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November 26th 2016
Published: November 26th 2016
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Leaving day from Essaouira has seen the expected winds arrive after two relatively calm days. Our final stop is a 3hr local bus drive to Marrakech and a two night stay at Moroccan House.

On the way out of Essaouira we passed the region where the incredible Argan tree thrives naturally in one of the few regions in the world. No plantations are known to exist outside Morocco despite many attempts around the world to replicate conditions. The unique thing about the argan tree grows randomly but are linked together underground.

Labor intensive procedures (20 hrs to make 1 litre) are required to extract a tiny seed from a hard nut that is further protected by an outer shell casing. The oil has countless therapeutic properties.

Marrakech is a city of contrasts where the modern part of the city looks like that in any prosperous western country yet inside the walls of the Medina a vibrant but simplistic life from a different era exists. The centre of all this life is a huge public square (Djemma el Fna) with its scents and colour of the fruit & spice markets, the sounds of musicians, snake charmers, performing monkeys, acrobats and musicians.

Entering the square on the evening of our arrival for a street food meal the Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th-century minaret is an astounding sight dominating the surrounding skyline.

We are then captivated by the atmosphere where intense competition exists for new diners and where successful customers are clapped into their seats accompanied by a noisy hollering when successful. However the atmosphere dies off after dinner due to the constant badgering for tipping somewhat poor or no performance.

Our second day was a walking day mostly through the Medina to some of the main attractions including the Majorelle gardens & fantastic Berber museum, the madrassa (closed) & Bahia palace with its incredible carving and hand painted internal ceilings.

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