After a week and a half of touring almost all of central Morocco, Sam and I were ready for a break. We wanted a calm place where we could spend a few days relaxing and soaking in the culture so we decided on Jimmy Hendrix's favorite African seaside town, Essaouira. From the Cascades d'Ouzoud, we wanted to try hitchhiking part of the way there. Just a few yards after leaving our hotel we got picked up by a van full of Moroccans heading to their work at a construction site. We rode bouncing around in the back of the van for about an hour as the Arabs in the front seat had a lively discussion playfully yelling at and teasing each other.

After parting ways, or roads,  we were left alongside a street lined with a dozen or so Moroccan teenagers anxiously awaiting a ride in the same direction. The competition was fierce, they spoke Arabic and were willing to pay for a ride; two traits we were lacking. I guess somehow we were able to play the "legitimate looking westerner card" because we quickly got picked up by a businessman in a VW Jetta. We got in the car and were amazed at how luxurious and comfortable it was. I guess when traveling in the back of vans and on local buses you lose sight of how nice western cars are!

The man spoke no English and we spoke no French, so for the hour car ride we communicated through hand gestures and charades. We actually learned a lot from him, like the Berber people are the calm nice Moroccans and the Arabs are the ones who always try to rip you off. Also, it is apparently easy to bribe the police if you get pulled over.

Once we arrived back in Marrakech the man asked something about money. As we were trying to piece together what he was saying he reached behind his seat, pulled out a stack of 100 durham bills and offered us some! We politely declined, we were happy enough to just have a ride. We caught the bus from Marrakech and arrived in Essaouira just as the sun was setting. Essaouira sunsets fall into the same category as Key West and Santorini...a red firey ball burning up the horizon, breathtakingly stunning! The setting of the sun also happens to be perfectly timed to when the local fishermen arrive back at the port, so there are thousands of birds flying into the sunset trying to get the fish.

During our three days in Essaouira we enjoyed doing absolutely nothing! Our daily routine consisted of eating delicious pancakes drizzled in honey and banana at the local bakery, walking to the beach or around town and spending the afternoon lounging on a terrace drinking coffee, reading and watching the waves crash against the city walls. Not too bad of a life, if you ask me. A perfect way to end two adventurous weeks in Morocco.
The walls of the Essaouira medina, separating the city from the ocean
Essaouira-view from our favorite terrace to lounge around in the afternoon
Another amazing sunset from Essaouira
City of birds...need I say more?

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