Awkward pictures in super windy Tarifa, Spain
This post has been written for the theme “26 Places, 26 Memories” for the #AtoZChallenge.
T FOR TARIFA, SPAIN:
Tarifa, the southernmost town in Spain; looks on to Morocco and is located across from the Strait of Gibraltar. It’s unique weather conditions make it the world’s most popular wind sports destination.
I visited this quaint place in July 2012, while on vacation to the Andalusian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) with the popular guided tour company Busabout. Free from exams for my Master’s Degree in London, my friend and I decided to travel before returning home to India. We chose Busabout as a convenient way to explore our destinations without the hassle of planning everything ourselves, as well as to meet new people. There are many memorable moments from the trip, but here’s one that stands out.
TRAVEL TROUBLES IN TARIFA:
Our group consisted solely of Australians, mostly students with a few adventurous older people. Even the guide and bus driver were from there; my friend and I being the only non-Australians on board.
Our itinerary at Tarifa included a day trip to Gibraltar. This peninsula, known for its famous rock, is part of British territory. The Australians required no visas for entry to UK; my friend had a multiple entry Schengen visa; but I’d only been granted a single-entry Schengen visa. Though I could enter UK territory on my student visa, I wouldn’t be allowed back into the Schengen zone, which meant I had to stay alone in Tarifa. My friend offered to stay with me, but I urged her to go so she wouldn’t have any regrets later.
That day was my first experience of solo travel. I’m essentially a social creature, and being left alone due to unavoidable circumstances, had upset me more than I cared to admit. Instead of moping about in the youth hostel, however, I decided to explore the town.
It was easy to traverse the entire place on foot. I saw the medieval Guzman Castle, Church of St. Mathew, and Roman Ruins without much trouble. The only difficulty I faced was taking photographs. As my smartphone had been stolen in London, I was documenting my European travels on camera. A few unsuccessful attempts at taking selfies with my handheld, led me to shyly ask strangers to click me (as a blogger, I no longer have qualms about that!). The fierce wind whipped my hair this way and that, resulting in interesting pictures.
Afterwards, I walked out in the heat of the afternoon and decided to have an ice-cream. Perched on a public bench, I was enjoying my little treat, when a sweet old man began a conversation with me in Spanish. I tried multiple times to tell him that I didn’t speak the language, but he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I kept nodding with a smile, and when he finally stopped and looked at me for an answer, I exclaimed politely, “I’m sorry, but I don’t speak Spanish!”. His astonished look reaffirmed that he’d mistaken me for a Spaniard! I laughed gleefully, happy to have passed off as a local person.
By the time my group returned, slightly disappointed at their uneventful trip of seeing a rock, I was in high spirits. The time spent with myself in a strange town had made me content. Or perhaps, it was the delicious ice-cream with plentiful local flavour 😉
Come back tomorrow for the letter U and another story!
If you enjoyed reading this post, you will enjoy reading my ebook “TALES FROM MY TRAVEL TREASURY: AN ALLITERATIVE ANTHOLOGY” which is a collection of my travel tales. It can be downloaded for FREE for a limited time only from this link.
The Busabout gang roaming the Andalusian countryside, where large effigies of bulls are a common sight. These are left over from an advertising campaign that took place decades ago.
Tarifa is a popular wind sports destination
Exploring the sights of Tarifa, Spain, July 2012
Windy selfies on handheld cameras are not a good idea!
With my companion on that eventful trip! Spain-Portugal July 2012
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A for Amritsar, B for Bhopal, C for Cambodia, D for Delhi, E for England, F for France, G for Gwalior, H for Hemkund Sahib, I for Italy, J for Jim Corbett National Park, K for Kamakhya Devi Temple, L for London, M for Munich, N for Naples, O for Odisha, P for Prague, Q for Qila Mehrangarh Jodhpur, R for Rishikesh, S for Singapore