We left Agadir and drove north towards Essaouira using the coast road, a distance of 117 miles but it seemed longer because of all the twists and turns in the road. On a rare straight bit of road Tony put his accelerator foot down. An armed policeman waved him down and he was charged 300D (about £20) for speeding. Our paperwork was checked, forms filled in, fine paid and Tony and policeman shook hands and we were on our way . . . . ten minutes later on another rare straight bit of road Tony put his accelerator foot down – out popped another policeman and he was charged a second 300D for speeding! Again, passports and vehicle paperwork were checked, forms completed and the fine paid. Tony and policeman shook hands and we were on our way . . . . driving very, very slowly.
We called into Essaouira to see if we could find some garden chairs to replace our stolen ones. We had been to this seaside town on a previous trip but were not stopping on this occasion because their camp site was not very good. Then we had enjoyed a lovely fish lunch in the town square where they barbecue their fresh catch in open air restaurants. However, on his occasion the wind was blowing so strongly that the air was thick with swirling sand. We rushed into a shop with our eyes half shut against the stinging wind, made a quick purchase of a couple if chairs and drove on to Ounara where we found a lovely site called Camping Des Oliviers where we spent a pleasant time on a grassy pitch, surrounded by trees, giving us enough shade to sit out in the 30° heat. The camp restaurant appeared to be a stall with tables and chairs under the trees.
We ordered our food and prepared to wait, sitting at one of their tables but they explained they would deliver the food to our camper. Sure enough, half an hour later a young man brought over a bowl of bread, a Moroccan salad (peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and chopped up into tiny pieces) and a big oval platter of beef brochettes and kefta (spicy meatballs) with chips.
In the morning we walked to a nearby grocery shop that sold everything, including bread and we bought two baguettes, still warm from the oven. The town was typical of many we had driven through whilst travelling in Morocco. Not a tourist place at all. Although the principle street was the main road and metalled, all the side streets were dusty alleys. Small booth-like shops lined the streets, some sold groceries, others mobile phones, second hand televisions or hardware. There were workshops spilling out onto the highway, making wooden furniture or mending bikes or blacksmiths making gates and metal doors. Donkeys were the principle form of transport. Rubbish was everywhere but no-one appeared to notice. It made our campsite on the outskirts of town seem all the more pleasant and well cared for.