Ras Sudr - Little Quiet Kitesurfing Paradise
Here we are 14 sweaty and not used to 35 degree weather irish, equally tired Frenchie, not so sensitive to such weather, cool enough Latvian gal - completely chilled about it and a huge English bloke ( you never tell from his face if there's any change in climate or his mood). All hungover and tired from 5 hour flight from Mighty rainy Dub to hot and shabby Sharm El Sheikh. All packed with the gear about 700 kg of weight if not more, which we didn't pay a penny for ;) Kites and boards are all crammed on top of the little Jeep awaiting us outside the airport, alongside with cans and bottles of 15$ beer and 10E Smirnoff. We are happy enough to step on to the solid ground, but the thought of 4 hour drive to Ras Sudr are not so pleasant.
Well at least we get to know our new buddy - an English. Not much of a difference to Irish, but no so much about the party. On the way we decide to stop to trat our alcohol shaken stomachs with some more shaking thing - Egyptian food. Now that's some dodgy stuff, and if you, like Irish , are used to your home cooking, don;t even bother to taste that, or you'll have to stop every 15 minutes on the way to Ras, just in the middle of the desert and take your chances in front of the musk. Although if you have any Eastern origin in you, and used to taste everything any nationality has to offer, you can easily treat yourself with a huge sea-food plate, which only costs you 25E.
Well Sharm gone, and as we pass various armed posts, with angry looking guards, we make it to Ras in 3 hours! ''Welcome to Paradise'' - Stefanie, a switzerland origin girl meets us in her office - Ras Sudr, Paradise Hotel. Sleep finally!
In the morning, not really willing to get up at 10 o'clock, but quickly woken up by the sound of the howling wind, I soon enough discover taht we were the only ones to get the room with the view of the beach. Happy days! Palms are almost touching the sand! After throwing a couple of croissants and a coffee into the awoken stomach, we get a cart to the beach with all of our gear. As the guys struggle to get their gear to the beach club, I just had to stop for a second - and then a manager of the place appeared to carry all my gear to the club! I didn't even had to pump up my kites at all! Ahhh... sooo good to be a girl!
As we try to shake our heads, as the sign of agreement to everything Stefanie is trying to explain to us, but really what we want - is to get into the water as soon as possible. As a smartest person of our group - I asked a couple of kite caddies to set up my gear, so when we're finished with the induction I'd get straight into the water, when the boys would have to set up their stuff ;)
Wind looks savage - 20 knots at least! How wrong were we! My 11m is fine, I'm little underpowered, but still able to come back upwind, guys have no luck on their 16m! Thermal wind! That's something unexpected, we weren't even thinking about. In Dub, if the branches of the trees are folding in half - you hold on to your 5m and pray for survival - in Egypt it means that you'll get going on the largest kite that you have! And save God if it falls into the water - all the hot air in bladder cools and kite looks like a piece of cloth!
But the good thing is - the wind is pretty predictable, and as we had about 3 hours each day on just sunbathing, we had about 6 - 8 hours of wind in total (usually morning and evening sessions). As for the first week I only had to use my 11m Strike II and 9m Ion, pleasantly rented from Welsh guy. As guys were struggling on something from 13m - 16m (OceanRodeo - it is said that shit doesn't fly!) Slingshots, Takoons, Bests. The second week magic wind arrived and we were blessed to take out 7m -10m! What a cool week! I was almost late for the bus back home, as Sylvain( the manager) was trying to get me out of the water at 3.30 for the bus at 4.30!
Ras Sudr - is cool for kitesurfing - absolute hole for entertainment. Nearest town - 6km. We were lucky that Ras is a catholic place - that means that you have all kinds of meat - and alcohol (GordOOns, BacardOI, Stella)! Still no clubs and no shops meant that we were stuck to spend our evenings in the shisha tent ( shisha- Egyptian waterpipe). But then we met some Egyptian girls, that took us to Cairo - the capital, and after a couple of dates with Faraohs, Piramids and Sphinxes we were introduced to Cairo night life! Sweet! We managed to get to the market as well, and I was almost sold to an Egyptian guy for 200 camels! One suggestion in bargaining - say that you are Russian and say something to them, to make it look real - and the prices drop twice! And you get the appriciation as well!
Ahhh.... didn't want to leave that place! Want go back again! Maybe RAMADA next year, as it sounds like a cool resort too.
Precautions: 1. There are a lot of stones in the water, and sharp surface appears when the tide goes out, leaving only 10cm of water to go through at places. I ended up with cuts along my legs and a sliced board!
2. Don't drink TAP WATER. Don't brush your teeth with tap water. Ask to wash everything with the bottled water, even at dinner!
3. Judge on the place and traditions. Find out if your resort is muslim or catholic. If catholic - don't bring your alcohol - it's darm cheap and there's loadz of it. If it's muslim - make sure you have some sauseges in your travel bag and get a 10E Smirnoff bottle in Tax Free!
4. Travel with a gang - there's no enterntainment yet in Ras Sudr! No romance either becuase ebveryone travels with their hubbies. So take your half or a dozen!
Just have fun, if you need to get the gear for rent - it's only Takoon, which is ok, but dodgy! You can get some of Nobele boards as well though. Be nice to people, and they will be nice to you as well!
www.funkite.com - Ras Sudr Team
www.kitesurfing.ie - Irish team
www.flexifoil.com - My babies, best things to take with you on the trip ;)
www.mykitephoto.com - see the Egyptian pics and share your album!