June 9, 2013


Cruz's parents own a beach house in Mazagón, and generously offered it to our not-so-little crew for the weekend. Eight of us had a blast in the sun and water and danced the night away at a club in the little town.  

I took a little trip for a few days to visit Tarifa, a gorgeous, little coastal town on the southern-most tip of Spain. This is a popular spot for kite surfing, and colorful kites filled the air along the coast. I enjoyed a lazy day strolling around the city, visiting its beautiful iglesias, chatting with the locals and enjoying yummy local food in the evening. 

The next morning, from the port of Tarifa, I jumped on a ferry, and 30 minutes later, I was in Tánger (Tangier), Morocco. I headed toward the medina quarter, continuously saying “NO!” to the many “enthusiastic,” fairly aggressive, but harmless locals who are eager to sell their wares to the obvious tourist. I began to consider that perhaps doing this solo wasn't the greatest idea. I figured I could continue saying “no” all day, but that wasn't really what I was hoping for...  So, I stopped at a cafe to rest and re-charge, and spied a local cutie who spoke Arabic fluently, and Spanish horribly. I approached him, introduced myself and said "You and me – today! Take me to your favorite restaurants, shops, cafés, beaches... Show me the best parts of your city, and then I'll get back on the ferry and wave bu-bye!!!" Well, it was all in Spanish, so maybe not that exactly, but it was close. Anyways, Andrés was happy to oblige, and we had the best day EVER!!!  I never would have seen half of the cool stuff I saw without him.  Walking along the medina quarter, the beaches and other neighborhoods with Andrés, no one bothered me at all. Perfect!!!  And despite the fact that we had a pretty substantial language barrier, we muddled through quite well, with lots of laughter. I tasted the most delicious Moroccan food, enjoyed the best green tea I've EVER had, played with a camel on the beach (seriously), and strolled along the medina quarter with eyes wide open and camera-ready! Andrés was an excellent guide and sweet as can be. He wouldn't let me pay for anything all day (might be a cultural thing, not sure), and was very protective, but made sure I saw and experienced everything!  At the end of the day, he refused to consider anything other than escorting me back to to the dock, and stood there waving goodbye until he saw the ferry safely pulling out of the port.  People!!  Wow!!  I love them!!!  I am continually committed to being right about my belief that people are good, and I continue to be validated!  :)

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