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There´s a certain madness, a touch of wildness, that links the diverse bunch of foreigners who have chosen to make Tarifa their home.
On the one hand there´s the wind and kite surfing crowd, young, fit and enterprising, whose shops and associated businesses now fill the streets. They are the pioneers; the ones who came, saw, but never quite conquered the soul of the local people who still cling on to their centuries-old traditions with fierce pride. It is, after all that the first windsurf shop was opened by a foreigner in 1985. Until then, Tarifa was an undiscovered, inward-looking backwater with a reduced fishing industry. Now the knock-on effect of that first breath of new life has spread throughout the town giving it an identity and diversity hitherto unimagined.
Then there are the artist, the escapists, the nature lovers, the hippies and the spiritual navigators who are drawn here by some indefinable magnetic force. With them have come healing centers, yoga workshops, a host of masseurs and various gurus.
Whether it be the wind, the meeting of the two seas or the proximity of the African continent, there is something in the air which makes us all a little crazy. We have a love – hate relationship with the climate and it can drive us to extremes. Yet there are powerful reasons why we can scorn the glitz and glamour of the more temperate Costa del Sol, with its hordes of ex-patriates and concrete jungle, in favour of the aptly named Coast of light. The incomparable beaches, unspoilt countryside and magnificent bird life are among the many advantages an offer.
Tarifa is home not only to the Tarifeños but also to a weird and wonderful set of characters from all over the world and all walks of life.
Peace & Liberty