The decisiotn to take a ferry to Tangier led us to a jumping-off spot not previously on our radar - Tarifa, Spain. What a stroke of luck we decided to have a pre-Morocco rest stop here, as it's a beautiful small town on the coast just perfect for relaxing.
It's small enough that there is no train station or car rental office, so we wound up taking a bus here from Granada. I was not overjoyed at the prospect, as I haven't travelled by bus since high school, but like all other public transport we've encountered in Spain, it was spot-on-time, comfortable, quick and dead easy to do. (We also drove through Malaga and Marbella - grotesquely ugly condo-filled golf resorts to avoid at all costs. Also saw Gibraltar - meh.)
We got to our lovely accommodation about 2 pm and promptly changed into swimmers and headed for the beach. After a swim, we had a long lunch at a beach-side cafe. Outside of the 35-minute ferry crossing to Tangier, Tarifa is mostly known for its wind sports - windsurfing and kite surfing. And windy it is! Prevailing easterly winds blowing out to the Atlantic make this a haven for those kinds of wind sports. There were lots of really good kite surfers to watch as evening set in. So beautiful!
We walked through the old city and hiked up to the top of its old fort/castle that was first erected in 960 AD. We watched the ferry come and go, and were also surrounded by tons of seagulls surfing the strong air currents. The old city is all white-washed buildlings and small lane ways full of shops, restaurants and small hostels. The best part is that there seems to be lots of locals - old and young - out and about, and the tourist crowd is relatively light at this time of year. Stilll gorgeous weather though.
We went home to shower, and didn't make it out again that evening. We have been on the go for the past month, and we needed Tarifa to take a break from our holiday see-the-sites pace! I think we found a great place for it. :)
Today Peter got up and went for a run on the beach. After a late breakfast, I checked out the shops and now we're both camped out on the roof terrace of our accomodation spot called Dar Cilla. Its Morroccon-style apartments all share this common terrace, but we have the place to ourselves this afternoon. The photo with this blog was literally taken from the chaise lounge where I'm typing this. The pic may be a bit hazy, but you can see the Moroccan coast from here. Very nice. I've got about 500 photos to upload from previous stops, and I'm determined to get caught up before we shove off for Morocco on Thursday.