Saturday, August 25, 2007

Midsummer Madness

Well, what can I say ... We finally got back out to our home from home in glorious Tarifa - a month for Jan, three weeks for me and four days for our niece (Anette) and it was all just wonderful.

Okay, August is the busiest time of the year; I read in the local El Duende paper that Tarifa's population triples from 20,000 to 60,000 plus we can't kite right in front of the studio like the rest of the year, but the place still has such a 'chilled vibe' - despite the traffic and busy beaches. And, there is always something to see and do - either weaving in and out of the 300 kites on the Dos Mares end of Los Lances beach, listening to great live music in the Chiringuito bars and in the old town squares or just people watching - EVERYWHERE. The great thing is that with 11km of beach - there is always a quite spot somewhere - especially when the Levante is blowing!!!

Tarifa is slowly expanding with the new La Vega Poligono Comercial (Business Park) opening up (hurray, we now have a great Plus supermarket just five minutes walk away) and they are rapidly completing the urbanisation of La Marina at the back of the Estadio de FĂștbol on Los Lances. Although this housing scheme is very small scale compared to Costa del Sol standards, it will give a slightly different feel to 'our' end of town but I am sure it will be for the better once all the building work is completed. Thankfully, they all look pretty tasteful and there aren't any high rise blocks - there will also be a large pool / garden area (although lets hope the little fields in front with their cows, horses and chickens survive for a while longer).

Some good news (for us and our guests) is that La Jaima disco on the other side of the Football Stadium has been demolised and the site cleared - although, the clubbers amongst you needn't worry, as this most famous of Tarifa's 'carpas' (literally 'tents') has been reborn at the back of the business park - along with a couple of other new ones like 'Space' and 'Stuk'. If they stick a bit closer to their licenced hours (closing at 3 am weekdays and 4am on weekends and festive holidays rather than pushing their luck, sometimes until 6 or 7am) then everyone will be happy - even the local mayor (Miguel Manella), who had to shut some of them (and confiscate the sound systems from a few bars) for ignoring the laws on opening hours and music (as the Serenguti found out to their cost only last week).

Another bit of improvement is that the promemande (Passeo Maritimo) has now been fully completed with the showers all connected and new lights installed and working - so beach goers can now wash away the sand, campers can get ready for their night out (as Miss Czech Republic with her Black BMW estate seems to do every evening at 5:30pm on the dot) plus we can walk or cycle right from the studio to the old town/port (even at night).

Also, La Tortuga I is finally having her facelift - although it took a few days to get over the shock of the bright new 'yellow'. The painters (Manci and Antonio from Bianchi Pinturas) have now become part of the family - they say the job seems a bit like the never ending painting of the Forth Road Bridge in Edinburgh or the Golden Gate in San Fransico!!!

And finally, the weather was a bit wierd (30+ dec C most days plus Poniente / Levante / nothing / clouds / rain / blue skies) ... but the climates are changing all over the world (often with disaterous consequences and not just for the less developed countries) so we just enjoyed whatever the day brought and chose the most suitable activites. The days went by all too quickly - either kitesurfing (I used all of my kites from 9mtr to 16mtr and my new Nobile 666 board), landboarding (which I really clicked with this time round, as the lagoon had flooded and compacted the sand right along the back of the beach), moutain biking (along the prom or out to the new bird watchers' hide by the Rio Jara), shopping (derrh!!) or just chilling on our very private terrace and watching the beach life, the ebb and flow of the locals and the passing travellers in the car park below.

So we are now back at work and starting to think about getting back out to Tarifa in October - hope you get there even sooner!!!