Over the last week I have spent a little time in Morocco. Primary reason was to have my first vacation in two years. I wasn’t really sure where to go initially, but as its cold and wet in the UK decided that somewhere sunny for a ,little kitesurfing would be a good choice.
I haven’t been to Morocco before and not been out on the water for some Kitesurfing action for three years.
My trip was organised by Waveriders who I have used on a couple of occasions before, for kitesurfing holidays to Lanzarote (okay) and Boracay (excellent). Once again their help and organisation was second to none and Joe Bennet sorted me out a treat, even when I was somewhat confused on my arrival.
Flight from LHR is in the afternoon and arrives in Casablanca in the evening, flight time is approx 3h20. I was booked into the Atlas Hotel which is state run and around a mile from the airport. Its comfortable clean and provides everything one requires.
. There is a free bus from outside terminal two.
. The flight to Dakhla is in the afternoon the following day. Therefore a trip to Casablanca could be taken.
. Personally, I would advise to take a train from the airport.
. Taxi: 200-300Dh
. Train 40 Dh – every hour on the hour, return runs at 7 minutes past the hour.
. Petite Taxi from Casa des Voyages to Casa centre : 15Dh (on the meter)
. There is plenty to see in Casa for a day, obviously the Mosque / Medina / Cathedrals. The mosque is only open for tours in the mornings and closed on Friday for prayers.
The flight to Dakhla is in the afternoon the following day and will arrive in Dakhla around 7-8pm, Dakhla Attitude met me and drove the 30 minutes to the camp. Accommodation in the camp was somewhat basic, which to be fair, I had expected. I opted for the cheaper option of staying in a tent which was sufficient for my needs. I believe that the tents will be replaced with bungalows in January ’11.
The tent was somewhat drafty at night and a little chilly, but two blankets resolved that issue.
Showers are shared – one half for guys, the other for girls. There is only one domestic boiler for each side meaning that the hot water can become scarce at peak times. There were few people staying and a couple of times my shower was not particularly hot. I imagine that this is less of a problem in the summer when the weather is hotter.
The shower water is taken from a local spring and is sulphurous, therefore a little smelly, I was glad to have a non-stinky shower on return to Casablanca.
Breakfast dinner and tea are plentiful, mostly Moroccan style meals, served in the restaurant adjacent to the camp bar.
Any treats should be taken with you – wine / chocolate etc. There is no shop in the camp therefore you must take everything that you require for the duration of your stay. There is no laundry as far as I could see.
. It is cold in the evenings, take hoodys / jumpers and a couple of pairs of trousers.
. I would suggest that taking some foot powder may be a good idea, there were a couple of evenings where I just couldn’t get my feet dry.
. Don’t bother taking any smart clothes, there is nowhere to go out to!
. The majority of people staying appear to be French and Belgian, everyone got on well and people were welcoming to the single travellers.
The kitesurfing itself is excellent – very flat water and mostly shallow. Dakhla Attitude is situated on the shore of a massive lagoon in a north south orientation. Wind is either easterly or westerly both of which are sailable. A safety boat is on hand at the school and the staff seem to be fairly attentive. When not on duty the DA team are also on the water so will keep an eye out for the clients.
I would say that this is one of the best spots that I have been to for learning as the water is so shallow even at higher tides.
The wind during my stay was fairly light. I mostly used my Best Waroo 11m, however the Slingshot Turbo Diesel 2 14m was used a few times and I was glad I took it. I also took a 7m but that stayed in the bag. The wind is stronger during the summer as the desert heats causing more thermic wind so I would advise taking a full range of sails. Out of the seven days that I was on location there was one during which there was no wind at all.
To sum up I had an excellent weeks holiday, met some lovely people (event the French were cool), had some good times on the water and got a bit of a tan. I would certainly return and do look forward to going back some time in the future. Whether or not I stay with Waveriders / Dakhla Attitude remains to be seen, however I would certainly recommend both, although there is no doubt a premium for Waveriders organising everything, it’s not such a bad idea to have someone else do all the admin, co-ordinate flights and hotels. They get preferential rates on both accommodation and flights so certainly worth checking out. That’s their job and they do it very well.