One day in Huelva to escape Seville’s heat just wasn’t enough. So the next weekend, it was TWO WHOLE NIGHTS AWAY in Tarifa. I was drawn to Tarifa, again for the beautiful beaches, specifically La Playa de Los Lances. I had seen photos, which reminded me of the beaches back home, like the Whitsundays, Mornington Peninsula, Port Douglas.. Ok, I don’t need to remind all the Aussies back home about how good they have it with the beaches. But, we just HAD to go and take full advantage of the sun, beach and surf, and by surf I mean bathe in the Strait of Gibraltar, and pretend I’m proficient at body surfing.
This week, back in Sevilla, I had signed up for what can only be described as the wonderful initiative; Sevici. This is essentially a bike sharing service, with stations positioned all around the city, where you can use a personal ID code to take out a bike, and if you use it for under 30mins it is absolutely free of extra cost. At only €30 per YEAR, it’s an absolute steal compared to the O’Bike, MoBike or JoeBike or whatever they have popping up back home in Australia. On top of this, people in the city actually respect the bikes. They don’t end up in the river or become a part of an art installation or wind up with graffiti all over. BUT. I had grand plans to ride to the station on one of these amazing inventions, but they were all gone. As such, it was a very hot, very sweaty walk to the bus station. Please keep in mind, that despite it being the end of September, it was still 44 ºC at 5pm. Upon arrival at the station, Emily and I searched for something cold. We had a dream of a time lining up with all the Spaniards (and a pack of Aussies on an Intrepid tour), sucking our icy poles while copping super envious glares from everyone around us. Living. The. Dream.
It was supposed to be a three-hour journey to Tarifa. It was in fact close to four hours. One thing that can be said about trains in Spain, is that they run to a schedule. Unfortunately, buses do not. However, I had great company, great music, great conversation filled with many a laugh. We pulled up to the bus station, hopped off the bus with big wide open eyes, excited for the next couple of days. What we were met with was a bit grim. I’ve had fun exploring the abandoned children’s hospital in Berlin. I’ve been through the haunted houses in Canada. I’ve been abandoned by all but one friend in a carpark of a club, miles away from home. But this walk from the bus station to the main part of Tarifa was creepy. My rule of trying not to arrive anywhere new after dark did not come to fruition, and as such, the dark and scary trek had to be broken up by a bit of laughter. This is where Emily came through with the goods- a mash-up of pop songs and goats.
Despite being crazily tired and a little hyped up on funny goat videos, we managed checkin smoothly and in Spanish, and met some chicas in our room. This is why hostels are so damn amazing. You meet people in a flash that you know you have a great connection with and are keen to spend time with them! However, you also get tag-alongs who are less desirable. At the hostel, awaiting for Marion to arrive by BlaBlaCar, we met Agnese, who was an incredible Italian Psychologist, and we all just clicked instantly. We met another girl in our room from New Zealand, and while she joined us, we didn’t quite have the same vibe. It’s amazing when you meet so many new people, you realise just how important first impressions can be. It is quite apparent that in life, especially when travelling and meeting different people, you will, of course, come across some that you don’t mesh with, but hey, that’s life!
Anyway. Moving on from the mini-rant about Sheila/ Shirley/ Shelly/ Charlie… Tarifa was spectacular. From our first meal- tapas in the street at 11pm, to our last bathe in the bluest of oceans, was incredible. The white-washed houses in the main town and the quaintest pedestrian-only streets, with Bondi-style cafes, hand-made jewellery stores, independent clothes and trinket shops. Tarifa was just what I was craving. A bit more of a homely hipster feel, with the fresh air and ocean breeze. Amazing. We found a spectacular coffee shop, serving incredible breakfasts and decent coffee to perk us up. A night on the town, kicking off with Tapas at Lola’s, ending with drinks, dancing, shots from toothless Spaniards from whom we swiftly ran away, managing a slightly drunken Spanish conversation with a couple from Sevilla, and ending up in bed at 4:30am, was simply perfection.
I will have to return to Tarifa. I do want to take the opportunity to learn a new skill like windsurfing, hike in the national parks or surf. The only problem is that a) you often need a car to get to the good walks and b) the surfing lessons are expensive! Oh well. I’m simply going to have to meet someone who can teach me these things one day…
The journey back to Sevilla was simple enough on the bus. Classic Spanish time meaning that we return an hour later than scheduled meant it was pretty much straight to bed, ready to start the lessons with the kids bright and early Monday morning… Perhaps it’s time the kids learnt the great classic “I hate Monday’s” by the Boomtown Rats.
Hasta Luego Amigos xx – – – ⌲