Travel Journal // Essaouira, Morocco
august 14, 2019
The ocean is medicine for the soul and my short trip to the coast of Morocco was the antidote to the chaos of Marrakech. I was keen to visit this town washed in blue and white from my very first bit of research into Morocco as I prepped for my month long stay in this diverse country. And then a fellow traveler of French origin recommended L’ane Vert (The Green Donkey in French) - a hidden eco-lodge about an hour from Essaouira. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, with adorable Berber Tents for lodging, farm-to-table dining, and daily yoga classes, I was in. It was just the retreat I needed to look inward and grow with myself.
I booked transport with Rouge Travel (the same group that I chose for the Sahara excursion). This trip was much more relaxed than the journey to the desert. The 3 hour drive from Marrakech to Essaouira began at 8am and included a stop at an Argan Oil Production Cooperative and then the famous roadside tree where all the goats perch as they munch the argan fruits.
In the early afternoon, our driver dropped us off by the seaside in Essaouira where I had about an hour until I would meet my driver for transport to The Green Donkey. I enjoyed a lovely little lunch and strolled the Medina.
After a satisfying plate of seafood pasta, I met the taxi driver at the entrance to the medina. As we set out, he matched my introspective, yet warm mood as we zoomed along the seaside and then down dirt roads, pulling up to the reception house at The Green Donkey. It was blissfully quiet all around as I checked. Tired from the journey I laid under the canvas of my berber tent for a siesta before making my way to the oceanfront.
I found the beaches to be incredibly serene. I had the whole of our shoreline to myself, aside from a small herd of cattle. The wind was strong and often kicked up the sand, creating whimsical swirling patterns and small dunes just beyond the break of tides. In the course of my two day stay, I fed my soul with the kind of introspection that can only be done in the quiet of nature. And I fed my body in the comfort and nourishment of the freshest food - so very full of love in every bite - sourced locally and sustainably, of course.
I did sun salutations at sunset and read my novel into the evening, making only the smallest of talk with my fellow travelers and the staff, prefering to communicate with my eyes. There was a need for outward distance that comes with inner growth. In my solitude, I splayed out under the night sky, uninhibited by city lights, where I spotted seven (seven!) shooting stars. And in my loneliest moments, I found myself watched by my spirit guides and safe in this universe in which I manifest my path, every step of the way.
It was a happy goodbye as I left with a grander sense of myself and my capabilities, knowing my infinite power was ready when I was. And so, my last hours in Essaouira, I spent nodding and smiling and playing along, bargaining in the Medina, knowing the world a little more, facing it with more kindness and less judgement.