Portugal, Sardinia and small sum up
After rather average experiences from Morocco, time came for return to European soil. When I put my foot on Tarifa’s ground I couldn’t be more happy. Especially when I spent 12 hours in Tangier’s port.
Yes, 12 hours!!! That’s two with one in front. Once again I managed to hit high holiday season, this time it was Moroccan’s. Still, if I was just waiting it would be fine. But the queue moved every 5 minutes for one or two meters. Miss one one meter drive and ten other drivers would fit in that small gap, moving you on the end of lane. But ok I managed to come back to Spain and visit Lidl, without dynamically changing prices, that based on salesman mood.
Morocco left a mark on my work as well. I don’t know if you remember the times when mobile internet was running on EDGE. Well if you don’t, just visit Morocco, time stopped there at that era.
On the other hand, in Spain for 2,30 euro a day I got unlimited, lightning speed connection, so I decided to stay couple days in Tarifa to catch up with my work. Some how it reminded me about scene from IT Crowd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDbyYGrswtg
Weather forecast was also good. Once again levante, but still wind. But you already know about it: http://kitelancers.com/posts/zaklinalem-wiatr-pizza-czyli-levante-na-tarifie
Maybe I should add, that levante is always gusty. Sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. This time it was much more. But now I know, that instead of complaining I should have go to Canos de Meca, which is just 30 km north.
It may see like not much, but the difference is tremendous. Out there wind is smooth and instead of chop you get nice waves. And those bay views with lighthouse on the horizon.
I was planning to go there for a day, but I stayed for three. Conditions were so good that for a first time since Leucate I tries to learn something new. Effect, crappy frontroll, but still.
On my way to Portugal I had my third contact with Police, after regular check in Monaco and accident in France. This time it was due to my license plate. It seems like it needs to be fully visible. One third is just not enough. For past 9 thousand kilometers no one noticed. Feeling 100 euros lighter I left Spain.
When I reached Faro it was already dark. I just checked the beach and went to bed, aka front seat. Wind was weaker then the one generated by fly’s wings and forecast even less optimistic, so I left fo Lisbon.
Facebook turned out the be very handy that day. I stopped for a coffee on my way to Guinchio. My instructor, Przemass, missed his flight to Brazil, so he had some extra time in Lisbon. FB message, SMS, a call and two hours later we were dringking beer together. And for the first time I left Poland I went clubbing.
I like Lisbon. Very much. It’s one of those cities I could leave in. There is everything. Jesus from Rio, Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, port climate from Genova and hilly landscape that I remember from one of Sydney’s districts. People are nice and friendly and they are the one making this city unique. And of course there a couple kitespots around both flat and wave.
A little North to Lisbon there is Guincho. Is a typical wave spot. West winds creates big swell and couple meter waves. Every minute beach gets eaten by the Ocean. Water starts to sparkle. Wind is getting stronger. Kitesurfers are preparing equipment and going on the water. Ok, lets give it a try.
I kitesurfed in similar conditions once before in Sicily. http://kitelancers.com/posts/sicily-wind-hardcore The difference was that in Sicily wind was stronger by 20 knots. But unexpectedly this time it was harder. Sparkling water makes board sink and hard to even start from the water. Wind was very gusty, which was’t helping at all. Wave board would be much better that day, but I didn’t feel confident enough to take it on water, as I didn’t use it too much before. It’s a consequence of a decision I made to learn wake style first.
First time ever I surrounded and after maybe 10 or 15 minutes, I get off the water. Day was quite young so I decided to find a better spot, flat one. That spot was Lagoa de Albufeira, 60km South.
It was perfect. You can surf there only when the tide comes and fills the lagoon with water. Till then there is not enough water. It’s really nice flat spot. Water is shallow so it’s perfect for trying new tricks. On second or third attempt I landed perfect frontroll. Couldn’t he happier. You can also go on open Ocean through small channel that is created by the tide.
Time was passing by fast and I didn’t even notice when all of it reserved for Portugal passed. I had 3 days and 1200km to travel across Spain to Barcelona, where I have my ferry to Sardinia from.
Route was going quite slowly. First day I barely managed to leave Portugal. On second day my explorers side woke up and decided to eat lunch in the wild.
That day I finally reached Madrid, took a photo at Santiago Bernabeu as a proof and head into Barcelona direction. I met my cousin there with his fiancee. I didn’t manage to be on theirs engagement party, but I will be on the wedding in Philippines. Can’t wait.
We didn’t have much time, as my ferry was leaving in two hours. By the way. Ferry is a cool thing. You board late at night and the next morning you are there, 600 km further. It’s like you would hire very aggressive driver. At least when it comes to fuel consumption or price. But still you can rest and millage keeps on going.
I recharge my Italian internet card. And by the way. I don’t know what is it with Italy. Internet is good but I didn’t have half of problems with it in any other country. One time siesta and closed show. This time it turns out that prepaid are monthly in Italy. So when I recharged it was working just for two days and when I needed to renew it once more. Then the new sim stopped working after 3 hours. But Italian’s speak about themselves, that they are lazy. So, if we Polish, chill with our American speed, it get’s better.
