Follow my blog with BloglovinDon’t let this little blog fool you, I am not some world-weary traveller who has traversed many a lonely road, finding herself and other kindred spirits in some sweet collision of perfect unity. I am most likely to be found under a blanket, marathoning Freaks and Geeks, chain-swallowing cookies and enjoying one teabag from my ration of Barry’s Tea. However there is some small part of me that just bursts with anticipation at the thoughts of new places, new people, new stories. So when my Geordie mate Corinne (or wherever she’s from) turned to me and said she’d booked us a hotel in Tarifa for Easter, completely against my will or consent, my spirit soared! And then promptly crashed to the ground. I had no money. I was bloody exhausted. And did I really want to spend any more time with British people?
More to the point, where the hell was Tarifa?
Apparently many people know where Tarifa is. In short, it’s the South. So south in fact that you can see Africa across the water which is completely surreal and just as beautiful as you’d imagine. Mounds of bluebell and purple shadows, teasing you from across the aquamarine water. Making the lurid tangerine ferries to Tangiers extremely tempting to hop on. I believe that’s the reason most people head to Tarifa. Tangiers and kite-surfing. However by the time I had made it through Barcelona and navigated my way south I only had a few shillings and a lot of optimism left. Both of these options were struck from the list and I was left with no choice but to soak in the sun and be ravaged by the wind.
Getting to Tarifa was an adventure in itself. Our flight from Barcelona to Sevilla was delayed by six hours which we got through by researching EU law on flight delays and eating Mc Donalds in Barcelona airport. When we finally reached Seville we ran furiously out of the Terminal and Corinne made for a taxi man lolling casually against his vehicle.
PUT THE BAGS IN THE CAR
After a small detour through Cadiz we were eventually approached by a tiny, leathery old man by the church in Tarifa and he led us up a darkened alley to our hotel. This sounds dodgy but if you’d had the day we’d had you wouldn’t have had the strength to argue either. We dumped all our belongings inside the door of our room and ran desperately towards tapas.
The highlights of Tarifa were definitely the food and the incredibly chilled atmosphere. When I think about it now, I see aquamarine blue, brilliant white and the orange from the tree by the church in the heart of the town beside our hotel where we watched a small, curious white dog watch a traditional funeral ceremony one morning as we finished our tostadas at Restaurant Morilla.
The greatest meal I ate was the tuna-packed feast from the well-heated terrace of La Pescaderia.
It helps to have some “might-as-well-be-locals,” Rick Stein impersonators like the fabulous Nick and Maria to ensure you hit the hottest joints.
We stayed in The Riad which was reasonably-priced and added to the whole experience with its decor, vibe and friendly and welcoming staff. The trippy music and water feature rocked my world. Nothing was too much of a problem, our room was upgraded when we arrived and I happily sat in the courtyard most evenings reading my book and was offered unlimited cups of coffee. They were really understanding when we accidentally ate some unincluded breakfast too. I wasn’t about to return any of the granola.
Sadly, only a short 48 hours after our arrival, we were back on the road back to Seville. We gave a few of our final euros to a man trying to collect money for a bus back to Portugal on the way. He could have been lying to us but our cynical selves had been left face-down in the white sands and my shining, red-raw nose, so full of optimism, hoped he eventually found his way home.
The redness of my nose was brought to crisis level after we hung around the breathtakingly fairytale-like Seville for a few hours. It smelt indescribably good, a fusion of citrus fruit and jasmine and was unlike anywhere I’d ever been in quite awhile. I wandered around Plaza de Espana after some doves and we contemplated a boat ride.After a massive menu del dia in 25-degree heat, we visited the Alcazar in the centre of the city and it was honestly one of the most stunning places I have ever visited. Like a dream. We saw peacocks, we read, we had lemonade looking at lemons. We genuinely found it impossible to leave. As in, we got lost.
The journey back does not warrant description and so this brings this never-ending blog post to an end. I tumbled into my bed on the eve of my return, burnt to a crisp, poorer than worth mentioning but having finally seen some of whatever else lies out there. Covered in olive oil and with the soft notes of Spanish guitar playing in the background. But hey, it was good to be home.