Then I took a very early bus to Essaouira on Monday and got there by that evening and checked into a very nice Riad reccomended by a volunteer. The Riad Maktoub. The people are very nice and the rooms are great. I went to bed early as I'd had such a long travel day, about 13 hours. Then I woke up early the next day and went on my horse beach ride. I was very excited to be near a horse. For me to be around a horse is to be home. I always feel completely myself around them and happy. I rode a half blind stallion Arab Barb named Atlas. He was a very good boy other than the head jerking. The saddle was interesting, a mix between an English and a Western. Great for trail riding other than the fact it wasn't the most comfortable. The ride included me, our guide, a girl from the Netherlands and a guy from Senegal. A very multilingual experience for me. I spoke darija with the guide, English with the girl from the Netherlands and French with the guy from Senegal. Everyone was very nice. We began the ride at a leisurely pace along the beach with some trotting here and there. After about 2.5hours of riding along the beach we went into the "forest" to have our lunch. Basically this was a trail-less meandering through low brush and loose stones and steep sand hills. Quite the experience. We ate a Moroccan picnic lunch of rice with corn and tuna, a salad of tomatoes and cucumber with yellow melon for dessert and water and coke to drink. Good and filling. We relaxed for about an hour before heading back out. We rode a bit further along the beach and then on the way back we had a couple sprints of cantering/galloping. I can't even begin to describe the feeling of riding a horse at a run along the beach, splashing through the surf, feeling the wind rush past you... It's exhilarating. The next 3.5 hours passed all too quickly. It was nice to get out of the direct sunlight. I was so sore after I dismounted but each aching muscle was completely worth it. I've missed being near horses so much. This was my first real ride in 2 years.
The next day I had a delicious lunch of a cheeseburger, chips and chocolate custard cake at a place called La Cantina which is owned by an English lady. I spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and reading a book before heading back to my hotel and relaxing by watching a movie, eating a yummy cheese crepe and ice cream washed down with a refreshing coke.
Wednesday I woke up, walked along the beach for a couple hours before showering and eating another cheese crepe for lunch. Had a coke at a beachside cafe before doing a little shopping. For dinner I had wonderful pasta at a place near my hotel. It was penne pasta with fresh tomato/basil sauce and shredded Parmesan on top. The food was amazing and well priced and the staff were very friendly.