Morocco: Safi and Essaouira

In Morocco the ladies wear plastic rain suits when they go for a swim. They use them also for losing weight. You sweat like hell and your body uses more energy to adapt to the unwanted circumstances; wear a plastic suit under your jellaba and a dangerous slimming method is invented.

As a result of our way of travelling, we meet many people. The hospitality in Morocco is without limits, so we often find ourselves invited into people's homes. A great way to get to know the country and we stayed a long time in El Jadida, but after 27 days it was time to say our friends goodbye.
When JW checked the engine the day before leaving El Jadida, and found 1.5 liters of seawater in the carter oil. Ahmed immediately arranged for a mechanic, who would show up the next morning at 9AM. Insjallah, one thinks, but YES: Zacharia arrived and appeared to be a great mechanic as well!

The Moroccon coast is famous for its many fishing nets, and also for its high swell. When we left El Jadida, the swell came from NW and was 2.5 meters high, with wind SW2. So we fled into Jorf Lasfar, 10 miles south of El Jadida and the biggest commercial
port in Morocco, where the handling of phosphates has created a surrealistic poisonous yellow and green landscape.

Safi
(the second commercial port in Morocco) is not only famous for its sardines (5 kgs for 1 euro) but also for its ceramics. Reason is that the right red clay is found in the neighbourhood. On the streets the second choice and worse items are sold, the best articles are found in the shops. 
If you walk uphill, you end up in the potteries.
PHOTO 1 The transformation of earth into soft clay, the kneading, the sifting (various phases), the shaping of the objects and of course the decoration: everything is done manually. Even the baking is done in a natural way: in ovens using wood fire. PHOTO 2 
For the decorations they use natural materials; the motives are traditional with beautiful Arabic curls, Berber or more modern with a decoration of fishes. The last type is in its own way a classic and nice to have on board.
PHOTO 4+5  Some objects such as lamps are skilfully carved. PHOTO 3 Everything is done by hand and even the tools are handmade. The sculptor uses a series of practical tools for cutting and carving; they are made out of sardine cans and mounted on a BIC pen.
The painters use the same BICs, in which they glued donkey's hairs.
It was great to see the artists at work with their skilful hands. When someone does something really well, it all seems so easy...

From
Safi to Essaouira is 55 miles of which we could sail only 5 miles. The wind in Morocco is either a storm or next to nothing. And most of the time it is fluky. We were happy to have at least some spectacle because we caught a fishing net with our rudder. Fortunately we could quickly get rid of it .
Essaouira is a nice fishing port. There is a large boat yard, and at the moment there are six ships under construction.
PHOTO 6 Furthermore it is (in our opinion) rather touristical, crowded with coaches full of people coming from Agadir and Marrakesh.

We re-stocked our medical kit, because in Morocco medicins cost a quarter of the prices you pay in the Netherlands. They sell the same products from the same pharmaceutical companies. And what is more: everything is available "over the counter". Stocks of soap (especially made for washing by hand), grenadine syrup and some other stuff, and we were ready for the Canaries.

Previous    Next