The ´southest´ town in Europe

Trip Start May 23, 2008
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

mood: a little homesick

After my much needed recovery sleep, I spent Sunday morning wandering around the streets for a while, checking out the surf shops and thinking about how cheap it is at home. I bumped into Val from the tour in one of the cafes and chatted to him for a bit, then wandered back to the hostel for lunch where i met a girl from Canada who invited me down to the beach with her. The main beach in Tarifa is a huge stretch of golden sand for as far as the eye can see. If you zoom in and look at it on the map you can see how big it is. I ended up falling asleep for a while and when i woke up we wandered out to the end of the point, where there is an old military base. The most spectacular thing about the walk out there is that on one side you have a freezing Atlantic ocean, and on the other side the beautiful warm Mediterránean, not to mention your standing at the southern-most point of Europe and just across the water you can see Africa. So many elements mixed into one!
 
We ended up wading out to some rocks and sat out there for a little while taking photos and watching the ferries leaving the port, before walking back to the hostel where i utilised the ´free´ shelf to make some pasta for dinner. Since getting back to Tarifa i have been feeling a little homesick, i think mainly because i was so used to being with a group and not having to worry about where i was going or what i was doing that day, to now be back travelling by myself, made me miss the comforts of home and especially with Larry not working, i feel a little disconnected and lost. Never lonely though, as there is always someone around to talk to. And i am missing my music terribly.
 
Sunday night i met a few Columbians, Spanish and some other random people, and we sat around in the hostel lounge for a couple of hours before deciding to check out a free show that was on down in the square down the road. As it was a long weekend in Spain, the town had held a fiesta (festival) and the town was full of people travelling down from Barcelona, Madrid etc for a weekend away. On this particular night they had a stage set up and had performers dancing flamenco to spanish guitar and singing. It was so entertaining that when they all decided to go out to a club i stayed back and continued watching. I haven´t paid to go and see a flamenco show yet, as they are quite expensive, so this was the first time i had seen it and i loved it. The girls dresses were so beautiful, and i love the spanish guitar it has the most incredible sound. I watched them for a good hour or more before heading back to the hostel and to bed.
 
Monday i got up bright and early as i wanted to find someone who could hopefully fix Larry. The first guy i went to wanted to charge me 50 euro, which i decided against as i wanted to shop around and see what other options i had. I found the actual manufacturers store in a side street and they tried to fix him, but to no avail! So now i somehow have to get him sent away to be fixed. I am very sad to have lost him as now  i have to pay for Internet again... :(
 
In the avo i hung out with a couple of the girls from the hostel and we went for a walk west along the coast to part of the old wall that ran around the town, and then further out to an old shack down by the sea. By this time the sun was starting to go down and it was casting the most beautiful light over everything. The day was the clearest that i have seen since being here, and Africa looked so close that you could almost touch it. We did a couple of photo shoots before walking over to the military base (as they hadn´t seen it yet) and then back and hanging out at the hostel for the night.
 
Tuesday i spent my last day hanging around town before having some lunch and then lugging my pack to the bustop to get to Seville. The busride flew by, probably due to the ammount of sleeping that i did, and luckily i had booked a hostel near the bus terminal as it was 42 degrees when i got here at 6pm and didnt like the idea of having to walk too far in the heat!
 
So now i am in Seville, this was one of the cities that i came through to get to Tarifa from Portugal. It is a stunning city and im glad i chose this hostel as it is very modern, clean, fresh, and has an awesome rooftop terrace which i will no doubt be out on tonight meeting some new people!

I really liked Tarifa, probably because of the relaxed coastal vibe. It was so wierd walking into all the surfing shops and seeing the Quiksilver store and thinking wow, i cant believe that something from back home in Torquay has now got outlets in places like Spain! i felt like asking them for a discount!!! I am in love with the Mediterranean and especially the south here is stunning. The great thing about the hostel there too was that everyone in there was speaking spanish, which i am not used to as most of the hostels up north are filled with aussies and therefore everyone is speaking english, but here its a mix of mostly europeans. in fact, i didnt meet one aussie in the 3 days that i stayed there. No doubt there would have been a couple, but everyone i met was from either Spain, Italy, more northern Europe (Austria, Germany etc), or South America. It was a very welcome change from all the aussies! And nearly all of them spoke english so it wasnt hard for me to talk to them, i even had one girl writing down some of the things i said so she could learn more! And it was kind of interesting listening to them talking in spanish as i could pick up a bit of what they were saying. I am by no means fluent but im definately starting to understand and even say things back! I am definately learning spanish when i get home.
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Comments

annettew
annettew on

Travelling to the four corners
Kate now that you have been to the 'southest' do you have ambitions to make it to the 'northest, westest and eastest' of Europe? You still have a little time left to do it, but what about all those places in between? I guess there's just not enough time to do it all and you might just have to come back some day. Are you getting travellers overload yet or can you just go with the flow and take it all in? It seems like everyone who visits Spain loves it and comes away with a wish to learn the language. That's ok as long as you still remember to speak 'Aussie'. Luv from your armchair traveller Mumxox

donna_mumsy
donna_mumsy on

Oh Larry
Hey Kate, I am so disappointed about Larry, it would be under warranty, that is really frustrating, Terry will be so mad, he would love to be able to fix him for you. Wow you are travelling everywhere this is awesome for you, sorry you get homesick but it is to be expected I suppose from time to time, how true the saying No Place Like home, keep safe,
luv Donna xx

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