El Puerto de Santa Maria

 

It was snowing here in Madrid last week. It was beautiful. I sat on my couch for hours staring at the snow falling on my balcony. I loved it.

 

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My balcony an hour after it started snowing.

 

 

Until I had to get out of the house. I was wearing Uggs. They are not meant for snow. Uggs are meant to be used by 24 year olds at 20 degree weather. True Story !

So, as any true good Madrid lover would do, I called my friend and decided to go to the south to get some sun. My lovely caramel skin does not stay caramel coz of the snow, people. Momma needed some sun.

We booked the tickets for an early morning train and packed our bags.

Anywhoo, we were in metro line 1 when it happened.  I felt the pressure rising. I couldn’t hide it anymore. I needed to get out of that metro ASAP.

There is a small problem when you travel real early in the morning. Nope, not sleep. Poop. Yes, pooping. You are in the middle of the street, in the metro to Atocha or in the train when you want to poop. Anyone who travels often has faced this problem. More than once have I been in an airport where I had to make the tough decision of missing my flight or using the washroom. Especially, if you are travelling for hours.

I needed to poop. We were a good one hour early. We got out of the metro, ran to the nearest coffee shop which was open at 7 am and bravely ran towards the restroom. Of course, while maintaining my lady like charm. My sweet friend decided to be polite and ordered a cafe solo largo, coz he knew it was going to be a long long day.

I went in as a scared, almost exploding wreck. I came back a HERO.

We still managed to be half an hour early and got on the train to Cádiz. We got down at El Puerto de Santa Maria. It’s a small town in the banks of the Guadalete river in the province of Cádiz. Apparently, this is the port from which Columbus sailed to the Americas. and headed towards our hotel. We stayed in a Monastery which was turned into a hotel. Our room had a living room and a giant bedroom with an en suite. The hotel room might have been bigger than most peoples apartment. It was a great place, except for one thing. It smelled like mothballs. But that wasn’t an issue. As an Indian my sense organs are prepared for bad smells. We took a brunch at a small gastrobar down the road and headed to Cadiz.

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View from the Catamaran.

 

I was hoping to take the train to Cadiz. But my friend had planned a small surprise for me. Instead of the train, we were going to take a boat to Cádiz. It was beautiful and breathtaking at the same time. Beautiful because of the amazing ocean views and breathtaking because I am terrified of drowning and boats. Hence, it might literally take my breath away.  So, I kept reminding myself about the Titanic. ( You guys might think that thinking happy thoughts might be more helpful, but I am a more comfortable with facing the truth, thank you. ) I did keep an eye out for any form of ice berg on the way, even though we were extremely close to the coast. Also, I repeatedly told my friend that if that boat capsized and I drowned to death, it would totally be his fault. Yes, That’s the kind of friend I am. I tell the uncomfortable and bitter truth to your eye. Like a Hero.

But five minutes into the boat ride, I completely forgot about the fear and panic. The view was amazing from the top of the Catamaran. I was sitting on the top, wind on my face, watching seagulls fly above me. It was great.

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The Catamaran

 

We reached Cádiz. The city was getting ready for the carnival. Lights and masks everywhere tempted us to stay for a couple days more. We walked around the city in the sun and headed to the beach.

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View of the Church from near the beach

 

We enjoyed sunny days in  the beach, ate as much seafood as I could and had a couple of glasses ( maybe bottles ) of wine while gazing at the ocean.

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Dessert and half finished glass of wine by the Ocean. Can it get any better than this ?

 

We headed back to El Puerto de Santa Maria every evening and roamed around to see what the town had in store for us. We visited the famous Bullring. It was built in the 1880 and can accommodate 15,000 spectators.

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The statue of the matador and the bull outside the bullring

 

We then headed down to the Iglesia Mayor Prioral, which screams of Gothic style architecture. We walked to the Castle of San Marcos, but was disappointed as it was closed for renovation.

So off we went, to eat some good steak, snails and tagarninas.

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Snails in salsa.

 

We ate like pigs and extended our vacation for a couple more days and tried on plenty of food. Funnily enough, I found a cute little Indian restaurant that served authentic Indian food that made me wanna stay in Puerto for one more night. They had the best okra, samosas and lamb. I was too busy stuffing my mouth with samosas that I forgot to take a picture.

All in all, it was the best vacation I had this year. If you head down to the south this summer, stop by at El Puerto de Santa Maria and take a ride in the Catamaran.

Kisses,

Morena

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