Should you wish to and I wouldn’t. Having walked over the last week many miles and to be honest since we have been in Zahora, we have cycled and walked many miles and/or kilometres, whichever one you would like to use. I like to use miles for both cycling and more so walking, as although the number is less, miles seem more hardcore! Again, I wouldn’t want to walk in my shoes as no matter what shoes I wear and how far we walk my feet are always blistered and aching, I guess we all have our cross to bear body wise!
But having said all that, it still has been a lovely week, albeit quiet to walk in my shoes. The weather has been for the best part decent. The warmth of the day generally starts about 10am and then has gone behind the pine trees on site by 5pm, but for those hours in between it has been warm and lovely, and we have taken advantage of this within our new confine of Barbate.
Our favourite surf beach (we are after all keen surfers) is less than 5k’s away, but it’s a different municipality, and so technically we shouldn’t go there, but by the same token we have cycled a round trip of 54K’s to Zahara de los Atunes, which is in the municipality of Barbate, along again stunning scenic roads and passes, having a lovely lunch of goats cheese salad and grilled prawns before heading back. So win some, lose some!
Life, 3 ½ weeks later on site is now very quiet, with Day of the Dead being the last big weekend for them here. We are now three vans on site and of those, all are UK people (other of course than David, who picks and chooses which nationality he might be!). Everything has been condensed down i.e the toilet/wash blocks, security etc but it’s fine, we are all just glad to be in a lovely location and safe. Plus, for David and I, the other two motorhomers have been a great source of local knowledge and also have helped with a couple of small motorhome issues. One being a great product called Plast-aid. This product has given one spot of the van a complete facelift, and it really is one of those “has she had work done or not” moments, so a big thanks to Justin for that.
Barbate, the town itself is a working town, not cute, not chic, but having said all that with a wonderful sand beach that any coastline in the UK would be envious of. But…………. as we were told by our teacher while studying in Vejer, it’s rough, unsafe and full of “druggers”, so beware and go at your own peril. We did then and we do now, taking it all slightly with a pinch of salt. Back then and now, David and I would laugh when we saw motorcyclists or mopeds riders as in Mannie’s ( our teacher) world, they were all druggers. Anyone driving a car with black out windows, were indeed also druggers (that oddly also included us, our wonderful Elddis Encore’s do indeed have amazingly useful blackout windows). Four be four drivers again were of that same breed and so in 2016, we did become a bit nervous of the town of Barbate. But now in the new Covid world of 2020, it’s where we have to go to shop and oddly as we did even back then, we have a soft spot for it. Let’s face it, you can’t live in London, especially next to Lewisham and not be aware of drug problems, life is life after all, and we love our once a week, challenging 15 mile return walk through a national park, slogging along in the sand to Barbate.
This week’s slog was made even harder on the way back, by a bellies full of tuna had in a lovely restaurant called Pena el Atun. We first found it in 2016 and visited it twice back then and Thursday saw our first return of this trip. The club, which is what the restaurant actually is, was just as it was back then, and somehow we got either by google translate or just pointing at what others had a wonderful five piece meal featuring local tuna for the whole meal. A bottle of wine, three beers and one other cold drink and the bill was €72, really not bad given the weight of all that in our bellies on the walk back. The place was full with (in my words, very fit young men) I thought perhaps the local footie team, but given our teachers words and more recent updates from Justin they were more likely to be druggers again!. Barbate, is proud of it’s tuna heritage and also of it’s Pirates of the Past status, with the saying of the town apparently being “ If you don’t blink often enough, they’ll steal the eyes out of the sockets” Uhm, perhaps we’ll think a bit harder when visiting Aldi for some groceries, especially when David just leaves me outside with the very expensive electric bikes.
The coastline here, which faces Africa has a sadness as well, as many immigrants are drown along this stretch trying to reach a better haven, and the many abandoned boats are evidence of this. Also, the drug delivery along here is buoyant, for want of a better expression, with the sea and coastline being a vehicle to get the drugs in from Africa, but that said it’s just so wonderfully stunning and we are quite in awe each time we take our walk along and through this wonderful area. Nothing can be completely perfect, but to be honest we aren’t part of that world and so for us it remains what it is -Spain at its best.
We can no longer go to Vejer, where our favourite and most other visitors favourite Moroccan restaurant Califa is. It’s outside our area and also like so many other restaurants it has decided to shut until next February, who can really blame them- it’s all hard work for little return, but thankfully we did get one meal there before it closed and lockdown.
We have snuck along to El Palmar once and we will again, as there is a favourable route along the beach to there, without any police blocks. Currently, our favourite little cerveza bar is still open when the sun shines and the surf is up, so we sit quietly in the corner, masks on, hands washed hoping they don’t ask where we are from. Having said that of course, most of the surf dudes aren’t from that area either, just travelling where the waves are, and that’s all we are doing.
For us, the next set of rules is on the 23rd and so we remain in situ until then, and most likely after that with flights back home booked from Gibraltar on the 9th December. For us we love the area and if we can continue to walk and cycle, with a few restaurants hopefully staying open then life is fine.
Alternatively, we to could become druggers, we have the blackout windows after all and make our fortune!!! Perhaps not, after all we have a cat to look after now and it all seems so much hard work.
We’ll just carry on walking, as the song goes (loved and stomped many a time)
“and I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more”
Not in my shoes though, they just ache too much!