The train down to Essaouira, at least the first leg, was in premier class (dont you know!). AC and quite comfortable. The second leg from Benguerir was a touch above a cattle train. It had the stillest air I’ve ever felt on any moving contraption. Molly immediately had nodding dog syndrome. The window could be opened but for a flood of sand blown in. It was only for an hour or so, so it was bearable.

Our Riad in the….wait for it……….MEDINA was simple but elegant. Run by a very nice Italian chappie with a head for languages. 4 I think. I got sunburnt on the roof tarrace….that lesson I never seem to learn! So that seemed to put a dampener on things a bit. I was like a rasher and feeling every bit of it.The beach in Esaouira is by far the longest beach I have ever seen. At least 6km. There is a old delapidated castle right on the beach half way down and apparently inspired Jimi Hendrix to write “Castles Made of Sand” – more info here.

We walked down to it with 40km/h winds at our back and walked back at a slant while being sand blasted. (oooh so tingley on the sunburn). It’s a huge resort town that I like. Food, drink – as in beer, and entertainment to be had everywhere in stark contrast to their availibility in Safi. (Safi, in my estimation, being nothing to write home about). We decided to stay here for a while and relax as this traveling business is tougher than we expected. Funnily enough this is the easy bit as Morocco is the most “westernised” country for the next while. Busses run on time – not “Africa time” as I’m accustomed to from previous experiences. Mauritania will be the REAL acid test for us as it’ll be a whistle stop at its slowest and circa 40-45 degrees C at it coolest. The visas were obtained without hitch (we expected problems) and make for the border in a week or so.

We’re currently in Agadir ( Aga-dont, says Molly). Just another beach side town with more of the same really. No Medina though which is odd! We have a sound enough hotel with a mini swimming pool 20 ft x 10ft. But it’s home for the next few nights. Laayoune is the next stop and a monster 13 hour or so bus ride over night. Least we dont have to pay for accommodation for that night – its the only silver lining I can find. Then on to Dakhla. Another 13 hour or so bus ride. Then it really starts to hot up! Maybe I’ll get a hitch from the fella below…