Tuesday, December 29, 2009
On the Road to Tamara
The muezzin’s call to prayer woke me at around 6 this morning. I could hear the call from first one mosque and then the calls from the other mosques begin but this morning it was going to be more than that to get me up. We finally departed Essaouria, bade good bye to the ubiquitous cats, which were everywhere. Essaouria is truly a laid back city of sand and surf and lots of holidaymakers mainly from France. There are less headscarves seen here than anywhere else we’ve been and everyone else dresses pretty much as they would at home’ skirts, short sleeves and sandals.
Our trip back to our friend Sandy’s little slice of heaven by the sea was pretty smooth sailing. I haven’t really spoken too much about the roads or the police but both are very different to us. The road out of Essaouria is a beautifully paved four lane highway with very little traffic but the speed limit changes. It may be 80 and then drop to 40 for no reason at all. On top of this you have policemen on the road, usually on side, stopping traffic at random and asking for papers. Though that was nothing compared to driving on the auto route where the speed limit was 120 and suddenly a policeman nearly caused an accident. I don’t think that anyone was actually going as fast as 120 but he appeared from out of the bushes and stopped the car two in front of us. We all had to come to a dead halt very quickly. We were then waved through. It was all very odd.
Much of today’s trip was through very fertile, green countryside with some kind of crops coming up and farmers tilling the fields with horses as well as donkeys. There were lots of olive groves as well. It must have been market day in many places as we would drive through traffic jams of donkeys and carts in the towns. Then we would leave town and be driving on the highway with convoys of donkeys and carts filled with three or four people and sometimes even a couple of sheep all driving on the soft shoulder of the road.
Today we actually saw some cows. Everywhere we’ve gone we’ve seen cow crossing signs but not one cow in sight. It is pretty funny and sometimes alarming to see shepherds with their sheep right at the side of the auto route or on the roundabouts. There is a tremendous amount of road building going on.
I nearly made one faux pas while looking for the loo at a repos stop on the auto route. I saw a place to wash up and was peering in to the next room where there was one of the gas station attendants. One of the restaurant servers quickly showed me to the ladies.
We arrived back at Sandy’s house in time to see a beautiful sunset of every hue of orange and red. I think that there is an old lady living next door so this house won’t be used as the overflow brothel qt the moment. Two doors down there is an actual brothel, which Sandy found out about only recently. She has seen the hookers walking up the beach and coming in the back way. Apparently, when there is an overflow some have been using the house next door unbeknownst to the owner, who lives elsewhere. Brothels here aren’t just brothels as we would think of them. If you are unmarried here you can’t go to a hotel so sometimes you have to make use of the brothel or rent an apartment if you are on holidays together.
Seamus is recovering nicely from his Moroccan cleanse. We walked down to the local restaurant for dinner where we ate outside to the sound of the pounding surf in the background and the Buena Vista Social Club, Whiter Shade of Pale and Live and Let Die in the restaurant. It’s funny the eclectic selection of music we’ve heard in the restaurants. Dinner was a lovely piece of grilled dorado or sea bream. Neither of us is really eating much. Then it was off to bed as tomorrow will be a long day.