Saturday 20th May 2107, Essaouira to Casablanca
Interesting..... lots of politics discussed as we travelled. Arab Spring vs African Spring. So many donkeys working which again provided a contrast as we heard about international affairs. Men harvesting barley or wheat by hand though this is not an unusual practice in this country which is trying to catch the 21st century. As we drive along the by roads, people are still trying to flag us down and get a lift. Men, boys, mothers with kids, anyone. We came across some villages having their market day. People drove anything to the market - donkey or horse and dray, all kinds of motor bikes and scoters with tray utes attached, tractors, buses and those (maybe 6 or 7 people) defying death ON TOP of a van hanging on to the carry rack. Scary. Of course many, many people were walking - along the road, tracks thru orchards, wheat fields or olive groves. I would love to show the different types of fences. These can be made of stones, prickly pear, another type of cactus, wire, a mad thorn bush or sticks. Most times there are no fences and the shepherds have their sheep/goats/cattle along the side of the road which is free - the long paddock. People getting water in containers from a well, donkey carts that have 200 L barrels on their dray, men on push bikes with 20 L containers of water. Such a precious commodity when you don't have pipes. We passed chaos about to happen as a header harvester pulled out of a petrol station in the village. It has a front about 2 lanes wide so I am glad it went in the opposite direction. More miles and we reach Casablanca. The poor cousin of most cities in Morocco as there is little for the tourist to see. It is surrounded by slums or hundreds of high rise buildings. It seems most of the population live in these. We saw some of Casablanca but such a disappointment after some of the wonders we have seen in the last 2 weeks. The hotel again is incredible. Such luxury. Some compensation maybe for the nightmares about upcoming travel home! We had a farewell dinner and said go bye to our companions of the last 2 weeks. So pleased we all got along well. We start our sojourn home tomorrow - planer to Lisbon, 2 nights, pane to Frankfurt, plane to Hong Kong the plane to Sydney. Hmmmmmmm.