Yesterday began with a man, a woman, two horses and three dogs. It ended with two women, marinade, sandpaper, mud, oil and a whole lotta water!
Now that I have your attention..... Im being a little untruthful. It didnt quite end that way!!
Essaouira had a little surprise in store yesterday. Clear blue skies and sunshine!! Perfect for the half day horse trail-ride Id booked. My horse, named Mogador (which incidently is the original Portugese name for Essaouira), was a beautiful chesnut stallion, mild mannered and affable, or so Jawed my guide told me. We set out with the horses and his three female dogs. Mogador "The Hungry" tried eating everything we passed through the scrub on the way to the beach! Then Mogador "The Aquaphobe" decided he didnt want to be at the beach. Not only did he "take the reins" himself to walk AROUND the water as the waves lapped in and out, he actually STOPPED at the dribbling mouth of the river because he didnt want to get his feet wet!! It all got to much for poor Mogador and he kept trying to turn around and go home. Although he was a total pain in the stubborn backside, he wasnt aggressive and responded reluctantly to commands.
He was an entirely different horse on the way home. My Man Mogador walked with his head high and even treated me to some cantering along the beach whilst getting his feet wet. I really didnt need to hold the reins - he knew exactly where he was going - home to food!! I wont mention my unrefined dismount due to complete loss of sensation in both legs after 3 hours of riding!
In the afternoon I treated myself to a hammam treatment, a traditional turkish style bath, which Id been dying to try since I booked the holiday. Only there was no Turk and no bath. My therapist led me into a small room, much like a sauna, but made of stone and plaster, and left me on a heated bench for a few minutes to warm up. She then covered me in some goo and left me to marinate for 5 minutes. I was rinsed by having bowls of warm water thrown all over me, and then rubbed down with a piece of 30-grit taking about four layers of skin off in the process. Marinated again in a mud mix, rinsed again, basted in oil and finally rinsed again. One hour later and I was tingling and sparkling! Different!?!
In the evening I ventured to Beach & Friends, a very funky beachside bar pumping out dance tunes and alcohol. I was really getting into it when basically everything shut down for the final Barcelona/Real Madrid showdown. Bloody soccer!!
Today was my last "holiday" day in Essaouira, and I took it slow and relaxed. A day off, if you will. Tomorrow begins my three day quest of travelling home. A bus, two trains and four planes!! See you on the flip-side!!