Welcome to Greece – my home for three months. Back to kitesurfing and teaching. Back to the beach life.
The station and the spot
Siroko Windsurf & Kite Center is one of two stations at Keros beach, on the west coast of Lemnos. The bay is quite perfect for kiting, very safe and big area of flat water. The wind blows typically side-off shore until afternoon then turns off shore. This season it usually blew 2 – 3 weeks straight with 3-4 no-wind days. The wind is gusty but it was blowing a lot this summer. I was mostly riding with my 7m^2 Slingshot Ralley (with about 55 kilos), so I was happy. It is still a relatively new spot, so it’s not that crowded. The vibe is exceptionally friendly, people are very relaxed and you get to know people very easily.
The Bulgarian family
The owner from Siroko is Bulgarian, therefore the whole team – about 20 people (except me and two other) and also more than half of his customers were from Bulgaria. There was no way around the Bulgarian scene…
“Dobre” – good. “Aide” – let’s go.
I never knew Bulgarians were such warm people. They made me feel at home instantly. I think that’s really what makes the spot so welcoming. Authentic, open people, no matter what age, how advanced if wind- or kitesurfer or with which budget someone is spending his vacation. That’s what I really loved about the place.
There is such a calmness in this place. Because there is so little tourism on this island, you really feel like a local. Most of the people don’t speak any english, but you always get by with a “Yassas” (hello) and a smile. I was living in a small village called “Kontopouli” sharing an apartment with two others from the team. We had a kitchen and everything but it was also the main washing place to be used by almost …everybody. So, basically I hardly had any privacy. But what to do? It’s not that I have had no experience in that, I was sharing a cabin on a prawns traveler for almost three months before…(read here)
And then, you are also never at home. I was at the station by 9am until closing at 7pm. At night we would go out for dinner. By the way, Greek food is amazing! I don’t think I ever eaten so much Feta cheese in my life! The best restaurant is in Lychna, very close to Moudras. It’s so super delicious, really, top end of Lemnos I believe.
I was the last one arriving for the high season. We were 4 main kite surf instructors (and 2 substitutes), Gofko and Buji from Bulgaria, Peter from Austria and me. We could cover the bulgarian and german speaking costumers quite well.
For me it was a first-timer to teach in such conditions, side-off shore using walkie-talkies and up to three students at once. I was even teaching two students in french, my school french was really hitting the limit, but what do you need to say anyway? “à gauche, à droite, non, ôui, trés bien, poussez la bar…”
I really enjoyed teaching here. In the end I was with almost 50 students, some better, some worse. I learned a lot about this spot and how to be a better teacher even if the language was an obstacle.
My kitesurfing advanced a little bit as well. Honestly, I never really thought about being a good kiter. I wanted to be a teacher from the start. But since I was still pursuing the VDWS license, I had to practise for the test. In the end I managed to kite good enough.
Since I obtained my teacher training in Rishikesh/india, I never really taught Hatha or Ashtanga Yoga except a few times with friends. I had this idea I wanted to combine the kite surf teaching with yoga lessons. So, I started to offer donation-based classes on the beach, everyday from 7 to 8pm. I was really tired at first after a day in the water. But you become a “machine” after a while. So it felt more and more easy to have energy left for Yoga. I focused on Hatha Yoga, created my own sequence mostly spontaneously and surfer-friendly (more shoulders/back) with proper savasana/ meditation. I was mostly quite surprised by the feedback of my students. They were expressing so much gravitate for the lesson that I would always leave the beach with so much positive energy.
Yes, I’m very thankful for Lemnos Island.