Sunday, December 4, 2016


Day 7
 Sunrise on the desert was beautiful, very spiritual. It made me ponder the concept of possibility.
 At breakfast, we heard the news about the election!      Just breathe. 

We had much ground to cover today so spent more time in the van than usual. We were somber and we were together and there was comfort in that.
We stopped for coffee and a "happy house" break, our guides even tipped the washroom attendant for us!
Leaving the desert :(

the colors and light of this room are so inviting


I miss this coffee.

The next stop was at a woman's cooperative that made argan oil products. This was so interesting.

The fruit of the argan tree is small roundish nut. A thick peel covers the fleshy pulp. The pulp surrounds a hard-shelled nut. The nut contains one to three oil-rich argan kernels.
Extraction is key to the production process. To extract the kernels, workers first dry argan fruit in the open air and then remove the fleshy pulp. Moroccans usually use the flesh as animal feed.
The next stage involves cracking the argan nut to obtain the argan kernels. Attempts to mechanize this process have been unsuccessful, so workers still do it by hand, making it a time-consuming process.
Workers grind and press them, again manually, this buttery substance from the grinding is mixed with small amounts of water and kneaded. Thus creating a brown mash which expels pure, unfiltered argan oil. Finally, they decant unfiltered argan oil into vessels. The remaining press cake is protein-rich and frequently used as cattle feed
Cracking the nuts to obtain the argan kernels

Grinding the kernels, the grinder is made of stone.

final step in extraction

After lunch we geared up for our final ride, we had been hearing about undulating hills all week and today was the day. The sandy undulating hills are covered with Argan trees,  Argania spinosa.
We saw almost no automobiles but we did see camels and goats in the trees!

Goats feasting on argan nuts

The ocean!

We ended our ride at the beach, wading in the ocean felt so good.

First impressions of the Essaouira medina...

The cats are so healthy and not a rodent in sight, gotta love symbiotic relationships.

sunset from the roof of our riad

Day 8
I am so enamored with this city! The air, the light, the people, the's the perfect place to end this amazing journey. I can see myself here again.   Insha'Allah
This is just how I feel!

Ryad Watier front door

rooftop breakfast

   The souks are an important part of the culture socially and act as the heart of  Moroccan cities.
   The souk in Essauoira seemed spacious and organized in comparison to the congested and chaotic
   one in Marrakech.

I was delighted that he was watching me!

   Port of Essaouira

    The port was exhilarating, great energy, ocean smells, wind in your face, seagulls squawking, beautiful vistas and all that blue.

Our walking tour guide, Achmed and the lovely Micky
Achmed shared much information about the history of Morocco. The part that stood out to me was the melding of people and their cultures. Jews, Arabs, Berbers, Lower Africans, French, Spanish and Portuguese have all had a part in the Morocco we see today. They learned to get along,  it seems so simple. He left me with a hopeful view of the world's future.

spice market

Cooking lessons

This blurry shot makes me happy

Leaving the medina~As-Salam

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Day 5
On the books as our rest day which worked out quite well, it rained all day. Also, most of us had a touch or in some cases a punch of a "moroccan flu"
Reading, tea drinking, spa sessions (hammam is one of the best experiences for your whole body. The benefits are to eliminated dirt and harmful bacteria while relaxing deeply your entire body and mind. The stress and tension accumulated over the weeks can go away quietly and leave the room for the relaxation you deserve. ) and sleeping kept us occupied.
I did take a walk exploring the local flora and fauna.

Orange tree

Day 6
Today we cycled away from the lush valley and toward the Agafay desert.  This cycle was not without it's challenges, in fact most of us thought it was more difficult than our previous ride. It could have been we were still a bit under the weather, or all those hills, maybe the mud slides and the time the road was under water. However the sun was shining, the vistas amazing and we all made it. Everyone felt better at the end of this spectacular day.

my ride

High Atlas Mountain High

That was a long climb!

mud slide with a view!

road under water!

        Susan and Michelle
A well deserved rest after lunch

I have a thing for clotheslines!

 More harrowing than the mud slides and the hills was the cycle through Amizmiz on market day. The streets were clogged with cars, donkeys, carts, bikes and more people than we'd seen in three days! Apparently there are no rules on the road and it was pretty darn entertaining.

This guy reminds me of Wilson.


 First view of our nights lodgings~breathtaking
Scarabeo Camp

space, texture, clarity, magic, power, peace....just a few words that come to mind.

Photo credit for the next 4 pictures~ Saiid.  He was jumping sand dunes to keep up, he's the best!
The Camel Trek

at sunset~so cool!

What an amazing experience! 


Judy! I love this picture.

Me and my new friends!

Delicious candle light dinner

The tents were furnished with furniture, rugs and the most amazing bathroom. The lighting was pretty special too.