You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 15, 2008.

Tuesday was a long day. We were up at 6:30 Spanish time, which is 5:30 Moroccan time for those of you playing along at home, and I was actually up even earlier as I had one of those “wake up to pee and then stay awake worrying about things” moments, so I was actually up at 5 Spanish time, 4 Moroccan time. Yawn! I heard people heading home as I lay there, desperately trying to relax.

We had quite a time finding breakfast in Tarifa at 8 a.m. Nothing is open! We eventually found a little café-bar, very much a workingman’s sort of place, which provided us strong bitter coffee and toast with jam.

Our trip was uneventful if long. We caught the ferry no problem, had a good crossing, had bags of time to wait at the Tangiers train station, where we bought some delicious curry chicken flaky pastries for about $1 each. The train sat for an extra half hour in a little beachfront town called Assilah, which was mildly annoying, but we really didn’t care. We watched the waves breaking on the shore through the window. We had an entire compartment again, so we were sprawled out and relaxed.

Now we’re back and vacation is over. We’re officially homeless, camped out in the basement of some amazingly generous people that we’ve known for only 2 months now. Supposedly we’ll move into our own place next week, but we have to wait for the current occupants to vacate. They are also waiting, for the work to be done on their new place, which is proceeding at exactly the rate you’d expect in a developing country with a somewhat weak work ethic. In other words, we are not exactly sure when we get to move in. So we’re in a basement, dealing with the fact that most of our suitcases are over at the new place, and Ilsa had the suffer the deep embarrassment this morning of taking her sports exam in board shorts, since we couldn’t find her sweats.

I had this post ready to go a couple of days ago but my battery died before I actually got it online. I don’t really have internet access these days, until we move, so you will hear from me sporadically. My google reader is piling up. Sigh…this had to happen when everyone else is doing NoMoPoWhatever, and posting prolifically. Don’t worry if you don’t hear from me. I’m fine; stressed and grumpy and just fine.

In the meantime, here are some random photos from our last couple of days in Spain:

Sunday afternoon’s picnic at the beach. It was cool and very windy, alternating sun and shade. The kids had a blast making sand forts and having a full-out sand-ball fight. Of course my camera’s batteries had just died, so I didn’t get any pictures after this lone sandball.


It was wonderful to feel the sand between our toes again! When we lived in Mauritania, we went every Saturday, but this was our first beach trip since we left in July 2007.

Tarifa is the “southest” point of mainland Europe.

The water to the left of the causeway is the Mediterranean; to the right, the Atlantic Ocean.


I told you the streets were narrow!

You’ve seen lots of pictures of the ancient city; here are a couple of modern-day Tarifa, along the busy main street which is lined with shops catering to wind and kite surfers.


There are plenty of places for old men to sit and warm their bones in the sun, or catch up on the day‘s news.


One place even had a bench made from a surfboard!


This is some wall art outside of our favorite bakery, showing where to tie up your dog since he wasn’t allowed in.


Every evening, these people roasted and sold chestnuts. They are delicious and warm your hands as well as your stomach. They saw me take their picture and were laughing, thinking it wouldn’t turn out. I showed it to them and they said, “Muy Bueno!” We walked away with a bag of warm, freshly roasted nuts.


The place where we’re staying has a lemon tree just as you walk in. Several times now, we’ve been served lemonade made from freshly-squeezed lemons. It’s delicious.

November 2008

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