Timeline check. It’s the beginning of October and it’s been another day on the beach. The autumnal weather has not escaped us though, wind and rain last night meant post work beach time was not happening. However, I realise again I’m already a week behind where we left off…
The Saturday was as relaxed as it could have been. I took my daughter out with me so my wife could relax at home, have some time to herself after doing the majority of childcare during the week. The park was the order of the day after just playing around at home, no rush to go anywhere. Rocking out to Nick Cope’s Baby’s had a poo and other hit’s such as Ralph the robot. An unbelievable find, that compromises the musical demands of adult and child! The energy of home activities had taken its toll because no sooner had I got her in the car and driven to the park on the beach, she’d already fallen asleep… Result. I quietly spent the next hr or two relaxing at a nice little tapas bar, sampling some potatas bravas and a cheeky ceveza. The wake up inevitably came, park action was acquired, and we headed home just in time to head out again for ice cream and evening scootering! A nice little Saturday if ever there was one. Recharging the batteries, no end.
Sunday was Tarifa day. The most Southernly point in Europe apparently. I suspect with the right arm and technique, it’s literally a stone’s throw from Africa. A breeze compared to the English Channel if you were to swim it. About an hrs drive from where we’re staying on the costa del sol, providing a unique position of having the Mediterranean sedate sea to the left and the chaos of the Atlantic Ocean to the right. The new town upon arrival was not too impressive truth be told and parking was a right pain, but we found a side street decent enough and we headed to the old town. Where things improved tremendously.
A Sunday in Spain is old school Sunday, where not much is open (where it’s a mad panic when you run out of nappies!). Luckily Tarifa was a bohemian paradise, nice little restaurants upon every little side street, quaint little shops (still open) and surf tat a plenty, that I still find hard to resist. Being a port, a fish order of their sea bass of the day was the perfect start. Veggie options weren’t a problem either, with the bohemian atmosphere continuing to pay dividends. Our scout around the place was fantastic. The early afternoon heat hit us but with so many nice little eateries and tavernas it was not a problem. Made the mistake of offering the daughter a choice at the bakery, ending up with a chocolate doughnut she was never going to finish (some poor sap/ hero would just have to finish it!).
Highlight of the trip had to be the beach bar found overlooking all the kite surfers along the Atlantic side of Tarifa. Perfect sand as far as the eye can see, with amazing waves and wind, harnessed to its finest! My daughter had fallen asleep at that moment, so messing about on the beach fell by the wayside. However, sitting back in the rocking chairs of the bar overlooking the display with a cool pinta de ceveza, this was just too ideal. It’s what blogs are made for!
I felt inspired. Checked the watch. We can be home by 6. And subsequently booked a Stand-Up Paddle board rental for when we got back. The sea had been like a lake since we arrived, needed to make the most of it. We arrived and the wind was stronger than we’d experienced. I don’t remember the sea being this choppy… whatever, the rental was agreed so let’s stick to it. Quickly the reality of having a paddle board with the family in attendance meant it was on me to ride out solo. The wavy conditions meant my wife was not keen. Alternatively, my 2-year old daughter was desperate to come along. My early visualisation of me striding along with her sitting snuggly at the front of board dangling her legs in the water had quickly evaporated. Am I even going to be able stand up on this thing? I had not paddle boarded before… Canoeing is my closest experience.
Paddle boarding was much harder than I had originally thought, it just looks so easy. However on the sea with the choppy waves, I spent the first half hour just happily paddling away on my knees. Not even daring to stand up. I was suddenly very aware that I was only one of 2 people in the water so the whole beach was just watching me thinking the same thing. Come on man, stand up. So, I did.
I fell in almost immediately. The feeling was bizarrely reminiscent of a first driving lesson I kind of knew what I had to do but had no real clue when it came down to it! Regardless I started to enjoy it, standing up, falling. Waving to the family, falling. It was however peaceful on the waves, realising the chaotic consequences of being out there with my daughter so keen to join in. It’s not fair I thought, heading back to shore, happy with my steady stint of 5 minutes stood up before a wave wiped me out. The remainder of the time of the evening was spent with the board on the side-lines, whilst spending time skimming stones and bouncing over waves with my daughter. The latter was much more fun but I do feel that me and that paddle board have some unfinished business!