Day 128 – 129
It was a day for a bit of tourist wander through Cadiz. The sun was fairly high in the sky by the time we left Kaya. With leftover peri peri chicken from last night stuffed into bread rolls with some mayo and salad masquerading as breakfast and walking socks & shoes firmly on, we set off at a brisk trot heading for the ferry port. We had checked the ferry times as we were leaving and had about 25 minutes to walk over 2kms and buy our tickets to get onto the next ferry. With not a minute to spare,we stepped onto the catamaran as it was casting off. Phew! The ferries run on time in El Puerto de Santa Maria. No Spanish “mañana” time here…..unfortunately! But at least we were on, sweaty, hearts beating rapidly and breath wheezing. We managed to get these all under control by the time we found our seats and tucked into our breakfast sarmies.
The crossing to Cadiz took about 40 minutes across the sparkling, calm waters of the Guadalete River and the Bay of Cadiz and provided a lovely view of the suspension bridge, Puente de la Pepa, joining the main land to the isthmus that hosts the Spanish city.
First stop once we’d docked was a lovely coffee shop on the edge of the Plaza de San Juan de Dios for a couple of cups of manchado and from there our wandering started with a vague (very vague!) understanding of what we wanted to see. It was to be another marathon session of 14kms around the city (although to be fair 4kms was just for the walk from the campsite to the ferry port). But the sun was shining, the sky clear and the weather just right for a long walk.
The market in Cadiz is pretty spectacular – as are most markets really. The colours of flowers, fruit, vegetables, dried sausages, meats and cheeses really pop in the sunshine and it’s my kind of place to wander round.
Off to the Castillo de Santa Catalina Cadiz, another 5 pointed fortress almost identical to those found in Morocco. I don’t think I tire of ever saying this but the ties that bind Morocco and Spain are evident in so many places.
Around Caleta Bay and the well known Cadiz beach, passed the spa and walkway to the 2nd fortress (at the moment closed) and a very funny look at Spain’s psyche as we walked alongside a cycle path (grey) next to a wheelchair path (green) only to see a cyclist on the wheelchair path and, approaching from behind me and not in shot, a wheelchair on the cyclist path. #JustSpain !
The cathedral is a sight to behold and having taken over a century to complete, I would fully expect that! And some more Roman Ruins – an amphitheatre cheek by jowl with the modern apartment blocks – because you know we like a bit of ancient history.
At this stage our tummies were grumbling and we were starting to get a little thirsty so, radars out, looking for a suitable place to rest our feet and scratch this itch. And there it was. We walked passed the front of a tiny deli, intending to just carry on as you do, but stopped in our tracks and took one step back to peer through the darkened doorway behind it, seeing it opening out into a motorbike shop and right at the end a few tables set up on barrels and a group of men chatting and drinking sherry. Turns out we had fallen into a private gourmet club – like-minded bikers past the age of biking, who loved cooking and eating and drinking. When they welcomed us in with open arms and shoved some drinks our way, well, we were made up beyond all measure. All drinks and food included along with live entertainment made for a wonderfully rowdy, jovial crowd, some excellent wine and food as they each took their turn in the kitchen to produce the next plate of delight.
Our slice of heaven for the afternoon. Ticking so many boxes, that we lost track of the boxes.
An unforgettable, indelible but totally edible memory.
The reason why we travel. Well, one of the reasons! Okay, you have us, one of the biggest reasons.