We ventured along the aptly named “Costa de la Luz” (Coast of light) northward, in a magnificent sequence of rolling hills covered with ridiculously green pastures where placid cattle spend a quite enviable existence under vigorous windmills: the whole scenery is remarkably Alpine, which sounds weird considering that we are a few hundred meters from the Atlantic Ocean. The whole horizon looks at the same time peaceful and surreal, like a human outpost in an alien although welcoming new planet.
Again, that scary, bone-shattering suspicion of being in the right place at the wrong time: many inviting restaurants look at me behind closed shutters, I feel like Clint Eastwood´s Blondie in a deserted ranch of “The good, the Bad and the Ugly”.
Even a straw ball rolls towards me. Ennio Morricone plays his tunes. I sharpen my eyes towards the horizon, dazzled by the blast of light surging from the beach, and I spot the silhouette of a galleon: an hallucination, the ghost of the mythical 4th lost caravel of Christopher Columbus?
They don´t call it “paella” since the term is rightfully reserved to the Valencia dish prepared with local and seasonal farmer´s vegetables, rabbit and chicken, served rigorously only for lunch. It is so good that we decide to return again in a few days for exactly the same dish, being as well a perfect break on the way to or from Jerez de la Frontera.
The same waves once crossed by Lord Nelson´s “Victory” flagship slashing enemies hulls, are now the playground of dozens, hundreds of kite surfers looking like doped butterflies. Wind, sun, sand, a clear feeling of having reached the end of the world from where “those magnificent men on their sailing machines” ventured towards the light.
To our modern palate it might taste like a Monty Python´s larks' tongue or wrens' livers, but in the ancient Rome it was regarded as a top notch treat.
To complete a perfect day, finish your hike with the delicious tapas and a few chilled Cruz Campo “El Tapeo” in Tarifa, THE place to be in town.