Today I want to introduce you to a very special place, a place where I have spent hundred of hours already, watching the waves, feeling the salt on my lips, getting inspired and meeting surf-addicted people, who became my friends. I am talking about this wonderful beach pavilion Timboektoe. For many years, Timboektoe has had a solid position in Wijk aan Zee. For me, this place became sacred since 1998.
In the Dutch surfing history, people always refer to Scheveningen. However I’ve heard some interesting stories about the North Pier at Wijk aan Zee at this young age. Curious as I always have been I wanted to see this “secret” spot with my own eyes so therefore I took the train for one hour to Beverwijk. After I went rollerskating for another hour to Wijk aan Zee and finally arrived this North Pier. Happy and exhausted as I was I felt immediately home at the beach and this interesting place Timboektoe. Back in these days Timboektoe always had this strange mix of old hippies and surfers. However, I truly became their groupie as I always was fascinated by their great stories; traveling with their camper vans to the South of Europe and Africa and surfing these amazing secrets spots. Then I realized I wanted to surf as well. I learned, I fell many times and paddled like a walrus instead of looking like this surfbabe. Oh my gosh, I hated it. I truly didn’t realize surfing was that difficult. Luckily I was surrounded by the pro’s who were sometimes supported me in the water. Always grateful for that!
I started to get the locals know better and soon I was part of their gang; sharing the good vibes and stories while chilling at the campfire. And so here the story begun……..
It is the summer of 1997 when two Dutch friends, Finch van der Zwet and Gert-Jan Cupido confiscate a place on the abandoned Nort Pier at Wijk aan Zee. It was meant for some relaxation after their surf and fishing activities. With a second-hand pavilion, an operating permit and some travels inspiration from the Sahara, beach pavilion Timboektoe (English version Timbuktu) was born.
After ten beautiful years of national surfing competitions, social relaxing, parties, acoustic sessions on the veranda, these two friends transferred Timboektoe to a new owner. A handful of enthusiastic men merged hands in 2008 and put a beautiful new pavilion next to the old wooden bracket. Slowly there was this realization of the alternative beach life and even during the cold winter months with this progressive live and night programming.
In 2014 Timboektoe got official this new co-owner and general manager Jonathan Michielen. He decided to give Timboektoe a new look and in late April 2017 Timboektoe reopened its doors after a massive renovation project. It has been rebuilt from the ground up in a modern and sustainable new jacket: one of this big transformation are the solar panels laid on their roof and guess what? Timboektoe is renowned by the last 9 finals for the best Dutch hospitality with sustainable ambitions. Please vote at Gaia Green Awards 2017!
Despite the growth of the square meters and the increasing popularity, Timboektoe has still this relaxed vibe and a nice mixed public. Also, their staff is truly friendly and hard working and serve these amazing organic food and drinks, separate their waste and most important, do not use disposable plastic.
After a surf session I always treat myself for this amazing veggie burger or fish of the day and some delicious treats for dessert. Truly one of my favorites from their menu.
Dine and chill at their laidback terrace while watching sunsets or warm yourself up by their cozy fireplace inside.
Timboektoe has become very diverse now and has this little brother named ‘Kamango’. Kamango is their extra pavilion where big parties can be celebrated. It can also be rented for family venues, birthday parties, business events/meetings or any other combination you can think of: from small to big groups of 400 people. If I ever need to choose a location for my perfect wedding day it will definitely be with my feet in the sand here at Timboektoe!
Then last but not least please have a look at the surfclub ‘Hui Nalui’. They are Timboektoe’s neighbors for many years. Where would be this surfvibe without the real locals? Always fun and nostalgic to meet them in the lineup. Timboektoe, you are in my heart!