Why this village has been build here, on this particular place ? May be because fresh water is available at this point, as a spring or most probably as a well. There seem to be no other reason as there is no more shelter for small fishing boats than anywhere else along the coast.
An insect, called in French a "lion-ant" has built this device. When any other insect runs into the inner, steep wall, the builder throws sand. The poor insect falls in the center and is eaten by the builder of the lion-ant. Struggle for life !
The charcoal burners have piled logs of various sizes, covered the pile with sand and light it. There is a very special technique to succeed in lighting and leaving it burn slowly, for several days and give charcoal. If it were to burn too fast, there would be less charcoal. If that was the case, charcoal burners would add some sand to slow the fire.
The road is good, with a good pavement. However, as there are so few villages, for such a trip, it is better to have a good car. In case of breakdown, one might have to wait some time for the help of the next car. This is not still the desert, but, as in the desert, if you are stuck on the side of the road, any car which passes will ask you if you are OK. We were lucky to have a brand new one (only 3,000 km !).
The coast is almost uninhabited, with a few houses from time to time. The ocean is always magnificent. When we were there, the weather was not very good and the sun scarce. Nevertheless, the ocean was always beautiful with various colors ranging from grey-blue to orange-grey. This is what makes driving by this coastal road so interesting.
Charcoal burners live on the spot for several weeks, without their families. They build tiny shelters where they sleep at night. During summer, they have to endure the added heat of the fires. In winter, when a cold wind is blowing the slow fires will not heat them much ! This is a very harsh life and they hardly earn their living.
On a wide area along the road, 1 kilometer by 300 meters, all the bushes and trees have been cut. This is because before preparing the charcoal, the charcoal burners had to cut the trees and prepare them for burning. This was actually the hardest part of the job.
Though the country is almost uninhabited, some places are cultivated, especially on the coastal border, very close to the ocean, while inland is mostly grazing land for folks of sheep, a few camels and some donkeys.
The coastline is never very welcoming, with cliffs of soft rocks. They have not the breathtaking look of cliffs of hard rocks. However they are widely used by anglers that use very long angling rods to fish in the stirring waters.
On the whole length of this coast, the ocean is breaking on the shore. There are no natural shelters, even for small fishing boats. In some places, the people draw their small boats ashore, given that the shore is not to steep.
The sea and surf really depend on the wind and the moon, Essaouira is known as wind city, and the wind can vary between light breeze and sand blasting. That said the Essaouira beach is long and wide and stretches from the port to Diabat and the castles in the sand, often mentioned in the same breath as Jimi Hendrix, who was inspired to write some lyrics in the short time he spent here.
Other beaches in the area include Sidi Kaouki, Cap Sim and Moulay Bouzektoun, All are accessible by local transport and shared taxi's. These beaches are popular with surfers etc..
La Maison du Chameau (House of the Camel) is this incredible little inn located just at the entrance...more
Suites #27, #29,#30 are built around an open central light well. There is no way to insulate any of...more
2, Rue Ibn Batouta, Bab Marrakech, Essaouira, 44000, Morocco
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