On The Way To The Bazaar – Carnaval In Tarifa

Carnival In Tarifa

There is a rawness to Spain I love and that also makes things like banking and dealing with the library difficult.  Robin Graham, our guest writer and expert from southern Spain, was puttering in his garden and attracted by bizaar life on the other side of the wall.  His experience is typical Spain in that it’s spirit is diverse and wedged with surprise.

By Robin Graham

It has rained a couple of times this morning so I’m out on the back patio rescuing my little ones. Some of them are drowning and I need to stick a screwdriver through the bottom of their pots to drain the water away. I survey the plants and seedlings with the impassive satisfaction of a Divine Creator.

The laundry is wet again – it’ll have to stay where it is.

There’s some kind of hubbub, and someone bangs a drum. I step up onto our bench from where I can peer through the floral pattern of holes at the top of the patio wall, and watch as a small army of smurfs passes by on its way to the old town. They’re all blue of course and they’re all wearing their little white smurf hats, but otherwise they’re quite a diverse bunch.

Some of them are in wheelchairs and others walk with frames. There are smurfs with Down Syndrome and smurfs that can walk just fine as long as they have a little support from the people in yellow t-shirts that walk along amongst them. One of the smurfs is on one of those motorised things that look like a shopping trolley.

Bit odd.

Later I go into town myself because I want to get some more plants for my growing empire. I don’t see the smurfs anywhere but I do manage to pick up some aromatics; oregano, tarragon and sage. On my way from the florists to the Chinese bazaar, where I want to get some hooks for the bathroom, I wander into an ancient Egyptian funeral procession. They’re chanting away and taking up the whole street so I need to double back and find another route.

Carnival In Terfia

I eventually get to the bazaar on the main street. The bars on this stretch are turning themselves inside out today – moving their furniture outside and setting up on the pavement.

I need to navigate my way through a crowd of Mexicans in sombreros.

I spot a horde of pirates in the distance.

I almost trip over a tiny Flintstone.

I’m beginning to think something is going on.

Then I notice the big stage in front of the church and the peseta drops. Ah yes – another year in Tarifa, another Spring.

Another Carnaval.

Related Spain Scoop:  Carnaval is before Lent and dates vary according to the date of Easter. Carnival in Tarifa is usually the weekend after carnival in Cadiz.  Check dates with tourist information of the city you are visiting.  More about southern Spain. 

Robin Graham, from Tarifa in southern Spain, writes stories. Some of them are about places and some of them are just made up. A lot of them can be found, with accompanying photography, at www.alotofwind.com. He’s a private person but, strangely, doesn’t mind being followed on Twitter: @robinjgraham or liked on Facebook: alotofwind.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Ah, such fun Carnaval surprises as you go about your errands in town. But the image I keep thinking about is of you almost tripping over a tiny Flintstone.

  2. Posted April 13, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    I love the photos here, and as much as I adore your writing I would love to see you add photos to your regular site.

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