Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rad Kite Trip II

.. a chance came by to join a friend on his EuroTrip, so I booked tickets to Malaga and three months later here we are, back to Tarifa and while we were there we took the possibility to taste a little bit of Africa..

Tarifa, if you like photos check out our Tarifa and Morocco albums.

Day 1 Thursday

Swaped with Marketa at the Airport, just enough time to get some coffee, pickup my heavy luggage and hurry to meet Radek and then we moved straight to Tarifa. We staged on the Rad advised free spot, pretty good community.

Day 2 Friday

Or lucky day, we got just enough wind to test our bigger kites (13m) and get warmed up for Saturday. Checked Tarifa just to find out my friend turned dreams into reality as we saw Rebels Kite Shop right on the main street. Got a new cap. Bought some stuff at Lidl, WiesBeer is NOT a beer.

Day 3 Saturday

I've tried one session in the morning, but the wind got too strong already so I was kinda lucky to get back to beach OK after few 35knots gusts on my 10m. Perfect day for 5-7m kites (which I do not posses). So we moved to our little french safe-hold and drink most of the day.

Day 4 Sunday

As the wind was still too strong for our kites we just stayed in the safe-hold, tasting another 6-7 beers just to chill out. Met bunch of czech guys which are working in Gibraltar and took some magic time off in Tarifa. Pepe was so kind and drank all my WeissBeer, he is a nice guy. Wind got so strong (in gusts over 40 knots) Rad managed to trash is train-kite lines...

In the evening I've tried to launch my 10, but wind was very unstable so I instead managed to cut my feet pretty bad from unwanted gust. Just to get more I landed one jump so badly something cracked in my left leg joint..

Day 5 Monday

Wind still strong so we moved north to Sancti Petri where Rad managed to launch his 8m and had some good time. In the evening we tried another session with 8m at Valdevaqueros beach resulting in loosing by board when too strong gust came and for a moment I was thinking I will be blown across the Atlantic. Rad then had a nice look-for-a-board session and about 30 mins later I found my board on the beach... lucky! Since there was no sign of wind dropping down I've started to look for a smaller kite in the shops.

Day 6 Tuesday

We moved to Los Lances to test on 7m kite and spend some nice session on Rad 8m. Met some mix (Canada, US and UK) of very nice people on the beach.

We definitely decided to go for a Morocco trip. So we got our tickets (ranging from 200-360€ depends where and how you ask!) and prepared the car for the trip. Managed to get 7m 2009 Best Waroo, hope I will use it somewhere..

Day 7 Wednesday

Day in Africa, more on Morocco album.

Here comes Africa! Early morning we boarded our F.R.S (Fast Ferry) and in 40mins we landed at Tagner harbor. Morocco is -2 hours compared to Spain. On the way out through customs we got our first lesson in 'tipping' the locals. Need to get some MAD (Maroccan Dirhams) quick. The rate is about 10MAD~1€.

We left Tanger and used the payed highway to get quickly as south as possible. Looking at our Kite&Windsurf guide we followed the coast and stopped on few places. There was no wind. We passed Rabat, Casablanca and took the main road to El Jadida. The coast line was beautiful, a lot of people just wondering at the shades others tried to sell some fruit or other stuff.

After El Jadida we took the coast road and headed down to Safi where we've been told of beach Lalla Fatna which should be our spot for today. On the way there we stopped at couple of spots, but either no wind or more like wave surfing.

At the end of the day we got close to Safi and found Lalla Fatna, very nice hidden beach with free parking and tents right on the beach. Got welcomed by locals. Waited for sunset and cooked the worst lentils tin I've ever had (bad Lidl!). Spent the night in the tent.

Playa Lalla Fatna

Day 8 Thursday

We've spent morning talking to locals which was fun as they spoke French and we English. Been invited to tea, got some soup and then up to noon we've been fishing. Shit, I got one fish. (check the photos!). Then we moved down towards Essouria.

We managed to do about 2h session in a 'Dead City'. It was a completely new village with pier, long sandy beach, but no-one was there. It looked like it was struck by recent economic crisis.

We moved further south, noticed the country is already different to fertile north with more water systems used to grow stuff. Later that day we parked our car at Moulay Bessah and watched about two dozen of WindSurfers enjoying about 3m waves with cross-of-shore wind. There was no place to launch the kite, but instead we got over-helmed by local kids trying to sell some hand made head caps using different techniques (from smilling to crying). "Une le'photo deux Dirham!!!". Decided to stay over night and got our first fish in local Lawama bar for prices about the same as in Spain..

Day 9 Friday

We moved to Essauira, one of more tourist city in the Morocco. We had excellent afternoon kite session with calm water and 1,5m waves wich was fun to tackle. Managed to get some decent jumps and few back-rolls.

After sunset (bit desperate of the lack of shower in the recent days) we tried to look for a camping area, but the bastard wanted to keep our passports for a stay which is a no-go for us. So another night in the car it was. We parked close to Medina ("old city") and had some excellent fish for two, salad and drinks for 140MAD (14€).

After that we've walked Medina up till midnight. Need to learn to haggle as I do not believe the T-shirt are for 18€, that is still cheaper then in EU, but not that much.

Day 10 Saturday

No Wind... Fog came from the ocean and visibility about 40m. We just stayed at the Mistral Club, chilling out. Got some cold, could hardly blow a nose. We've met Ian from France and spend few hours together tasting some vodka, Moroccan chocolate and checking his five months trip in Morocco.

Later on we walked to Medina to get some fish, but we were late (about two hours after sunset) so we moved more into Medina to get some food local food. We ended eating 3 course meal with Couscous and got so stuffed we could barely walk back to the car. We did about 5km trip. Not even a cup of coffee would help.

Day 11-14 Sunday-Wednesday

Those were pretty ordinary days with temperatures about 30 degrees of Celsius, no or some wind, lots of riding, fixing Rad's kites several times and riding again. Most of the days I had a cold which allowed me to progress with the "Girl with the dragon tatto" book from Stieg Larsson, its a good book.

In the evening we either got space caked, taste some Moroccan chocolate or just stayd in Ian's camping car. Last two days he was so kind he cooked great pasta which was more than handy after several hours in the water.

We were thinking about going to Marrakesh, but the temperatures there reach over 50 degrees easily so we rather changed the place and made a trip about 40km south to Sidi Kauki.

Where I had this soup

and it totally got me out of cold.

Did some shopping in Medina with various result, once you go home and feel you could get half the price if you were good enough, then you get used it and just accept the price you paid. But we are getting better as it just need experience to negotiate.


Wind is picking up, time to take my newly acquired 7m Best Waroo kite for a ride .)

P.S.: WE ARE GETTING VERY LOW ON ALCOHOL!!! Luckily Ramadan ends tomorrow.