On the last day in Essaouria I left the hotel about 5:30am and went walking around and took some photos of the amazing doors in the city.
Here is a selection of them.
I got up early about 7am and went for a walk to see the early morning in Essaouira.
When I opened the door to the Riad Dar Loulema it was quite disgusting with lots of litter everywhere.
It got worse as I got further into the tunnel.
I walked along IBN Nafiaa, and went into a hotel Pam & I saw last night called Hotel Sahara.
It looked quite good and I asked to see a room, it looked better to me than the Riad and it was only 300 DH per night.
I then went towards the port, and went for a walk around the walls of the medina away from the port.
I got some nice photo’s that show the rough Atlantic Ocean.
Returning near the port I saw a camera crew and found that it was Chef Wan’s crew setting up for a shoot. They were going to cook Fish Tajine. I waited around for a few minutes and then went back to the Riad to see Pam.
Pam & I went down for breakfast which was nice, but typical, bread, juice, jam, and croissant.
After breakfast I went to see the owner of the Riad and said that we did not want to stay any longer and paid for 1 night which ended up at 1045 DH, which was quite steep!
We then went back to our room and cleaned up and left – we only had to walk about 100-150 meters to the Hotel Sahara.
Pam loved the new room, and it had a nice view over the IBN Nafi road. The windows opened and we had a nice cool room. The room was more spacious and light. We both enjoyed it a lot more than the Riad Dar Loulema.
We moved in and then went for a walk along the beach front. The beach front has quite a few private areas for hotel guests, and others who want to pay 25 DH for a seat.
We walked along and then found the booze shop that was closed the day before, it is off the main road and off a side street that was made of gravel. I am not sure of the name but I believe it was just off a street called R.P. Lalla Amina
We bought 3 bottles of wine, a white for Pam which was mostly Sauvignon Blanc, and Uni Blanc, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and some other red.
Total Price 112 DH for the 3 bottles – all untested as I write this!
The day starts out good with Pam & I packing our things to travel from Marrakesh to Essaouira. We have a simple breakfast, bread, jam, and juice + I had espresso coffee. We had arranged last night with Erik the owner of Riad Mapia to use his driver to take us to the bus station at 10am. He said the cost would be 50 DH, which was slightly over what we could have done with a barrow boy and petit taxi which would have been 40 DH but the possibility of more hassles.
10:10am I ask the house keeper where is our ride? she did not know anything about it!
She phoned Erik who must have said to ring a taxi and for us to get our own way to the Square. This was not good since we paid for a service which was not done. I went outside and found a guy with a barrow and asked if he will take us to the square and I would pay him 20 DH. He agreed and we loaded up, the taxi that was arranged was not in the square or not where we could find it in 10 seconds, so we got another taxi and agreed a price of 20DH.
Put the bags in, and off we went, so all up we paid 90 DH - a completely wasted 50 DH to Erik - almost $10 NZD.
We got to the bus station at 10:35, and we not sure if the bus had left or not. It had not since it was scheduled to leave at 11:00, but our ticket had something about 10:30 on it. We waited around, and then everyone put there bags onboard, we waited since we had some fragile things and wanted to put our bags on last or close to it.
When we went to put the bags on we were told that we needed to have baggage receipts and we had to go and buy them. They were very slow and again we thought we may have missed the bus. We did not miss the bus, the baggage receipts were 5DH per bag.
After 1 hour we stopped for what Pam heard was a 10 minute stop. We got out and strolled around and bought a drink- 10DH instead of the bottle Price of 3DH. We did not leave for 40 minutes; it looked like the driver went for lunch.
We ended up getting into Essaouira at 2pm, so 3 hours all up. We were told it would be 2.5 hours. So I suppose the 40 minute break instead of 10 counts for that.
Our new Riad called Riad Dar Loulema sent us an email yesterday saying that they would send a barrow boy with a sign with our name on it. This did not happen!
We had to arrange for a barrow boy to help us, another 20DH.
Pam and I checked in to our Riad after having to walk along a sort of tunnel. Not so bad during the day, but at night a real dive with weirdo’s hanging around.
We then went to our room, pretty small, no real niceties, like phone, TV, fridge, air conditioning, fan, wireless Internet, so basically room with bed, small couch, and toilet, shower and vanity.
Overall pretty expensive at 95 EURO per night we thought!
We then went for a walk around and went to the port area, stinking fish smells everywhere and seagulls, but this is what we expected and the gulls are what we have seen in pictures. Also if you stand upwind from the fisherman gutting fish then you do not smell them.
Took a few photos and then went for a walk along the market area and looked at some nice wooden products in the small shops around the Ramparts.
We walked around to the SupraTours office and purchased our return ticket to Marrakesh and onwards to Casablanca by train.
The trip to Marrakesh was 65 DH each on the bus (2nd class - they only have 2nd class), and the train from Marrakesh to Casablanca was 125 DH each in 1st Class.
The bus leaves at 12pm and the train at 3pm, so I hope the bus trip back is not 3 hours.
After this Pam & I caught a petite taxi to take us to a super market to buy some wine. The cab driver did not speak English and so it was pretty much hit & miss. He took us to one but it did not sell wine or any booze at all.
We asked him to take us to somewhere that sold vino (wine), and in the end he knew what we meant, although it took a few minutes. We ended up in a small street, but the place was closed because it was Friday afternoon when Moslem people go to pray. So we took the taxi back to the medina. We then returned to our room and rested before dinner.
We went back out at 7pm to find some dinner. We choose a restaurant AFTASS not far away and ordered the following:
Grilled mixed seafood consisted of Calamari, Prawns, Sole, Tiny Sardines.
All were crap!
Calamari was not even recognizable.
The sardines were pretty horrible as well, and we may as well add the grilled fish to the same category.
The man came to ask us if we had finished, I told him it was very BAD, BAD BAD BAD
I then said BAD COOK, and this is CRAP food
I then threw a piece of leather calamari on the floor ( a cat quickly stole it )
The bill was probably 105 DH including a drink. I gave him 65 DH and said he was lucky to get that and we walked out.
This restaurant was called AFTASS and was along Place Moulay Hassan.
We then went for a small walk around and then got a drink and came back to the Riad.
About 10 minutes after that a band started up next door really loudly. It reverberated through the room, and in the end after 15 minutes I went downstairs and told the staff that I was unhappy staying here with this noise.
They phoned the owner and I spoke to him and said that I will pay for tonight but we are going to move out tomorrow.
It is now 10pm and the music has started up again.
So we will be looking for somewhere else to stay for tomorrow and the night after.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better!!!!!!