I just got back from Tarifa. I’m sitting on my sun porch writing this and gazing across the street that the ferry travels several times a day between Tangier and Tarifa. In order to stay in Tangier legally, I must obtain residency. That takes some time and we are in the process of gathering the documents.
Although we’ve been to the immigration office twice with the documents that they told us to gather, each time they’ve turned us away with yet more documents to obtain. Italy has a two-step process for obtaining a Permesso di Soggiorno and then residency. Morocco has only one, which covers both, the Carte de Sejour.
Until I have obtained my residency, as a U.S. Citizen, I can be in Morocco for ninety days on a tourist visa. No paperwork is required for that. Once my ninety days is up, I must leave the country and return to restart the clock on the ninety days. That was the purpose of my trip to Tarifa.
A big move like this one where you are changing countries, lifestyles, languages, cultures, and many more everyday things is stressful. I really wasn’t ready to travel. I remember when I moved to Florence, Italy, it was over a year before I decided to take a trip.
Tarifa is a comfortable one-hour ferry ride. The cost of the roundtrip is 660 dirham or about 65 euro. The ferry is very nice and has a bar and a duty-free shop. My trip was delayed a half hour on both sides, but it is all very relaxed and easy.
I booked a small hotel room for 30 euro in Tarifa to spend the night. I had planned to do more sightseeing, but when I arrived, I had a nice lunch with a glass of wine in the sun. The first time I had sipped an alcoholic beverage outside for almost ninety days. I walked down to the beach and found a bar/restaurant opened called Waikiki and sat there for a few hours watching windsurfers on the waves.
Tarifa is a lovely little town to pass a short period of time. I was surprised that no one spoke English but managed to conjure enough Spanish to communicate. These multiple languages, none of which I know very well, are killing me.
I explored the historic district behind the Jerez Wall and found it to be lovely, clean, and empty. This seaside town is known for its wind sports so it is definitely offseason for them. Many restaurants and shops were closed. The Guzman Castle is one of the sights in Tarifa, and although I walked by it, couldn’t summon up the desire to enter. Maybe next time. I’ve read there are incredible views and a nice museum inside.
Twenty four hours away from Tangier was just enough to let me know that Tangier is already starting to feel like home. I will probably visit Tarifa again…maybe in another ninety days. It will be spring then and likely a very different place with more visitors. It’s nice to know there is another world an hour away if I ever want an escape. For now, I’m happy at home.