Up and down, up and down, the waves rock me as they roll under the surfboard. Another pattern nearing. Turn the board. Don’t think of the size of the wave. “Paddle, paddle, paddle!” my surf mates shout. I feel the wave pushing my board. The blue and green wave rushes towards the shore taking me on board. For all I know I should be a soaked mess rolling inside the wave hoping to pop to the surface soon, but instead, I am riding the wave until it crashes and the water around me turns white. My first proper wave! I can surf! At least I can learn.
I flew to Morocco for a week to charge my batteries with sun and surf. I booked the holiday less than two weeks before, but could not be happier with my choice. The coast of Agadir region is famous for its surf. Therefore, there are plenty of surf camps in the area but I picked Moroccan Surf Adventures because of the morning yoga classes and Moroccan food that were included in the basic packages. It provides for all surfers from beginners to advanced wave riders. Stay for a few days or three weeks, whichever suits your timetable and budget.
I have to point out that I do not usually enjoy package holidays. Even the name sounds horrific. I prefer pack backing and hostels, but this one was some sort of a compromise. I shared a room with two other solo travellers, although I could have paid extra for a private room. The house we lived in had a big dining room with long tables and benches, guests hung out there and on the rooftop terrace socialising and reading.
The atmosphere at the camp was relaxed. English, Swedish, Dutch, American, Australians. Young lads in their early twenties to travellers in their late fifties. No one came there to party. The staff and all the guides were easy going and welcomed returning guests like good friends. The smell of Moroccan spices filled the corridors before dinner and candles provided fluttering light when a long-awaited storm hit the area bringing rain and stealing the electricity.
Instead of wandering around the city and enjoying local environment all day long, we had a standard schedule: 7.30am morning yoga (optional, but such a nice way to wake up!). Social breakfast before packing the colourful surfboards and wetsuits into a minibus and heading to the beach at 9.30am.
Surfing and lunching at the beach until 4pm whether it was cold and overcast or sunny and wonderful. Time to socialize, shower, relax or wander around before enjoying a Moroccan dinner cooked by a local chef, who made great veggie food. By 10pm everyone was ready to bed. Sometimes it was difficult to stay awake past 9pm.
Six days of surfing is enough to get you hooked. My previous experiences on a surfboard had been somewhat miserable because of the constant rain and roaring ocean which made me swallow litres of saltwater and sand. Now I know what surfing can be. Hours spent waiting, paddling, plunging and occasionally catching sweet waves. I was still swaying days after returning home.