Avenue l’Istiqlal is the major commercial thoroughfare of Essaouira, but more in the style of souks and cupboard-sized shops jam-packed with everything from kids’ plastic sandals to mounds of sheep innards and gizzards than the chi-chi boulevards of St. Tropez. And a darned sight more interesting.
There comes a time when we all have to realise age is creeping up on us. Mine was when I was faced with a steep walk up the mountainside from Imlil in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains to my hotel high above.
Despite its name, the Agafay Desert is not the sand desert of Sahara and Lawrence of Arabia fame, more a vast, undulating, stony landscape crisscrossed with tracks and dusty roads, cut through with dry riverbeds.
In its heyday, Volubilis was an affluent provincial capital, its wealth based on the export of olives, olive oil and wheat to Rome, and wild animals to face the gladiators in arenas throughout the Roman Empire.