Egypt, Hurghada. “It’s the BEST kiting spot I’ve ever been to”, said Radu, my dearest kite surfing pal. Doesn’t every kitesurfer say that?! Here we go again I thought.
Egypt has never really interested me, what with holidaymakers going down with dodgy stomachs, the heat, the sweltering bus journeys to see the pyramids, and not to mention the recent unrest throughout regions of the country.
But once again, Radu had found the most amazing deal. I was apprehensive about booking, but he assured me that it was ‘paradise’ and that we would be ‘safe’. So within a couple of hours we’d rounded up the troops and booked an all-inclusive holiday for 7 nights at the Club Paradisio Hotel. For the bargain price of £450 it included flights, accommodation and as much booze and food as we could eat. What was there not to love?
I received daily texts from my Mum: ”why are you going”, ”you’ll be locked up”, “terrorists could kill you”, “why don’t you cancel and book somewhere else?”. It was constant and consuming. I ignored her, but in the back of my mind I was thinking about Laura Plummer the British lady locked up for taking tramadol into the country, the flight that went down in 2015 and the recent terrorist attack in Egypt’s North Sinai provence.
I’m an independent solo traveller who jumps on and off planes by myself a lot. I’ve never allowed anything to stop me from travelling, but I felt a huge sense of responsibility towards my children – potentially travelling to a place where things could turn sour quickly.
So I decided that if the forecast showed a windy week, I would go, and if it wasn’t then I would pull out. The wind was up and down and I’d pretty much made up my mind that I would stay at home. That was until I spoke to my fellow kitesurfing chick Magda – a fierce, determined, beautiful polish girl: “Mags don’t be surprised if I don’t come, I’m not feeling it” I said. To which she replied: “F&*K off, what do you mean? You’re coming. It doesn’t matter about the wind, we’ll have an awesome time regardless”. So that was it, Mags was truly on my case and there was no way I was getting out of boarding that plane!
We flew with Easyjet from Gatwick direct to Hurghada and the flight time was around 5 hours. We always book a 32kg windsurfing bag and if you pay for speedy boarding you can take an additional bag for free.
We arrived at a crazy, busy airport and the Kiteschool attached to the hotel Osmosis Kitesurfing Club had arranged for two vans to collect us all, for the bargain price of 15 euros per bus per way.
The hotel was absolutely brilliant and we couldn’t of asked for more. The rooms were spacious and clean, and despite it being December the weather was glorious peaking at 30 degrees. Bliss.
Travelling all-inclusive was ace too. We definitely drank the bar dry during our week and the DJ played tunes every night until we were ready to sleep.
For the first couple of days there was no wind, but on Tuesday it finally ‘picked up’ and we enjoyed 4 solid days on the water.
Osmosis Kitesurfing, who are attached to the hotel were superb. Sonia and all the guys were really helpful throughout our stay, and they went above and beyond to make sure we had the best time.
There are two ways to get to the lagoon, kite or boat. Half of the group were able to kite across leaving the rest of us to get a quick boat with the kite school.
The lagoon is something else. 5km2 of pure, flat, shallow water, a kitesurfers dream, it was absolutely stunning.
To get across I paid the team at Osmosis Kitesurfing 33 euros and it was worth every penny. It meant we had the boat as a base, supervision and a helping hand when we needed it.
The guys working for Osmosis were the best we’ve ever come across – safety was incredible and they saved a few of my friends a few times who kited to the lagoon. Their instruction was second to none and they were always on hand if I needed them.
The lagoon is an adventure playground. My kiting improved massively over the week. We had 4 days so over he week I ended up riding my 7m, 9m, 12m and 14m. I took my new Cabrinha Switchblades and X0 board, the best kit anyone could wish for. My new board carved through the water and the kites moved effortlessly. I finally cracked going upwind, and for the first time cruising across the water I had time to think about perfecting my stance, I even thought about jumping at one point, ha. As the week went on I gained more confidence and an even bigger love for kiting.
It’s without a doubt the best spot I’ve kited in. I was so wrong about Egypt, it’s an amazing place and I felt so safe and content. I would recommend it to anyone and we’ll definitely be taking the kids there in 2018.
The conditions were absolutely brilliant but what also made the trip were my kiting crew. All 15 of us got on so well, like-minded people up for chasing the wind, having fun, laughing, partying and enjoying a few gin and tonics here and there, right gang.
- Watch my videos so you can see the difference in kiting or getting the boat across to the lagoon.
- Change at least $100 before you leave. The locals prefer euros, dollars or pounds and we could only take out local currency at the hotel.
- You’ll need 25 euros, dollars or pounds for the visa on arrival.
- Book kite lessons with Osmosis Kitesurfing http://www.osmosis-kiteboarding.com.
- Check out http://www.loveholidays.com – this is who we booked with.
I’m a beginner and I fell in love with kite surfing in El Gouna. Thanks to my expert instructor from Poole, Karl Cadwallader, I progressed really quickly and was up on the board. With 20 years of kite surfing under his belt, and his natural encouraging coaching style I felt safe and confident and I astounded myself with my progress. I’ve had lessons from others but didn’t quite understand what they meant…but he has an analogy and trick for everything so it clicked!! He’s very generous with sharing his knowledge. People were constantly asking him for tips during our apres kitesurfing. Even the most experienced benefited from his gems of knowledge and experience. The lessons were natural but I know he did lots of research before. A true professional. Our group were fantastic. Sooo much fun. And the cherry on the cake (apart from getting on my board) was seeing dolphins on our non-windy first day. Radu found us a great place. I’ve known Hayley forever and she is the go-to girl for sorting out awesome
bargain holidays. If you’re into kiting follow this chick. Finally a big shout out to the Osmosis crew. They were fantastic and absolute pros in kite surfing and looking after us. I’ve been spoilt.
P.S If you’re starting like I am, and wondering what gear to use, I recommend a seat harness, recoil bar and Cabrinha radar kites.