After extending my stay in Granada because of all the beautiful souls I’ve met here for quite a few nights, we decided to rent cars drive into the mountains and hike through a gorge to a lake. Two Kiwis, Two Americans, Two Irish, One English and One Italien stallion packed our shit together for some wholesome fun.
We all stomped our pretty feet the whole way down the valley till we got to the lake pretty easily despite Gabby tumbling to what could have been her death at one point. Being the bad bitch she is, we wiped some blood away and moved on.
When we got to the lake, we could only see big reeds around the whole thing with the top of dam wall at the edge, we slithered through all the reeds like little adventure snakes to the wall. Getting as naked as possible as quick as possible we jumped in. It was definitively one of the nicest places I have ever swam, it was so so clear and blue and cold and perfect that I just want to bring my tent back there and never leave again.
Post swim picnic ensued and post picnic pictures followed that. Everyone was so happy and it felt like we had known each other for ever rather than maybe 48 hours at most.
The hike back was horrifically difficult, even though it was the evening time and the sun wasn’t as strong we were all super tired after eating, laying in the sun, and swimming all day. I came close to crying/vomiting a few times, but we got there and it was so worth it to look way down into the valley and see what I had just done with only 4 hours sleep the night before.
Over all point of this post – Agree to driving up the mountains with people you have just met and strip down and swim with them. It will be the best day of your life (apart from walking back up again).
Never in my life have I been surrounded by so many beautiful people as I was last weekend. It is like all the beautiful people in the world just gather in this small beach town to remind us normal people that some people were sent from heaven and we are mere mortals.
Obviously I loved Tarifa. I liked the sexy people and the chilled out surf vibe in the town. It’s the birthplace of windsurfing so it feels a little bit like Lehinch with a Spanish/Moroccan vibe. It’s the meeting point of the Mediterranean and Atlantic which creates a mini climate so it is a lot colder than the surrounding areas. This is nice during the day for hiking and exploring and stuff but it can be a bit too cold when you’re camping without a sleeping bag at night. It’s also the closet point in Europe to Africa so there is a big cultural influence in both the architecture and food.
Due to the fact I am a broke ass bitch I didn’t really do that much there but I thought it was a really nice place to chill and (sexy) people watch. My highlight was the many cat friends I made. In the campsite I had three little babies join me for cuddles in my tent which was fabulous. Beside the jerez gate into the old town there is a cafe with two little kitties that will come sit beside you and let you cuddle your hangover away ❤ .
Tonight is my first proper night. The first time I will be all alone in the wild*.
I assumed that putting up my tent would be super easy and I wouldn’t have any problems and life would be like a fun movie. Instead, this tent is shit, I am shit at putting up tents and the ground here is also shit. Foolishly I also thought that the pegs would just slide into the ground like they do in Electric Picnic. This did not happen. After spending quite a while stamping on the pegs I decided it would be better to source an English speaker and ask to borrow a hammer. This was easy, things were looking up and I felt pretty proud of myself.
After a nutritious lunch of a bag of crisps and a can of ice tea I started to walk towards the town of Tarifa along the beach. The campsite I am staying on for this weekend is 6km outside of the town but a bus runs every thirty minutes throughout the day. I didn’t make it the whole way into the town because of a very very deep river that runs across the beach. The beach that runs along this bay has loads of kite surfing schools along it and funky beach bars.
* The wild is actually a very nice campsite in Tarifa with lots of feline friends, even if they do try to claw through my tent.
Cadiz was really beautiful and definitely lived up to what everyone says. It is really touristy but still feels super Spanish. The Castillo’s on either side of the Santa Catilina Cove, the Cathedral and the campus buildings all around the city were some of my favourite parts. The economics building by the beach and the student accommodation by the cathedral made me wish that I had studied Spanish and could come back for my Erasmus. The fresh fish and fruit market in the centre of the historic city was gross, interesting but gross. I’ve never seen so many different types of dead fish. There were huge tuna heads with all the brains carved out and eels still with their teeth and eyes lying on show.
The best bit of Cadiz for me were the shaded park areas that ran from the Park Genoves to the port. Park Genoves itself is really cool and it almost feels like you’re in Jurassic park (without the dinosaurs). From the park to the port there are tiled walkways shaded by plants and trees. Each pathway opens to a small courtyard with a water feature and benches. Even though you were still pretty much in the city centre these areas were so peaceful and probably the prettiest place I ever put my butt.
I am officially a proud home owner. It may be a two man tent that I got on sale in Decathlon but it’s still my home for the next 59 days. I’m hoping that it will reduce the amount that I will have to spend on accommodation from now on, meaning that I can actually finish the full two months, maybe..
As a result of walking across the city to get my new baby, I have destroyed my feet with blisters and now can only walk as if I have dick up my butt. Every day I realise how unprepared I am for this trip and how I haven’t really thought about anything practical, as in being able to walk long distances. I suppose it’s all just a learning curve and now I know to not wear flip flops for longer journeys.
On the bright side tonight I had dinner in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. We walked around Puerto Sherry to have a picnic on the ruins of an old castle over looking the bay of Caidz just in time for sunset. This was a perfect end after a long day of stressing about being an unprepared fool.
After leaving Cologne in a very hungover state from our WG party the night before from which I am still finding glitter in every crevice of my body. Turning up to the airport hungover, covered in glitter and wearing a glorified tracksuit and Birkenstock’s doesn’t bring you the best of looks from other passengers. I spent pretty much the whole time waiting at my gate on the phone to my best friend through head phones meaning I was speaking so so loudly. I only realised this when I loudly declared that someone was a “fucking dick-tip” and many horrified German parents turned around to glare at me.
When I finally got to Jerez airport after a thirty minute delay and four failed landing attempts I realised that Jerez airport IS THE WORST. Because of my flight delay I missed the only public transport out of there. This meant that I had to pay twenty euro to get to the next closest train station (Jerez) where I could get the train to El Puerto de Santa Maria where I’m planning on staying for a week with my friend (this only cost two euro). As soon as I got here we headed to the beach for an evening swim. Looking out over the bay to Cadiz was stunning and it was a really nice start to my trip. I was planning on going out last night but I was suffering badly from the night before and I just passed out on the sofa.
El Puerto de Santa Maria is a small city across the bay from Cadiz from here you can get a ferry to Cadiz for three euro which takes about 45 minutes there’s also a train but I think it’s a bit more expensive and also longer. Its quite a quiet city with not loads to do. The architecture is really beautiful in the old part. The (still working) bull ring is definitely one the highlights, there are about three or four monuments of bulls and “matadores” which is pretty cool. As well as that there is the castle and the city hall. Which are nice to sit outside in the shade and people watch for awhile. Being on such a small budget is sucky some of the time because I can’t afford to pay into museums etc but it is still nice to just go out and wander from place to place to get a feel for the culture there.
My friend lives here in a flat which her employer pays for so I can stay here for free which is fab because already I way out spent my budget yesterday between getting to Dusseldorf airport, food at the airport and then the taxi here. That just means the rest of the days this week I’ll have to lessen my daily budget from fifteen euro to ten euro :(. Budgeting is definitely my biggest issue especially when transport and accommodation is so expensive. As well as that, yesterday the thirty minute or so walk from the train station to my friends flat with my 11kg back pack really hurt my shoulder so I either have to lose some stuff or find a better way to pack it so that it doesn’t hurt so bad.