OUR WAY TO ZAHARA

“Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”

 How true is this! After spending almost two weeks in Chipiona, we gathered it was again time to hit the road.  We continued our trip down to the south of Spain, with the plan to stop either in Conil dela Frontera or El Palmar. But nothing came out of this plan. We landed somewhere else, a place more beautiful than the two rmentioned places combined! We ended up in Zahara delos Atunes, in the most beautiful beach we have seen so far during our travels in Spain.

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Kilometers-long sandy beach of Zahara

Our way to Zahara delos Atunes was not that easy. Was it my fault or from the navigation? I have installed the navigation for the shortest way so that we could arrive in our destination with lesser kilometres, but that was a big mistake. From El Puerto Santa Maria, where we stopped for a while to buy LPG gas, the rest of the trip was difficult and frustrating! Passing thru Chiclana with a road construction ongoing, the navigator lost its senses! She sent us driving through the city center with one -way, narrow streets. We were glad when we finally came out without damage from those streets. Next, driving to Urbanizacion Novo Sancti Petri was another story, as we had to pass at least 30 humps before coming out to a main road. All the time the navigator kept on sending us to narrow and sometimes dirt roads! Illogical!

Finally we reached Conil dela Frontera, only to see big boards which stated that campers or motorhomes are not allowed to park in the whole of municipality! We did not want to risk having a fine so we drove 8 kilometers further to the neighboring village, El Palmar. Again, we were disappointed because it was not allowed to park along the beach, and the place was too busy with tourists and surfers that we decided to drive further and see where we end. However, we reached Cano de Meca and we had to drive on the dirt road in the pine forests! How did we manage that? It happened that we entered a one way street and the only possible way to get out is through the pine forest! It was getting late and we both found it a waste that we had to drive all the time in such a wonderful sunny day! Finally we reached Barbate. We stopped here for a while, realized it was not a place for us so we drove through to the next village, Zahara delos Atunes. We followed the board to the Playas, looked for a decent parking until we found one just before the Urbanizacion Atlanterra. There were three other campervans parked at that time so we decided to stop here. And we were not disappointed, as we stayed here for another 4 days.

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Our campsite

CAMPSITE : CA – 2216 Paseo delos Palmeras

                     11380 Zahara delos Atunes

Coordinates :   N:  36.11942      W:  5.83266

It is a mix-parking along the main road located before Urbanizacion Atlanterra, with access to Playa Atlanterra. It is beside the Pizzeria O Mama Mia and Cerveceria Zaharandonga. There are no services here. The nearest supermarket is about 1.5 kilometer in the village center.

ZAHARA DELOS ATUNES- A SLEEPING VILLAGE?

Zahara delos Atunes is a small quiet village in the municipality of Tarifa in Cadiz. It has a small ayuntamiento building, a small church, public market, school and a number of alimentacions and cafes. However, there are more hotels and bars than the needed supermarkets in the area! So I guess it could be busy here during the summer season. It is very quiet in the streets. There are a couple of  urbanizacion areas with super exclusive apartments with enclosed parks and swimming pools, but they are empty. They are probably occupied only during the summer season. Even the tourist office is closed at this time of the year. It is closed until spring.

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Map of the village

SPECTACULAR BEACH

The village of Zahara however is home to a very long and wide sandy untamed beach, the most beautiful beach we have ever seen during our travels in Spain. It is maybe about 4 kilometers long, clean. It is for this reason that we stayed in the place longer than we have planned. We spent lots of time on the beach, doing long walks on the shore, in the sand and in the dunes. We enjoyed feeling the sands under our feet; we loved the cold temperature of sea water ; we amused ourselves with collecting seashells, with the plan of using them for our future house; we contented ourselves with just lazying and lying around in the beach, and at times when the wind was hard, Hans did some kiteflying.

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Taking a walk on the beach

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Kiteflying on a windy day…

Life seemed easier and less complicated here. We could stay for hours by the beach, and only see a couple of other people. It was near the main road, yet it felt so secluded and far away. How did we manage to find a huge beach only for ourselves? Unbelievable!  And how could we be contented with what we had during the days that we were here! With this situation, you realized that you really don’t need much to be happy. We had the basics that we needed; we had each other; and even when the weather was not always good, we immensely enjoyed our times here. We felt carefree! The joy we had when we were just watching the wild waves was incomparable. It was like watching a live watershow, and it was free!  The peace of mind we had when we were here , unmindful of the events going on around us, was unpayable.

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The beach all for myself…

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Sunset in Zahara

The only setback during our stay here was we were not able to take a short swim because of cold waters. Also my wish for a wonderful sunset was out of the question because it was almost always cloudy at the end of the day. But yeah, I’ve learned early in life that one couldn’t have everything. We must be thankful for whatever blessing we receive everyday. And I am! We are grateful for our wonderful and quiet stay we have had in Zahara.

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Our customary picture together

The way to Zahara was difficult….but it was all worth it….

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