Ok, laundry time. I was hoping for something like in American movies. Nice Italian girl, small laundry, no people and… no one was there. Well, no one except me and beautiful girls… posters… fifties style.
Sardinia itself is a magical place. In not other place I visited before landscape changed that often. Over every hill there is something else. One time call it desert, then it becomes rich tropical forest, then Scottish like hills and calcium rock from my home town, but better.
Porto Torres, where I landed is in North part of the island, so I decided to visit that part first. Porto Pollo is the most famous spot there I suppose. It’s a nice bay, well two bays to be precise, divided by peninsula. Wind is usually NW, which makes windsurfer very happy people there, as East bay is theirs territory. Peninsula creates nice barrier for the wind so that bay is really flat, when West is not that much. But still nice kitespot.
I managed to do small kitesession that evening and meet some local kitesurfers. I was hoping for nice club but it was already september so they said that it’s usually quite quiet at this time. There was just one music festival so I deiced to visit it.
When I reached the place crew was setting up the stage, so I helped a little. Beer in return for the favor was a nice accent. Good people, they speak my language. Concert was nice, but not my type of music. After party moved to a local pub. I met two german girls there. One of them said that she was not drinking for past 3 months. And it should had stayed that way. Alcohol is not for everyone as they say.
I had nice table football have with some people that I met there. When I was heading to my car I met them once again. They liked my car and trip so much that they invited me to they home. After some chat and home made liqueur degustation they invited me for dinner the following day. There was a lot of things on the table including small big and a lot of local delicacies. Everything was super tasty but I was afraid that I don’t have a kite big enough to lift me that day.
This day I met more nice people. And this time Piotrek and Asia from Poland. Piotrek was teaching windsurfing in Porto Pollo for the third year in the row if I recall correctly. But he wasn’t the only Polish instructor in this place. We decided to do Polish evening with italian food. Then I decided to go South to Porto Botte, as wind forecast were coming to it’s end there.
Porto Botte is a special place for me. I started to learn how to kitesurf there. Two years ago I went there with my friends and ex girlfriend. Her only condition was sunny place where she just could take sun baths. So it fitted perfectly. I didn’t manage to finish my course there, cause there were too many people willing to learn. After that I had determination to learn further, so the next summer I bought my own, used equipment and continue to learn. But it’s a whole other story.
As I left by night I reached my destination the next day, after yet another night on petrol station. Safe at least, monitoring etc. That spot is quite unusual. When you check forecasts wind strength is less important then direction. When mistral comes, it will happen. Kite Paradiso, my friends kiteschool has it’s base with Kite Sardegna next to Fortino. There is bar, place to sit and rescue. Wind direction is mostly side and side offshore. Small cypel creates a barrier for wind, so first 2-3 hundred meters from the shore you get nice flat water, when come a little chop but not too bad and the water there is still quite shallow. SkyHigh spot is located about 500m down to entrance to he bay. Wind there is side on shore and not guarded by any peninsula so it’s a little choppy. I don’t know what’s about that chop but it’s not disturbing. It even help with tricks and distance between waves is just about right. If I was to choose I would go to Kite Paradiso base during the day as still I prefer flat water. But when the night comes you definitely should go to SkyHigh. They have nice bar at the entrance to the bay and the are always a lot of people there. Party almost doesn’t stop.
First three days I spent by the fortino. Nice winds so I polished my frontroll an I was about to try raley. My friend Ewa set my mind a little against it. But the same evening I talked with Cygan and Orzeł from SkyHigh and they said that they will teach me the day after. Like they said they did. I may not be the perfect one and flied high couple times (unexpectedly), but still two of attempts were just about right. So I though ok, I can come back home now.
When I look back driving my car at 3 am with 3 guys on roof of my car might not be the best idea. But they all say it was cool and there was not enough space inside. I would say that birthday guy had quite some of the birthday. Getting up in the morning was not that easy though.
Stop at Sardinia was very cool for my. I even met Viktor Borsuk multiple Polish Kitesurfing Champion. And also Polish Woman Vice Motocross Champion. Both great people .
So oryginal plan was that Mateusz will join me in Portugal and Kamil will do the same on Sardinia. Needless to say it didn’t work as Mateusz had much work and Kamil injured his spin week or two before I came there. So I decided to skip Sicily as I have already been there in February and come back to Poland to prepare better for Asia trip.
So I did that. First 350km across Sardinia. Then 300 with a ferry. Then it was like a downhill. 530km across Italy, 120km in Austria, 650km in Germany and nut breaking 170km through Poland. So just 2120km and two days later I was at home for the first time in two and half months. After driving over 13 thousand kilometers, visiting 8 countries, kiting on 25 kitespots. In the meanwhile I’ve learnt backroll, frontroll, raley and couple other tricks. I have become kitesurfing instructor. On multiple occasions I ate my favorite shrimps with garlic straight from the port. I’ve met hundreds of people, who I hope to met also in future. So but my standards it was time well spent especially it way just over a year since I learn how to kitesurf.