Barbate is a small Spanish village about 40 miles from Gibraltar. We arrived here from Sancti Petri about Saturday lunch time having had a bit of a blow on the way! As we had had 2 nights of interrupted sleep while we were on anchor, we decided to motor in order to get into port early & have a snooze. Also, as we didn't have a marina reservation, if we couldn't get into Barbate, we would have a further 40 mile slog in heavy weather to Gibraltar so we wanted to crack on. By the time we got to Cape Trafalgar, where Nelson defeated Napoleon, we were in a force 8 again - every time we go anywhere near a cape we seem to get hit with 'interesting' weather! Also here they have a moveable pollution barrier at the mouth of the marina which you also need to negotiate but judging by the amount of level of cleanliness in the marina it is there to keep the sea clean and not the marina. As it happened, there was plenty of room so we berthed up, cleaned the outside of the boat & went for a siesta.
Between Cape Trafalgar and the marina in Barbate there is the large La Brena national park area where you can walk along the cliff paths to see the various lookout towers etc which date from about the 16th Century.
This area is also where a great deal of tuna fishing is done. They have enormous nets which are near the marina and stretch for about 5 miles from the mouth of the marina & directly out to sea, so you need to firstly avoid them and secondly go the right way round them when you leave or you have a long trip back!
Again Barbate seems only to come alive in the summer months despite the size of the fishing fleet and the tuna business. Tuna fishing is so important here that they have built a whole visitors centre with up to the minute technology to educate people about the industry. This said it was fairly quiet this weekend. When we went out on Saturday evening and Sunday, most places, even some of the restaurants were closed up seemingly for the winter.
We went for lunch on Sunday and ordered a plate of grilled fish and two salads - we said no to the house special salad despite the waiter being very keen to sell us this one as it had local tuna in it, and ordered a tomato salad and a green salad, - the tomato salad came topped with a huge chunk of tuna!!! Also on the grilled fish plate (which was huge and great value) there were two large chunks of tuna as well. Everything you order here is either tuna or part of the tuna including something that was translated as 'tuna belly flaps' (we avoided that one), or comes with a side order of tuna just to be on the safe side - good job we like it!
John and the other tourist attraction in Barbate - a bunch of 'anchors'!! (We think that these are to hold the tuna nets down but have been taken out at the end of the season)
There is a large stretch of beach but it was far too windy when we were there - when you walked along the sea front it felt as though your skin was being sandblasted. Despite the wind however it is still very warm as this area gets wind from the land which raises the air temperature.
We had planned to visit Tarifa, which is a surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing mecca, while we were here but Monday (today) was the only day we could go and while there was a bus to Tarifa this morning, there was no bus back so we decided to have a day doing jobs and catching up with stuff as we keep saying 'we will do that in Gib' and if that continues we will have to stay a month at least!