A Week in Tarifa for No Reason Whatsoever

Seven days in the wind

Philip Ogley
Published in
5 min readJun 6, 2024


Image of Tarifa in Spain
View from Tarifa (Spain) with Morocco in the background (Wiki Comms)

I was there to see a friend. Alan Mason had been on my advanced Spanish course in Exeter, and during the Easter holidays, told me he was going to do a course in Tarifa.

‘Where?’ I asked.

‘Tarifa,’ he replied. ‘The Southernmost tip of Spain.’

I was surprised. I had lived in Granada and Salamanca but had never heard of Tarifa.

‘It’s very windy,’ he added.

He wasn’t wrong. When the bus dropped me off after a four-hour trip from Malaga airport via Algeciras, the first thing I noticed was the wind. Gusting in my face from all directions as I unfolded my map to look for the place where my friend was staying.

For his two-week course, he had opted to stay with a Spanish family in order to add a note of authenticity to his language. Alan had never lived in Spain, and had only been there on a few holidays. Despite that, he could understand and speak it well, admittedly without any flair.

Hence why he was staying with Señora Díaz on Calle Jiménez. Which, according to my tattered map, was only a few blocks away from the bus station.

I knocked at the door. A heavy-set woman with a blue hairnet perched on her…