Wind and More Wind

Dahkla is windy. And loaded with bays. Loads of bays and wind. And some sand. And that makes it a kite surfers paradise. Which is good because there are a lot of kite surfers here so they are not disappointed.

Dahkla, so far, is different from other parts of Morocco. We have yet to go in to the centre or points of interest because that wasn’t the plan today. That’s the plan tomorrow. So far we have just been at the resort with all inclusive full board meals. We have mostly seen Europeans and many of the prices are listed in Euros, which are widely accepted currency.

So this morning was for resting. We both had a bit of work to do and we planned nothing until our 2 pm departure to our sister hotel, Dahkla Attitude. We had tried to stay there but they are full for the competition this week. (Stand by.) The sister hotel we are at is squarely facing the ocean and our huts face the Atlantic. The sea is a continuous crash of waves. It is delicious and loud and wonderful for sleep so we definitely got a good spot. No regrets.

Now it should be noted at this point that an interesting dynamic is happening for me and I kind of love it. It’s been like traveling back in time and space to…….home.

While I did spent the vast majority of my career in hotels, being “raised” as a hotel person, amongst hotel people, speaking hotel shorthand and acronyms, I have been away from that life for more than a few years. I still have many tentacles there and you know the old saying, “you can take the girl out of the hotel but you can’t take the hotel…” you get it.

And here I am now, traveling with a former GM. (General Manager). It makes me giddy and also brings a tear to my eye at times. (Proverbial. I’m not walking around sobbing. Don’t be ridiculous.)

When I walk into an F&B outlet (restaurant), servers see a tourist. When Carla, my travel companion, walks into an F&B outlet, she has the attention of every server in the place within 30 seconds, people are dispatched to heat water, refill the coffee, make the omlettes and everyone moves faster and smarter and things become magically more efficient suddenly.

I LOVE IT.

In the past few years I have tamed my instincts to such a degree that I don’t know sometimes if my reaction is because I’m Western or because I’m a hotel girl. Apparently it’s the latter. When the shuttle is meant to show up at 7:30, I look up at 7:29 and say “chop, chop” to myself, “let’s move it along people. Little service over here.”

Carla meanwhile has 3 employees on various radios and a solution to the missing shuttle better be imminent. When asking a question of the reception agent, the girl had the shortsightedness to say, “other guests have made that comment too,” to which the reply is squarely issued, “so you have successfully identified a problem and yet you have not yet found a solution. Hmmm.”

Momma? Momma is that you? Am I finally home???

Not only has the sea calmed my soul but this unexpected return to my roots has put a whole new smirk on my face. I am enjoying this respite enormously. (Really, there is nothing better than finding your people.)

Now back to the competition I mentioned earlier. There is about to be a competition at Dakhla Attitude to determine the youth representatives for the Junior Olympics. Participants will compete for 4 spots, one girl and one boy from Africa and one girl and one boy from Europe. So we enjoyed watching the warm ups in the bay.

Apparently for kitesurfing, you have to have specific wind conditions. It must an off shore wind, as opposed to the onshore wind best for surfing. It needs to consistent, persistent and pretty strong. All these conditions are met in this bay. Fascinating to watch the technique and skill. Because these resorts are built for surfers and kite surfers, I find them to be very “ski resortesque”. Loads of lounge space in a central “dining hall” with board games and wifi and people just relaxing and hanging out in groups after a day of sports. Coaches, photographers, family members. It’s a really nice atmosphere.

We also took a boat to Dragon Island. Certainly named for Kal Drogo and his Kaleesi. OR maybe for the shape of the island which resembled the back of a dragon.

When it came time to board the boat to go to there, the person organizing us said “the boat is here,” and pointed out into the bay at the boat. It wasn’t close. At all. And it was hard to tell how deep the water was. So after some discussion en francais Carla helped him to see that it would be better for us if the smaller dinghy came in closer to get us to haul us out to the larger boat lest we become soaking wet. We were both wearing jeans.

In comes the dinghy, off go the shoes, we are both handed life vests that maybe would fit a small goat but nothing over 50 lbs. and off we wade. Upon approaching the smaller boat, I decided I was 15 again and that “hopping in” was the way to go. Completely forgetting how desperately uncoordinated I am and not at all thinking things through, I ended up sort of rolling into the boat in a rather indelicate fashion. Now soaking wet, (me) we set off on our journey.

Island. Rocks. Sand. Seashells. Back again.

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon sipping “homemade rye and ginger” because I said that’s what I wanted. When the bartender said “I didn’t know you could drink whiskey with ginger ale” Carla blamed the Canadians and we ended up enjoying Jack Daniels with a half shot of fresh ginger juice and a splash of sparkling water. Close enough for me! Tasted like candy.

Thank goodness someone brought the hospitality professional or I would have ended up drinking who even knows what.

And that was our second day in Dakhla. It was windy and it was COLD towards the end. But the surf and sand were lovely. Dinner back at our property was delicious with a pasta bar (skip), and bbq chicken (yes please) and loads of fresh veg.

Tomorrow — oysters!!!!!

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