Bucket List #46 – Ride A Horse on A (almost) Deserted Beach
I have a bad track record with beaches. I do not like to swim in the ocean and I do not like to wear a bathing suit. I do love looking at the ocean. The first time we went to Mogador (Essaouira) the weather was very cold and there was no activity at all on the beach. This time the weather was overcast but we were determined to at least take a walk. It was there we stumbled across horses and camels waiting for tourists to take a ride. I had never ridden a horse (unless you count ponies at the fair), but had taken a very long camel ride and knew I didn’t want to do that again. MarocBaba dutifully chatted up the men with the horses and through the magic of whatever pixie dust he has scored us an hour-long horseback ride for $20 - total.
There is a section of the beach reserved for the animal handlers. Ismail was the gentlemen that took us for a ride (you should really ask for him if you go). Take your pick camel or horse and get ready to explore the unknown.
But hold on tight because riding a horse is NOT as easy as it looks (nor as comfortable). One hour didn’t seem like much to me – but 15 minutes into it ay my back! Down we went across the hard packed sand. Jimi (after Jimi Hendrix of course) my horse was slow to warm up to my direction so there was quite a bit of start and stop action. There comes a point in the journey where the ocean turns to river, or the river to ocean. There I learned we would be crossing said water. My horse slipped on the rocks and I saw myself plummeting down and being trampled to death. OK that’s a bit dramatic but I was scared! Ismail took us to see something very old and interesting……
But you’ll have to wait until next week to find out what!
Essaouira is known for it’s horseback riding and horse trekking. There are numerous reputable agencies to arrange this. Trips can range from a few hours to several days. One hour was long enough for me but if you’re interested in longer treks, check with your hotel or riad and seek out a few options to meet your needs.