We had about two or three more days left in Spain before we headed back to Morocco and then South Africa. And I was so glad that I got the heck out of Algeciras and into the hub of Tarifa! The hostel I found in Tarifa was very nice and super clean. We should of stayed here from the get go. We were in a great area, in the center of the city. Any way we walked led us to something we could do. There were many options for food but like usual, Chris and I always had the munchies for some kind of Mexican food like burritos or tacos. We found a place just around the corner that had both! The owner of the restaurant told us that he is known for his lasagna dish, and so that’s what I got! Later on, we took a short siesta (it’s the thing to do in Spain) and went to go put on a light show! We were inspired by our light paintings we did in the Sahara desert that we wanted to try our hand again near the coast of Spain. We found a great spot with ambient lighting to try our tricks!
I personally think they turned out great! All we did was decrease the shutter speed on my Nikon and hung it up on the fence so it was still and wouldn’t move from one of us holding the camera. I would press the button and we would quickly run over and start drawing whatever our imaginations could deliver with our phone light and headlamp light. We had more bad photos than good ones but practice makes perfect.
The next day, later in the afternoon, we headed to the Castillo de Guzmán el Bueno, which translates to the Castle of the Good Guzmán. It only costs two euros for each of us to access it. It was a castle set on the harbor of Tarifa. I don’t know anything else about it at all to be honest. We went maybe an hour or two before the sun started to set. Fortunately for us, there weren’t too many other people there so we were free to climb and explore to our leisure and take the photos we wanted.
After that, we headed to the pier nearby. What was interesting about this pier was that on one side you had the Atlantic Ocean and directly on the other side you had the Mediterranean. In case you are curious, they both looked the same :).
It’s Thursday which meant that Tarifa held a stage set for flamenco dancing! I’ve met a few Spanish people during my travels who lived in the north of Spain who told me they weren’t big fans of Flamenco because of how stereo-typical it is. It’s one of the only few things foreigners associate Spain with: bulls, spanish guitars, and flamenco dancing. They said there is SO much more to Spain than just that. I know that of course, but still I wanted to see it at least once. There was a show at 10 pm at Al Medina, which is a cafe near the city center. We dressed up and decided that before we did that, we would go get dinner at one of the outdoor restaurants. We chose a place that had tapas and I ordered a few different dishes which included chorizo and Jamón (ham). I’m not a big fan of ham but the ham they served up here tasted completely different and much more to my liking. Outside, there was a guy playing his spanish guitar. I finally felt like I was in Spain now.
After dinner, we walked to Al Medina. We got there a little early because I wanted a good seat for the show. It was a great decision because we sat right in front of a packed crowd! And I felt great not only because we had great seats but also some very nice Spanish wine in my hand. I was all set for a performance! There were two guys, one with a guitar, who sat down near the stage. I wasn’t sure what was going on. Was this guy about to dance? They sat there for about fifteen minutes past ten until finally, the lights dimmed and the guy with the guitar started to play something smooth and easy. The other guy started singing in Spanish.
A few minutes later, a woman in a ruffled dress walked slowly onto the small stage. Each step she took was in sync with the strum of his guitar. She was pretty graceful and her movements were linked to the pacing of the music. She had heels on that also doubled as tap shoes and she would tap her feet when she felt it was necessary. She was completely focused and in the zone. She had a look on her face as if she were the only person in the room and nothing or nobody else mattered but herself and the music. The guy in the background continued singing and the guitarist grew more rigorous in his song. I believe the guy singing was telling some kind of story but I couldn’t really understand anything he was saying.
After a great song and dance, the woman stepped off stage and there was a very brief break. The two guys began their solos and later on, the woman came back on stage but wore a different dress. What was great was that this was an up-close and personal showing. No need to buy tickets or wait in lines. You just come to this cafe and watch this woman put on a show!
I’m typically not a fan of musicals or dancing shows or stuff like that, but I was pretty impressed with this. As “stereotypical” as this was, I really enjoyed it. So did Chris. After the show was over, it was late so we headed back to our hostel. The next morning we would wake up, pack our belongings and head to the Tarifa port to go back to Morocco and eventually endure two long flights back to South Africa!