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Rural Morocco:”Souks—aka day markets”

When you want to get your daily groceries in small towns and villages along the country roads over vast distances across Morocco, you won't find a supermarket or convenience mart. Our drive took a full day south from Casablanca along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to El Jadida, Qualidia, Safi and finally our destination in Essaouira.

If you reset your thinking to the Moroccan way of getting your daily bread, sardines, pumpkins, watermelons and the occasional car tyre, you go to the souks, or day markets, in those same towns and villages. Fresh supplies arrive on a regular basis and you get a week's supply to provide for yourself and your family. And the produce is fresh and comes from local farmers.

Because plastic bags are outlawed in Morocco, your food and supplies won't come in plastic bags. Don't get lulled into thinking that plastic and plastic by-products have been eliminated in Morocco. On this leg of our journey, the remains of plastic bags and plastic bottles are strewn across paddocks, gullies and roadsides continuously throughout the journey. These are the remnants of the time before the laws banned plastic bags. Nonetheless, the pollution is noticeable. Even with the best intentions, I doubt the rubbish will ever be removed. Even the goats and horses won't eat it.

Arriving in Essaouria at our accommodation for the next two nights, I realised that our fabulous rooms had views from our bed towards the sun setting into the Atlantic Ocean. And we were there as the sun was setting. It made the long day's journey worthwhile. As they say in the movie industry, the best movies end with a sunset. This ain't no movie, folks; this is living and we got the sunset too. Now where are those complimentary treats as we watch the evening colours fade into night.


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