After two incredible weeks of exploring the countryside and cities of Castille La Mancha, and a bit of Andalusia, Santha (my Kiwi friend who lives in London) needed to depart from Jerez airport, so we spent the last two nights in Puerto de Santa Maria, a seaside town just across the bay from Cadíz.
The perfect escape from the hustle and Santa Semana insanity in Seville and Córdoba, this southcoast historic seaside town again demonstrated the hospitality of the Spanish people, their incredible gastronomic heritage, and their intelligent conservation efforts.
Excellent and well-marked bike and walking paths followed the beach walkway and provided opportunities to enjoy wooded areas and parks to escape the sunny afternoon.
Highlights included taking the ferry to Cadíz, a city that boasts the longest, continual human inhabitance in the Western world, where Phonecians, Carthahinigans, Romans, Greeks, Muslims and Jews traded and set sail to all parts of the world. We caught a smaller version of the Santa Semana procession, and spent a glorious day at a wide white sand beach where windsurfers and catamarans played in the windswept, diamond-studded sea.
Colombus set sail on his second New World voyage from Puerto Santa Maria, Hannibal was born in Cadíz, and Julius Cesar gave one of his first public addresses from these local streets.