Wow. How is our trip already almost over? The first few days seemed to go somewhat slowly, but now I just want time to slow down! Especially now that we’re heading to the coast. After a breakfast of bread (seriously need to go on a carb detox when we get back…) we left Hotel la Tour de Toile, and it wasn’t long before we pulled off to the side of the road to see goats in Argan trees.
A quick overview of Argan: The goats eat the outer fruit, then people collect the inner nut which is cracked open even further. The shells are used for fires, and then the inner nut is either roasted or left as is, and pressed into an oil. The unroasted oil is used in beauty products, and the roasted is for cooking. Boom.
The shepherd requested 10 Dirham for taking photos of their goats, and we continued on to our first coastal stop, Agadir. We stopped at a lookout point with SUCH amazing views of the ocean; only slightly tainted by the men trying to get you to ride their sad looking camels or shoving a bleating baby goat into your arms. We were all thankful for yesterday’s opportunity to hold a baby goat/get our baby animal fix, because the Agadir Kid was adorable?
We drove through little beach town after little beach town on our way to Essaouira, each full of surfers, surf shops, and small restaurants such as “West Coat fastfood.” The more beach towns we drove through, the more I began to understand why families on House Hunters International do what they do. I want a Moroccan beach apartment now!
By the time we stopped for lunch, the majority of us had quite full bladders. Unfortunately the only toilet they had was Turkish style…and we aren’t that adventurous. And I reeeally wanted to avoid getting pee on my Birks. Ibrahim said we would be stopping in 40 minutes at an Argan Oil shop (per our request,) so we felt comfortable waiting. But then…we all fell asleep and/or Ibrahim said the shop was closed (but I’m pretty sure we just accidentally passed it due to post lunch 4×4 naps.) So, almost 2 hours later, we finally stopped at an Argan oil cooperative with VERY full bladders, passing straight by the woman trying to tell us about the oil to get to the toilets (where thankfully one of the 4 stalls had a western style toilet.) It was rather amusing. We did listen to the schpeal afterwards though, and spent a small fortune buying gifts for people back home.
Everyone agreed that this small cooperative was a much more pleasant experience than the cooperative we were kind of just…dropped into on our first full day in Marrakech. They also fed us bread with Argan oil, Argan oil mixed with honey, and Argan oil mixed with some sort of peanut butter type substance. All delicious.
Not long after we left the Argan cooperative, we arrived in Essaouira, with just enough time to catch the sunset over the beach before doing a bit of shopping and finding somewhere to eat dinner. Essaouira is a bit of a Hippie town; complete with Bob Marley paraphernalia, “happy cookies” being sold on the street, and multiple people rolling joints on the beach. In contrast, the majority of women were still in headscarves, and both of our dinner locations still didn’t sell alcohol.
We were all happy to find somewhere with beer/cocktails at the end of the night before walking along the beach back to our hotel! (We still only stayed out until about 10:30…a group of grandmas!)