Tarifa con l’Africa di fronte

Estremo Sud d’Europa, in bilico tra Mar Mediterraneo e Oceano Atlantico: Tarifa è soprannominata la città del vento, considerata, per questo, il paradiso dei surfisti. Penultima tappa dell’Itinerandi Summer Tour 2015, dopo la caotica Malaga, Tarifa ci ha accolto con le sue mura bianche, il mare alto, increspato e la sua temperatura quasi primaverile.

La piccola cittadina la intravedi dall’alto, percorrendo in auto la Costa del Sol, affacciata sullo Stretto di Gibilterra, con di fronte la costa marocchina, chiara, grazie al cielo limpido di oggi. Le antiche mura proteggono il centro antico e la porta con le due piccole torri a lato sembra essere una porta d’accesso al Marocco più che ad un piccolo borgo europeo.

La storia di Tarifa la si legge sui muri delle strade, nelle decorazioni dei palazzi, fondata dai greci che la trasformarono nella porta della civiltà, affacciata sulle Colonne d’Ercole, confine estremo del mondo che solo Ulisse osò superare rincorrendo costantemente virtù e conoscenza, Tarifa fu anche la prima colonia romana in Spagna, conosciuta con il nome di Iulia traducta, la città oggi conserva tracce della sua storia nel suo stesso nome che racconta degli antichi scontri tra i mori e la corona spagnola, fu il primo lembo di terra ad essere conquistato dai berberi nel 710 d.c. guidati da Tarif ibn Malik, da cui prese il nome, conservato anche quando poi fu riconquistata e difesa strenuamente dai re castigliani.


Ancora oggi la cittadina conserva l’aspetto tipico delle medine arabe, con i suoi vicoli circondati da case ricoperte di calce bianca, terrazze fiorite e giardini profumati, gli ingressi dei palazzi ricchi di azulejos colorati che ti accompagnano fin dentro al patio, di un verde rigoglioso e sul quale si affacciano tutte le abitazioni della struttura, come una piccola area comune dove condividere i momenti di riposo. A Tarifa non può mancare la passeggiata fino all’Isla de Las Palomas, estremo sud del sud, oltre questo lembo di terra il nulla, e girandovi vi sorprenderà lo spettacolo di trovarvi con il tranquillo Mediterraneo e il suo blu intenso a destra e l’agitato Oceano con l’azzurro acceso a sinistra.

Tarifa è luogo di incontro di culture e storie. Agosto riempie le stradine e le spiagge di gente da ogni parte d’Europa, che corrono qui per cavalcare le onde oceaniche spinte dal vento o attirati dalla dolce e rilassante vita che si passa qui tra le mura al fresco d’estate. Il litorale lungo diversi chilometri è un susseguirsi di spiagge sabbiose, su cui trascorrere le giornate, con l’Africa di fronte; mentre in mattinata partono dal porto le barche cariche di mute e bombole per i sub, nel pomeriggio si alzano le prime vele e il kitesurf la fa da padrone, ma per chi come noi non è sport addicted è possibile provare un’emozione più tranquilla seppure altrettanto forte.

Le acque oceaniche, poco lontane dalla costa, sono ricche di tonni, alimento preferito e facile da trovare per le orche, è questo il motivo per cui se ne vedono così tante, le balene invece transitano soltanto in questa parte di mare, passando dalle acque calde a quelle più fredde e purtroppo non siamo molto fortunati, ma lo spettacolo dei delfini è bellissimo, un gruppo di almeno 50 nuota velocemente componendo tanti piccoli archi sull’acqua, emergendo e immergendosi continuamente. L’esperienza è davvero unica, vedere questi animali nel loro ambiente naturale è davvero raro, soprattutto con un tipo di visita assolutamente non invasiva e contemporaneamente finanziando un centro di ricerca che porta avanti un discorso di sensibilizzazione e protezione di queste specie.

La sera di Tarifa però ci aspetta con i suoi mille ristoranti, i tapas bar e i cocktail. Non ci siamo fatti mancare la birra pomeridiana delle 6, di ritorno dal mare, accompagnata da una frittura di pesce croccante e per cena se avete voglia di pesce c’è da assaggiare il tonno rosso, crudo, marinato o cotto in qualunque modo, ma se preferite carne, vi consigliamo il Bistrot Patagonia, carne argentina e verdure grigliate, non vi deluderà. Per passare la serata c’è solo l’imbarazzo della scelta, numerosi posticini si susseguono e non c’è che da decidere, noi ci siamo fatti “rapire” dai Mojito del Taco Way, ma qui non potete non assaggiare il Gin Tonic, sarà complicato solo decidere quale dei diversi Gin è adatto a voi.

Il giorno dopo per chi ama la prima colazione, Tarifa è il paradiso, i bar aprono alle 9 e servono di tutto: coppe di yogurt con frutta fresca e cereali, pile di pancake, succhi freschi, brioche di ogni tipo, per non parlare del salato, tortillas, bacon croccante, toast enormi e qualsiasi cosa desideriate, il mio consiglio: Cafè de la Luz.

Noi non ci siamo fatti mancare niente e tra uno yogurt alla frutta fresca con cereali e noci, cappuccino, pancakes, spremute c’è stato il tempo anche di chiacchierare con la simpatica proprietaria e con gli altri clienti, tutti frequentatori abituali della città e delle sue spiagge.

Abbiamo trascorso solo due giorni a Tarifa, ma questa piccola cittadina a metà tra il nord Africa e l’Europa ci ha conquistati. La vita tranquilla, il sorriso di chi ci vive, i profumi delle cucine, la musica ci hanno convinto del fatto che torneremo qui a goderci momenti rilassanti sulle spiagge oceaniche, con l’Africa di fronte.

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