Week 8 – Cadiz to Gibraltar

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In our last week in Spain before heading to Morocco, we spent a few days in Cadiz, travelled on to the famously windy town of Tarifa before crossing the border to Gibraltar.

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The beach at Cadiz

On the Rock,  it was all change.

Our van Molly went for an overnight stay at a garage for a full once over. My son Conor flew in for a few days to join me in Gib while Stuart took the same plane back to the UK for his son’s graduation (congrats Callum). Then it was vice versa at the weekend. Stuart flew back to resume our trip and Conor took that same plane back, returning for work at 64 Degrees (the best restaurant in Brighton btw). Perfect symmetry.

And the highlights:

Exploring Cadiz:

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In Cadiz, we wandered through the narrow streets, lined with elegant, pastel-painted houses ..

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…and strolled along the causeway to get to the Castillo de San Sebastian, meeting – but of course! –  yet another bride-to-be on a photo shoot.

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We also got our ‘bird of the week’ shot, though haven’t yet worked out which species as yet.

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This Dragon Tree looked pretty grand in the city’s botanic garden Parque Genoves.

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And we ate the most typical dish of Cadiz – a plate of mixed fried fish. This is what we ordered.

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And this was what was served – a deliciously fresh mixed plate.

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We didn’t actually stay overnight in Cadiz – we took the 40-minute catamaran in every day from El Puerto de Santa Maria. That’s a seaside resort which looks like this at sunset…

 

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We ate in ‘Bespoke’ and among the many dishes we sampled over two nights (we had to go back for more), this migas. It’s the third version of this traditional Spanish dish we’ve tried and all have a slightly different twist. This was the best though.

It was soft and silky and and spongy and squidgy and tomatoey and garlicky – the ultimate comfort food. Oh for Nigella’s thesaurus to describe it properly.

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And we enjoyed incredible Spanish hospitality thanks to Peter and Mariola – two locals back on a holiday from working overseas and very happy to sup with us till 3 am (at which point we discovered they’d covered our entire – and substantial – bar bill.

High wind in Tarifa:

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It’s not exactly a fun fact about a destination but if you google ‘Tarifa’, chances are there will be a reference to it’s very high suicide rate. I’ve no idea whether this is, or was ever, true but whatever, the cause was apparently due to the psychologically debilitating effect of the continual wind.

Tarifa sits right on the bottom tip of Spain, facing Morocco, with the Atlantic on side and the Mediterranean on the other. With the warm levante coming in from the East, meeting the cooler poniente wind from the west, the winds are continuous.

So making the most of it, it has the biggest wind farm in Europe. It was mesmerising driving past miles and miles of these shiny windmills.

 

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No surprise then that Tarifa is the place to go for kite surfers. We went to the beach and watched this loyal mutt wait for his master to come back to shore.

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He waited patiently. Then the wind whipped up the sand….

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Sod this.  I’ll see you at home….

 

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After two sleepless nights in Tarifa – not a terribly scientific study I’ll grant you – I’d agree there’s definitely something truly unsettling about continually being in a restless, buffeting, gusting wind.

Short break in Gibraltar:

The first glimpse of Gibraltar was impressive. There it is, this huge rock jutting out at the edge of Spain.

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Walk down the main street though and it’s like you’re back in England.

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That’s apart from the glorious blue skies, of course.

 

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And the macaques on the rock, here’s mummy, daddy and baby…

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There are clear warnings to say you shouldn’t feed them so I’m guessing this one paid for the Magnum himself.

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And they have some interesting cuisine in Gibraltar.

Here’s a dish I’m definitely going to try out when I get back home – it mixes two types of pork meat with some grilled vegetables and an interesting way of serving eggs.

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And it was great spending time with Conor…we followed the tourist trail, visiting the tunnels through the Rock…

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..and up to the top of the nature reserve.

Slainte…

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And Molly got the all clear:

We had booked the van into Rock Motors for a full check up. Slight flaw, she didn’t fit into their garage…

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But they found us an alternative and happily, there are no problems to report and nothing to delay our journey to Morocco.

13 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Bon Voyage from Aalsmeer, Netherlands, en route to Luxembourg….. albeit for work. Photos are looking good….try to get me one of the ferry to Morocco….


    1. // Reply

      Thanks Dave. End of week one in Morocco. Weather has been a bit of a challenge especially at nearly 7500 feet up today! More anon. Cheers


  2. // Reply

    Blue Skies – how I long for blue skies as we have just had to contend with storm Angus this weekend and trying to work out how many roof tiles have come away. Looks amazing and am looking forward to your photos from Morocco. Glad to hear Molly is fit a raring to go.


    1. // Reply

      Hey Karen – hope your roof is sorted. We feel your pain this week – have had some leaking through our van roof with torrential rain. But blue skies are on the way soon as we head to the desert xx


  3. // Reply

    Just spent the weekend near Braemar – slightly different temps to yours at -9 degrees yesterday morning (-12 today!!).

    Loving the food and drink reviews btw – perhaps a new book beckons based upon the blog….


    1. // Reply

      We can’t match Braemar but we’ve plenty of snow here in the Middle Atlas. More food and drink to follow!


  4. // Reply

    Hi Helen and Stuart,
    Seems you are having a wonderful time and it’s a great escape for me for five minutes to read your blog and look at pictures of blue skies whilst eating lunch at my desk in a very windy and rainy Londinium! Roll on Morocco!
    Zana xxxx


    1. // Reply

      Hey Zana – Sorry we can’t give you blue skies this week! It’s been rain and snow so far but maybe next week some blue sky cheer when we get to the Saharaxx


  5. // Reply

    Lovely blog again, would be nice to see a photo of your driver what’s his name again?. Congrats to Callum well done that man.now you are off to Morocco it is really the start of your foreign affair. Good luck to you both.


    1. // Reply

      Thanks Colin. Plenty of interesting driving this week and driving styles here are … a tad different in Morocco! Stuart (the driver)


  6. // Reply

    Hi – hope all is well with the Wilson-Conways and that Molly is enjoying her African oddesy – Am at the Grand Hotel in Brighton (2nd best restaurant in town)

    Steve


    1. // Reply

      Thanks Steve. All good here and Molly is performing really well in challenging conditions. (I hope I’m not tempting fate by saying that) I’m told the Grand is some way behind 64 Degrees (!) but hope you enjoyed it.


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