Monday, 18 June 2012

Here's a good one

We drove an hour south of Essaouira to a little secluded beach we discovered a few years ago. It's a tiny fishing village built right on the sand, no running water and just a bunch of weathered fishermen hovering in the shadows avoiding the heat of the summer sun, waiting to head out in their boats for the next day's catch.

We got a big shock as we approached down the rough dusty road on the north headland, the town had been drastically changed since we were here 9 months ago. We were in a state if disbelief that they could build such a huge development right down on the water's edge, we almost turned the car around and left in disappointment.

The little outdoor coal barbecues had been abandoned because of the noise and dust of the big concrete trucks rumbling by. The locals also seemed a bit subdued, the effects of constant building seemed to be taking its toll. Selfishly we were upset that everything had changed so much and our vision for shooting one of our entertaining stories on our dream beach had beeb disrupted. I did my best to break bridge the language barrier (Berber dialect of Arabic only here..) with my limited traditional Arabic but the vibe just wasn't there, what were we going to do?

After a while one of the locals invited us next door to his little barber shop where we sat, had tea and struggled through some more uncomfortable conversation, finally realising that this development was exactly what this poor fishing village needed as they were building a fish market that would drastically increase the price of fish for the local fishermen. An hour past and Rob had enough of pretending to know what everyone was talking about, it was time for a haircut.

The mood quickly changed, we were all having fun. Haircut done and our new friend Lahcen had invited us up the hill to his house where we met his wife, her mother and 3 children who all shared the one dwelling in a tiny remote rural village. Lahcen and his family seemed genuinely happy to have us there as we sat in his humble home, bed at one end of the room and TV/dining at the other, drinking tea, eating bread and passing round a collection of old photos. It was a moment of generosity and smiles that we all enjoyed.

Lahcen wanted us to stay for couscous and to sleep the night but unfortunately we couldn't due to our tight travel arrangements. We swapped numbers and waved goodbye, promising to return when we are in the area next month. A few quick landscape shots in the afternoon light, 5 new hitchhikers (seriously, look at the pics) and we were off back to Essaouira.

The new fish markets.
Lahcen and his wife walk me to their home.

Our backseat to the right.

To the left.

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