Morocco: Riding on the beach of Essaouira
Morocco – the Ocean – ESSAUIRA
Built on a rocky peninsula stretching out towards the Atlantic,Essaouira (the ancient Mogador) is the most bohemian destination of Morocco and the most beautiful coastal city, with unique characteristics, starting with its white houses with windows of an unusual bright blue. In the heart of a dense forest of 600 hectares, consisting mainly of Argan trees, encircled by a spectacular natural dune, it overlooks 4 km of beach on the Atlantic Ocean. A very beautiful city with a very special charm; a unique Medina in Morocco, designed by city planner Théodore Cornut who designed Saint Malo: it’s an open Medina! A destination of the Hippy Community of 70s and of alternative tourism such as artists, musicians and painters. What is striking is the city’s smell, the residents – a mix of local people and foreigners who live there for months, and … the wind of the ocean that they say is the strength of this magical place: the local people full of oceanic wind that infuses well-being.
The Ocean, the ocean’s wind, beaches … to get to … the HORSES !!!!
Coming back from the Moroccan desert, undergrounded and enraptured by what I had lived, kept in contact with the German friend met there, I decided to see her again in Essauira (the headquarters of Ranch de Diabat) during springtime to savor the city, with its perfumes, its food, its wind and the horses on the beach.
Said and done!!! As always, between one trip and another, I went to riding lessons, I have to improve in order to face more hard challenges.
What could be more interesting at that moment? Nothing!
Beautiful place, mild temperature, meet again a person with whom I have already shared the horse, days and nights in a tent in the middle of the cold desert, among chatter and laughter, ready to get up, ride and cross new landscapes.
As usual, I prepare everything. I called the Ranch de Diabat in order to make reservation for me and my friend (who they already know), I booked the Riad and all transfers, so I confirmed my third adventure on horseback.
The mind began to dream. I watched on YouTube a lot of videos of galloping horses on the beach of Essaouira … As always a bit of excitement.
Pongo una domanda a me stessa:
“I asked myself: Are you sure not to go and kill yourself?”
Then I’d answered too :
“Why would I do that? I go to riding school, I learn, they already know me and I know the horses, and then … it’s important to make progress as in any sport, a bit of madness I do not miss, so … let’s start!”
Here comes the big day. With all my suitcases, ready for my horse trekking, I went to the airport and took off for Agadir. Once arrived I had to transfer to Essauira. Everything organized properly.
I reached the city of the ocean’s wind. Someone took me to Medina at the Riad, where I met my German friend already arrived. During the night, everything seems a fairytale: the smells, the people, the alleys of the city, and the narrow streets with few lights blending in with them. Standing in front of the door of the Riad I wondered how I would get out of there and find the way … we’ll see, I said to myself. I made the check-in in this suggestive location, with a garden, the palm trees, and I went up to my room: beautiful, white, large, with a nice bathroom decorated with local majolica. Everything was properly prepared so I could rest and face the new adventure.
The next morning, I got ready with my clothes of … a rider … and I went on the panoramic terrace to have breakfast and wait for my German friend, EDDA. A beautiful meeting, a desire to meet again, to chat and to ride together. Only our voices could be heard … mixed with the tinkling of our cups …
We left the Riad. Edda knew the way to go out of Medina, and to get to the meeting point where a car of the “Ranch de Diabat” would have waited.
I knew the driver who accompanied us all the way of three kilometers that separate the Riad from the Ranch. We arrived. Here are the Arab horses I had known in the desert! What joy! How many memories! We met Erika’s husband and got ready for a day riding through the beach, the ocean, the sand dunes and the bush … They assigned to us a very competent guide and finally, our day became a daydream!
We start calmly at a walking gait, we approached the water, and got with the horses into the ocean; we kept moving on the sand, we climbed the sand dunes … Always with the ocean breeze that goes with us all day long.
Because of the tides, the sand is not always suitable for galloping. However, when the guide told us to leave … my heart started beating … I had never tried it and, if I really have to tell the truth, I was a bit scared as well.
My horse is accustomed to stay ahead. It should be the leader. Oh my God! I tried to smile but I knew very well that, having the competition in its blood, if another horse is getting close, they increase the speed … Let’s start! … I thought only to enjoy and live my first real moment of gallop on the beach, the speed exhilaration. I did not think to anything else! I just have to be careful not to fall! I could hear the distant voice of the guide shouted:
«Esther, arrêté, arrêté toi, itie d’arrêter le cheval !!!» … Easy to say … hard to do due to my level of experience on horseback … Finally … it stopped!
Moment of joy to share with the guide and Edda.
Apart from the thrill of the gallop, there are always landscapes that change, the oceanic wind that caresses the skin, the sun that shines, and the tides that alter the landscape, the sand dunes, the palms … nothing is missing.
Wonderful days with an adventure friend and the Ranch de Diabat staff, always thoughtful and careful to every our request. A memorable trip with various picnics during our horse trekking during the day and the typical restaurants during our evenings in the Riad. Evening times spent with exhaustion on your shoulders, but full of fun and desire to relate.
On the plane, on the way back, dreams, thoughts, memories crowd my mind, while a breathtaking sunset stands out in the sky before my eyes.