2010 Morocco Tour Group Journal

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Day 10 Esseouira  17 November 2010  Wednesday Submitted by Joan and Carl

We awoke today to sound, the chanting of the call to prayer, then the song and chirping of birds and the plaintive cry of cats wanting attention.
It was dark when we arrived at the Hotel Palais Selam so we were aware of the banana plants in the atrium, but it took morning to appreciate how beautiful our oasis was. Flowers, fountains, pools, waterfall and tall banana plants were  a wonderful contrast to the desert.
Our hotel was once a palace of a pasha and our rooms were in the section that is 200 years old.  The doors to our rooms were painted in colorful designs. the windows were covered with heavy drapes or shutters, there were no glass panes.


Because it was the holiday, the men we saw were wearing white jelabas. The women wore brown jelabas or colorful wraps over their clothes. The streets were nearly clear of vehicles. Yesterday cars and trucks were filled with people traveling home. the vans had people and bundles on top in the luggage carriers and the backs of the trucks were filled with standing people. People on foot and in vehicles crowded the streets - today NO ONE!

The only four people we have seen in couple of hours after we left the hotel were burning the head of the sheep that they had sacrificed that morning.
As we left Tourudent and traveled to Agadir, we passed miles of orange groves and the factory to process them. It is hoped the technology and aid to irrigate land is also extended to the desert people as it has been extended to the company with groves. The clear blue skies has become cloudy. We knew we were driving toward the ocean coast.
Orange, argan, pine trees, bamboo, alfalfa, corn, spices and other vegetables fields all make this area of Morocco green.
In 1960 an earthquake destroyed the city of Agadir. It has been rebuilt and is the fourth largest  city in Morocco. Being famous for the white sand beaches, it is the capital city of relaxation catering to European tourists. it is also an important fish exporter. As we drove pass the harbor, we saw naval ship yards.


Beyond Agadir we stopped at a fresh fruit stand where the friendly shop  keeper sold us bananas. the next few coastal village after the Moroccan people a vacation place away from the heat of summer and not in expensive Agadir.
We thought we had left the camels in the desert, but a delightful surprise. A small herd was being led near the edge of the highway neatly trimming the overgrown shrubs. they were doing a great job of highway landscaping maintenance.

When Rachid missed the stop to take pictures of the goats on the argan tees Meli  told him that she will make rashid climb a tree and pose for us. Rachid did his best. He even tried to herd  the goats to climb a tree - unsuccessful!!

 The most interesting tree of today's travels is the argan tree. it grows a fruit with seeds that are pressed for the oil. the oil is used for skin care and is the best choice in its first  quality grade. A lower grade argan oil can be used for cooking. the goats love the tree, eating the leaves and fruit. The willingly climb the tree to get the best food near the top of the tree. Delightful sight!

We arrived in Essaouira and checked in to the Hotel Des Illes. the group is getting very fast at filling out the required registration even though written in French.

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