multi-colored flashing light – I assumed it was time to get undressed/on the table. Luckily my presumption was correct, and before I knew it, I was being slathered down in a metric ton of oil.

Now, it wasn’t the best massage I’ve had by any stretch of the imagination, and my masseuse seemed to put extra pressure on my newly formed, extra painful bruises, but the 60 minutes flew by, and I was definitely feeling relaxed by the end of it. Well, relaxed, but SO greasy. My sunglasses wouldn’t even stay on my nose. We took a taxi back to our hotel (50 cents a piece) and I took shower number 3 of the day before we all met back up for some evening shopping and dinner!

Shrimp Tagine (not my meal, hah.)

My mission for the night was to haggle the price of a pair of linen pants to under 100 Dirhams ($10,) and after way too much effort, I was successful! 95 Dirhams later, we were off to a rooftop restaurant/bar suggested to us by a shop owner, where we could order drinks such as the Essaouira Sling or the Shouting Orgasm. Lol.

Other purchases of the day: a leather duffel bag for Joe, wooden carved camels for my coworkers, and some pottery.