Yes, I know, cabo de penas, ha ha. Anyway: there must be a way to get a version of this into my regular life that doesn't involve 1) flying to Spain and 2) eating cod. Just now I opened a can, ok two cans (but the second one only because the first one was so remarkably good), threw it in a pan, added some crushed red pepper, a handful of kalamata olives, and at the end half an avocado. Man, just super good.

Now what is the vegan version of this. Chickpeas and potatoes in place of bacalao? Something like this is the recipe I imagine.


13: tarifa to malaga.

Terrible sleep. And the beginning of what would be roughly a week of terrible sleep. Nonetheless, by morning Tarifa was back to its pleasant, boring, empty self. Right outside our bnb was a churros place, it seemed that fate was finally ready to let us have churros for breakfast.

Then a drive across town to "a nice place with free Wifi where surfers hang out, plus there's sushi." Mmm, well, no, not til dinner there's not. Commence slow-building Death Mope. This was maybe 13:00. We had to pick up the puber in Estepona and be at the Malaga airport by 18:00. We didn't have tons of time to fuck around is what I'm saying.

So I had the super idea to go check out this picturesque little hotel that we kept passing, they probably had food right? Back in the car, drive for 15 minutes or something.

It was not quite as cute up close, more calculated to look cute than honestly cute. Good fonts though.

And I'm all, well then yeah I think we should find somewhere else. This is how Death Mopes happen. You think you can "do better". So I'm frantically poking around and cursing at TripAdvisor, while we're driving basically back to Zahara de los Atunes, the wrong direction. Something flashes across the screen, it's Italian, the safest vegetarian cuisine in Spain, ok ok pull over.

We end up in the parking lot of Osteria Del Sole, which reallllly doesn't look like much, but we are out of time, and the 17 seconds worth of research I did said it was wonderful.


And yes, lucky as hell. That's ravioli with asparagus and saffron cream, it's as good as it looks. It was all good, truly Italian. Then we hit the road, off to the airport.


12: tarifa, or "I am in the european southern point."

Above: coffee/breakfast at Pozo del Duque, the hotel we retreated to when Nelson fell ill last year. Below: the road to Tarifa, two times.

Then: the first thing we did was to walk 30 minutes out of town looking for an outlet store. Arguably my idea, but I'd imagined driving there. Anyway, it was closed, like permanently, and even the closed location was difficult to find, and then someone pointed us "just down the road" to another place, etc etc etc etc.

It was hot and windy, and the idea of walking back the way we came was Death Mope x 1000 so these are pictures of the cab ride back into the center. Lasting Corporate America Lesson #8: any hotel worth a shit will always call you a cab if you don't look homeless.


Then lunch at the one address I had truly researched, La Burla, Italian/Spanish cooked by Italians, which I didn't know at the time is kind of a thing in Tarifa. Pictured: pulpo alla Gallega, Galician-style octopus with smoked paprika and potatoes, which I'd kind of been waiting to try. Not pictured: stuffed fried zucchini flowers; bacalao alla vizcaina, one of my very favorite Spanish things to eat, basically bacalao with olives, tomato and capers, but that really doesn't do it justice; Nelson's ravioli with sage and brown butter. All really good although in retrospect it seems to have dimmed a little because our next several meals were surprisingly good. Expectations and whatnot.

So then we got back to our hood and did something, probably just sweated for a while. It was hot. Above: our room's window, which you'll see a view from by the end of this post.

Below: Bar Frances, kind of across the street from our apartment, which served two of the best versions of Spanish things I've ever had: patatas bravas and sangria. I should learn to make both of these exactly like this, just stupendous, fantastic, spectaaaaacular. The other things on the table are eggplant with goat cheese, stuffed mushrooms and some kind of vegetable timbale, none of it bad but not as superlative as the taters.

The rest of these pics are just Tarifa, another nice surprise of a city. Our dinner, not really pictured, at No. 6 Cocina Sencilla, was one of those "how can they possibly serve this food at these prices" dinners. I had a tuna skewer with coarse sea salt and wakame that was maybe the best thing I ate on the whole trip, 2 euro 50 cents. Like wonderful steak. So good I ordered another one immediately. We had a broccoli tartare (basically a slightly refined version of my Nan's broccoli salad); a "wok of vegetables" which unexpectedly included 8 wonderful shrimp (if you're a vegetarian in Spain, always ask); a mango salmorejo that was one of the best of the trip; and some kind of slightly disappointing hazelnut ravioli. Plus 4 glasses of really delicious Rioja: 23 euros (note to self: Lopez de Haro, 2014). I mean the whole thing cost 23 euros, not just the wine.

After dinner we wandered the streets a bit. Tarifa was really kind of waking up, by the time we left the restaurant at 11pm or whatever, the wait for a table was an hour.

The idea was to have a quick nightcap at Bar Frances, the place with the sangria (above, we made it there, too crowded so we drank our sangrias sitting on the curb, where this picture was taken from). On the way there we passed some excessively crowded and loud bars that looked kind of horrible in a young drunk people meat market kind of way, and we were like "no way are we getting involved with that", and then we turned the corner and there was our apartment. 

Oh, so we were getting involved with that, because it was basically underneath our window, from where these next two pics are taken. This was 1am. Shortly thereafter we got in bed, and the street noise was so loud we had to shout to hear each other. In bed. I turned on the fan, and my portable white noise generator and we couldn't hear either of them. It was......funny.

11: zdla finally gets its shit together.

10: goodbye ronda.