First things first!

Beau kiting in EssaouiraAs soon as I arrive in Essaouira I head to the water. In a 3/2 mm wetsuit without neoprene on the arms. “You are going to freeze to death.” “I give you ten minutes in the water like that.” “Watch out for the camels.” is what I hear around me. It all does not sound like too much of a problem to me. I am enjoying my first kite session in Essaouira. Strong wind, flat-ish bump-n-jump water and waves, all present! The water is not cold at all. Well for a Dutchie, that is… Quick enough I realize what they mean when they say: “Watch out for the camels!” as one camel casually strolls past me while I’m walking with my kite!

The medina and the big fishing port of Essaouira are a culture breeze! The first two weeks I am amazed by the Moroccan food. I develop a deep love for baked fish, spicy tajines, falafel, couscous, always warm and fresh bread and… crepes Nutella. I’m sure they serve a lot of those in heaven.

“Essaouira, A culture breeze”

Camel on the beach in EssaouiraThe warm welcome of everyone, the relaxed vibe and the overly repeated question “if I am okay” (do I look not okay?) makes me feel much at home. It’s lots of fun to hang out with Explora’s team, and they make me feel like one of the family straight away. I catch up with them for grilled fish, BBQs, dinners, beers and tea, tea, tea and tea. The instructors are not just fun to look at with their gangster looks and sun-bleached curls, they all are really cool and good-hearted people! I meet a lot of likeminded people from young to old. I’ve seen small kids ripping waves and people older than my parents doing kitesurf lessons. I mean, imaginin my mom on a kiteboard is like imagining my dad in a mankini… Water sports know no limits, right?

Beau chill around in Essaouira

The first few days of June the wind has been awful. Not too sure what I am doing here? No way! I have kited with 14m kites, different strapless boards and I have even put effort into overcoming my 100% incapability to surf… I might see a doctor for my serious balance issues. Am I the only one who falls off their feet for no reason? Ah I guess I am.

And then I find out why I am here. When the wind kicks in it stays forever! I´m kiting like a machine. I have enjoyed an unstoppable wind from half June until half September! Summer winds up to 35 knots are as normal as fresh fish and idyllic sunsets.

The old town of Essaouira is located on the right side of a bay. The Explora school is located further down and on the other side of the bay. The wind can be gusty right in front of the town but gets cleaner the more you are further down the beach. The bay gives you the opportunity for the full kitesurf range, from waves to small kicker waves, to choppy water and flat water spots at high tide by the river mouth. There are more activities to do in Essaouira besides kiting, such as eating, hammam and massages, eating, enjoying a very different culture, the colours, smelling the spices, chilling at the beach and testing argan oil stuffs. Oh and eating… Beau riding in the bay of EsssaouiraYou can also gallop along the beach at sunset or blast across the lagoon on a quad! My main occupancy is kiting though. With a little bit of work thrown in, although it didn’t feel like work: having breakfast with some great guests who end up being friends, heading to the beach for the day and then back to the surfy Riad for a beer on the terrace talking about kites and then maybe out for dinner… that’s right to EAT!

At parties and daily-live-music restaurants and rooftop bars the Moroccan music is catchy and funny. No surprise that even the guys are good dancers! It is quite shocking to go out with guys who don’t drink alcohol. Ever had a clear conversation and dance with a male after 11PM?

Duty called me and told me to leave Essaouira otherwise I would never finish my studies. What’s to study other than wind ‘n waves? A master to work on? Me? Don’t think so. I’m okay.