Agadir § Essaoira

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Agadir is generally panned by guidebooks for being a bland beach resort with no sites and nothing but the beach of interest. I stopped there for one night on my way from Tafroute to Essaoira and found it, well, interesting. The beach boardwalk starts off with a McDonalds and after that one passes beach front bars catering to German and Danish clients.

The boardwalk itself is full of young Moroccans in denim jeans and T-shirts, some imitating American rappers, others trying to look like Italian dandies. Some women are completely covered from hair to ankle; others wear tight jeans and sweaters. The presence of controlled substances is obvious and a little frightening. One young man in pink shorts decides to walk with me for a while.

Islam requires that men are covered from shoulder to ankle, so he is managing to offend both his fellow countrymen with the shorts and me with the pink in one go.  I can’t understand his French, or his English ( when he asks if I like the wedotshepepps it takes me quite some time to realize he means the Red Hot Chili Peppers. ). Finally, after I’ve refused to give him my email address he clues in that I’m not that interested in his, ahem, friendship. Since then, I’ve taken to telling the young men that approach me and ask my name that it is Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed. The obvious lie both makes them laugh and step back.

Essaoira is a nice beachside town with an active fishing port. The strong winds bring in the windsurfers and kite surfers. A walk down the beach also yields offers of camel rides ( for a price). I’ve decided to splurge on a fancy hotel room. I get my own private shower and toilet, with toilet paper, a darling window seat, breakfast, TV, and extra blanket all for 25 bucks.

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