a community serious about adventuring
November 11-16, 2010.
Having enjoyed Barcelona for several days, we’d decided to take advantage of an opportunity to see a lesser travelled part of Spain. Lindsay’s Aunt Marlene and Uncle Frank, who were very hospitable towards us in Reading, own a vacation property in Conil, in the southern part of Spain. They were currently vacationing there and opened up their home to us.
A comfortable train ride through Madrid landed us in Cadiz, a beautiful old walled fortress town on the end of a long itshmus on the Atlantic coast. We had directions to catch a bus to Chinclana, the closest bus stop to Conil. However, Frank had procured a ride from a neighbor, John. One catch, he had to catch us inbetween the train and the bus. Unbeknownst to us, as we had just gotten off the train, someone was looking for us, having spotted us, Frank shouted my name, “Morgan!”. Now having not been recognized by anyone for over a month I was startled to say the least, then obviously relieved to see Frank smiling and laughing.
Back at their place, after a tour of the neighborhood, we were treated to a home cooked meal, another first for us since we’d left Reading. For the most part during our stay, we rested, relaxed, and ate amazing food with the company of the our hosts and the neighbors. There’s a nice community established over the years of vacationing down there that made us feel very welcome.
Our first morning, we were lucky enough to be there for a weekly market down by the beach in Chinclana. It was primarily clothes and house wears, mostly from locals and also merchants from Northern Africa. The shouting at times was awesome, nothing you wouldn’t expect in a large market but in a smaller market as this, nothing was drowned out by background noise. It would be two or three vendors going at it, and it seemed to get a little personal at times. We, of course, were not there to shop, but loving the atmosphere did find our one weakness in markets, food. We left with some candied peanuts, like none we’d ever had, and a huge bag of…kinda trail mix.
No trip to a new sea or ocean is complete, for me at least, without a dip. Off to the beautiful sandy beaches, empty as it was a bit windy and the water far too cold for anyone who would be vacationing or of sound mind. First I collected a pocket full of beach glass (shards of broken glass smoothed by tumbling in the sand and surf). Then, I was finally wearing swim trunks and bound and determined to use ’em! Honestly the water was pretty nice, it was getting out of the water that lent me to question my decision making skills. Nothing though compared to the DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) polar bear swim that is bestowed upon the losing team in an annual football game every holiday season amongst some former employees and friends.
Saying goodbye to our gracious hosts, Marlene and Frank, was tough, having had such a great time with them again. It’s so nice seeing familiar faces and not knowing when we’d see family or friends again made it so. Thanks again for having us weary travellers enjoy your hospitality. We spent our last day and night in Cadiz itself. It was a very beautiful city, easily naviagated by foot. The seawall, aka, the old cities old fortification, was a refreshing walk. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset with the many stray cats and surf fishermen of Cadiz. Up early and back to Barcelona in time for our ferry ride to Italy, that’s a story that’s been told.