#8 Costa Del Sol and Tangier, Morocco

A Costa Del Sol Sunrise from our balcony.

We are now in Costa del Sol.  The word Sol means sun and the sun shines down with a fury. It is so beautiful and hot, hot, hot here. We enjoyed a midnight stroll along the boardwalk that stretches for miles and miles.

Long ago these beautiful built up towns of Costa del Sol used to be tiny fishing villages of not more that 300 people, but now you will find huge condo complexes, gorgeous homes of the rich and famous and cities within cities. These little fishing villages have truly been transformed into a huge tourist destination. From our location today, we are to visit Malaga the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and a private museum with his paintings put on display by his grandson.

It feels like 1,000 degrees in the sun, but in the shade and out on the beaches it is cooler. This afternoon, all I want to do is stay in our room, with the air conditioner blasting, but alas you are at the beach, so go out and enjoy. Mama Mia, they go topless here.  We noticed ladies are very free about their bodies and comfortable within them. It was one of those non-verbal messages to me.  I don’t have to strip to the waist, but should be happy with what is still there! Still working, still quite presentable, still supple and well hydrated and not too much of it all. One grandmother lifting her grandbaby up and down was so huge and so tan. Everyone is so tan. It looks like hey painted it on, but it is not. One topless wonder was redder than a fresh boiled lobster. Many topless women were mothers with children around them totally unconcerned they might be marking them for life. Marked, how, I do not know for sure. Perhaps it is a good thing, perhaps, not. What do you think?

Oh so sorry, no photos.

Tomorrow there is no luxury of staying at the hotel because the wake up call comes at 4:45 a.m. and soon thereafter we go to Morocco for the day. I can’t even imagine the heat there, but I do know that I will be able to cross off several notations on my bucket list. One is step onto the continent of Africa and secondly, is to add another country to our travel adventures.

First view of white washed houses on a hill, in Tangier, taken from the bus window.

We just returned from Tangier a two-hour bus ride and a 40-minute ferry ride from Costa del Sol.  While it is an interesting border town, it was exhausting. As soon as you get off your bus there are what seems like crowds of people hawing and sticking items for sale in your face.  Ask me what I bought and I will tell you nothing. I watched three sales and each took the entire free time we had.  One sale was two leather bracelets that were eventually purchased, but the dialogues started at ten Euros and ended both for three.  The negotiations were relentless and ended only as the lady entered the bus and sat down. The man acted desperate through the window. Oh my, too much drama for little ole me. The second purchase was a little carved camel. No great shakes, but the child wanted two Euros and the lady handed him a one-dollar bill. He was not interested in the money, but started his relentless pursuit of her.  The second to last was a necklace that was nice but so over priced in a store. The shopkeeper kept on going down and kept on going down, finally a price was agreed upon, he handed the woman the necklace and she gave him the money. He promptly took the necklace back and gave her the money back and said he was only joking, how could she believe he would sell it to her for that price. Twice she had the necklace and he had the money and twice he took it back and gave her the money back. I was in shock and felt funny standing there. In the end she got the necklace, but I don’t know what the final price was nor do I care.  Now can you see that I did not buy any thing? The negotiations here were, too dramatic.  One man followed me all the way through the bazar and told my kids to watch me and take care of me and that someone might want to see what was in my pocket. Freaky?

You are right; that is our daughter Karen riding on a camel.

Getting off of the ferry taught me that the ladies with the head scarves do not have a personal zone, they bang into you and push you aside to get going and be on their way.  I thought maybe they were anxious to get off the ferry and home, but no, this kind of banging and pushing aside happened the whole day every time we got down on the ground. Humm. I just mention this because it happened to me. It joggled me and banged me around. I never got hurt or bruised, just nudged out of the way.  I was jolted a few times into the walls of the alleyways because I was a THING in the way. I was something between this woman and what she needed to do or needed to get.  If it happened once or twice I would say, an accident, but now I see it is a way of being. a way of action.  The men never ever touched me even with a graze and they were all in a hurry, too. The women are very strong and confident out in their world and I wish them well. I thought they were weak and squelched, but not the ones I encountered.

Here she is going about her daily business.

When it was time to return to the ferry and go back to Spain, I was relieved and glad to have spent time there, walked on their soil and returned to less stress.

More photos:

Just a moment of their time. I am thanking them.

This caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you.

I don't know why, but I love this lady and the photo.

A nice mother and child photo.

Mostly men are out and about, but I did capture a few women doing their marketing.

Hard working man.

Look who is enjoying the carpet factory!

Our guide asked me to stop taking photos because she said the people might not like it. I guarantee you none of them saw me taking their photo from behind the pole, from behind the tree, from behind the building, from behind her back.

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