Rachid is the best, He arranged for our pick-up from our Riad in Marrakech which is about a 2 ½ hour drive. His driver, didn’t speak English very well, but understood when we needed to stop and that I wanted to visit the Women’s Argan Oil Cooperative before we arrived in Essaouria. When we arrived at Rachid’s establishment he immediately offered refreshment and bathroom facilities. He then explained the safety issues and outfitted us each with a helmet head sleeve, scarf, helmet with shield, glove liners and gloves and a windbreaker sort of jacket. He explained the importance of each and dressed us himself to assure the fit. We were then walked over and given each an explanation of his quads and how to work them, what and what not to do. Then each of us were taken one by one and given a sort of test of skill. We then proceeded down the road and we were off.
I have to say, it was a great ride, we were never held back by the less experienced riders in our group, in fact, they caught on so quick, we were quickly given full rein. The ride was so wonderful and scary at the same time (the drop off the dunes) I will never forget it. And then if it couldn’t get more perfect, we stopped for lunch, OMG!! I thought what a beautiful place to take pictures….but then our guide was getting off and telling us to take our helmets off at which point we were each handed a straw hat. And as you looked down, there, right next to the water and the beautiful break of waves was our set-up of rugs and pillows…yep, our lunch! It was incredible and indescribable. What can I say, it was truly amazing…and the food! OMG…the food was so perfect, it rivaled that of the food served in our Riad (see review Riad Tamarrakecht). And it was cooked right there, we were served like V.I.P’s it was so wonderful, and we also had dessert with hot mint tea, it couldn’t get any better, we didn’t want to leave. We made it back up the side of the hill and back on our bikes where we rode a bit longer and then ended up at the horse stables. We were all given chaps to wear and put on our proper horses and well, this part of the excursion I felt was lacking. I had plenty of experience riding horses but the two girls I was with didn’t and they felt things were not properly explained making their experience more frightening than it needed to be. When our guide saw that I could ride, he would just yell out to me, turn left, turn right…that sort of thing and I was free to ride as I wished which was GREAT…but I felt I would have had more fun had I known where I was going to begin with. I always had to stop, look back for direction which for the most part, our guide was on his cell phone so didn’t always see me right away. I had a great time, the others not so much.
Rachid then picked us up and took us on a little tour of Essaouria and let us do some shopping. Essaouria is a pretty coastal beach town, but we got there kind of late and some of the historic places had closed. Probably our fault since no one hurried us along during our lunch. Anyway, we were given free back-packs and free DVD’s of our adventure and Rachid even remembered that an office mate of mine collects sand and he drove by the beach and collected it for me. We were handed off back to the driver that got us back to our Riad in Marrakech. Don’t hesitate to book with Rachid, he is warm and friendly and overall concerned about your safety and experience. We had the best time. Thanks Rachid!