I’m a writer and a photographer, as well as a teacher of English. I wasn’t any of these things till about a year ago when it finally dawned on me that I was, above all else, a malcontent, and that I’d better do something about it.

Dawned on us, I should say. You’ll be hearing a lot about K. 

Her real name?  None of your business.

A year on and I no longer classify myself as disillusioned, despite the poverty. So that’s progress, I suppose. 

We take our next steps in Spain. A country with which I have a tenuous connection, having been taken there as a child for an extended stay. It was my parents’ stab at a new life that didn’t work out. We left before a year had passed, but good memories stick and I have found myself back there in recent years with K, falling for it again and she with me. Her too, I mean. I mean, she as well fell for it, also.

Practicalities. The adventure must unfold within the confines of commutability to Gibraltar. That’s K’s fault. So we browse the possibilities; the Esteponas and San Roques, the Sotograndes and La Lineas. We dismiss them out of hand as too “English”, or “touristy”, or “developed”. That’s my fault.

Just when we think there isn’t anywhere that can live up to our expectations, we chance upon a small town tucked away from all of the above, at the furthest tip of Spain. Next stop Africa; it’s a place renowned for having the highest suicide rate in the country and year round winds so strong, so unrelenting in their incessant cruelty that many, apparently, have been driven quite literally to despair.

Tarifa it is then.

The wind has made the town a magnet for kite surfers and extreme water sport enthusiasts, so there will be much for me to studiously avoid. This will be our stab.

Fingers crossed.


July ’10.

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