On New Year’s eve 2014-15 I was in Luang Prabang making my second visit. After two days in a long boat motoring down the Mekong in northern Lao, I returned with the trepidation of finding my second visit less intoxicating than the first. Luckily, my second visit equalled and in many ways surpassed the first.
That evening I was searching the web for information on Luang Prabang and came across an essay in Outside Magazine that was written by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”and “Committed”.
As laid in bed and read the essay, I was grateful I had returned. I could still easily return for a third visit.
Tonight, my last night in Essaouira, I wondered if I will ever return. It is a perfect place with the beach, ocean, sun, wind and many, many friendly people. I was told there would be music tonight in a small cafe in the medina and upon my return at 6:30 PM I was dissapointed with no music. So I walked the streets one last time, returning to the restaurant where for the last three days I drank my afternoon beer. I was greeted with a smile and a strong handshake. Later, as the sun set, I walked the streets of the medina one last time, reveling in the beauty and serenity of Essaouira.
Shop keepers waved and said hello, inviting me with smiles into their leather bag stores, making one last unsucessful attempt to sell me another bag. We then laughed about our back and forth bargaining over the last three days and took pictures together, shook hands and said goodbye. I told them I would return, inshallah.
Essaouira is a perfect place.