From Rabat to Essaouira

Hi! It’s almost Christmas, and if you’d like to add an extra card to your Christmas card collection, keep on reading!

After staying a few more days with Oussama and Alex, my hosts, in Rabat, it was time to move on to Casablanca. The rain postponed my take off a bit, and the moment I left Rabat, the weather conditions weren’t as good as I hoped for it. Result: I got soaking wet.

It’s been a few weeks since I published my post looking for company to cross the desert. I haven’t found my Sahara cycling buddies yet, but this post helped me to find some new friends. Rachid invited me to join him and his family in Casablanca. Result: some delicious homemade Moroccan meals made by his mother and some new friends who share the love for the bicycle.  Amin, a part of the family, took me for a bicycle ride in Casablanca. He has figured out a very efficient way to cycle in the city, but being a newbe in the city, I thought he had quite a Kamikaza kind of cycling style.

Casablanca is a huge city with crazy traffic. I didn’t spent enough time there to make a proper judgement of the city, but it seems to be a place you really need to get to know before you can appreciate it. Since I didn’t, I don’t consider Casablanca as the place to be. the most important building of the city is the Hassan II Mosque. It’s the biggest mosque in Africa, and it’s the only mosque in Morocco you can visit if you’re not a Muslim. In Morocco you can’t visit mosques if you’re not a Muslim. Apparently this comes from the time Morocco was occupied by France.

I had some company when I left Casablanca. Rachid’s brothers, Amin and Karim, were going to cycle as well for a few days. They were heading towards Marakech and I was heading to Essaouira, to meet up with Kenneth and Inga. I left Casablanca together with Amin and Karim towards the countryside. We went camping around their uncle’s farm. It was a nice experience, involving Tajine, Couscous and some camels. I also got introduced with the local moonshine. Yes, sometimes you can find some alcohol in the middle of nowhere. Quite stong and not the best taste ever, but if you mix it with some soda, it’s drinkable.

The next day our ways separated. They stayed with their family, and I cycled towards El Jadida. El Jadida is a modern coastal city, clearly adapted to accomodate tourists. The next destination was different: Safi was a more industrial port city. The local export product of Safi is canned sardines… my power food on the road. While hasj is the unofficial number one export product of Morocco, canned sardines is the official number one export product. Speaking of sardines, the amounth of fresh sardines you can buy in Morocco for one euro is more than enough to feed three people.

Next: the amazingly beautiful city of Essaouira, where I met up with my Belgian/German friends Kenneth and Inga. It’s a gorgeous city with a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s probably also the most artistic city in Morocco. Essaouira a popular destination for surfers and it’s a good place to find delicious seafood.

Last but not least: in the beginning of my post I mentioned something about Christmas cards: I want to give you the oppertunity to add a handwritten postcard to your Christmas card collection, and that way you’ll be able to help me to continue my trip. For only 5 euro I’ll send you a personalised postcard from where I am at the moment. And obviously you’ll get two for 10 euro. In that case there will be some days inbetween the two cards you’ll recieve, for obvious reasons.

This is how to get your postcard: a simple bank transfer to Mathias Lebbe, BE65 3800 1078 8996, BIC BBRUBEBB. As a message, write down your post address and your card will be heading to you. That’s it!

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