I’ve booked a whale-watching trip for tomorrow. I suspect this means a few dolphins and a pilot whale if you’re lucky, rather than enormous skeins of sperm whales stretching as far as the eye can see. But I figure it will also be a good way to see some pelagic birds – skuas, shearwaters, petrels and suchlike. It certainly seems worth a punt.

I am slightly worried that the famous local windiness will result in a trip mostly memorable for the vomiting, but hey-ho, the wind and the rain.

#18 – Tarifa


It seems like this should be
one of the great myth-places of the world;
where the churning grey of the Atlantic meets
the winedark Mediterranean,
where Europe extends towards
an Africa which seems so close
that Jesus could lean out across the Strait
and share a manly handshake
with Muhammed.

It’s not, of course. It’s just
a windy beach resort
where sunburnt men in flipflops
drink caipirinhas and discuss the surf.

Cultural geography is not so literal-minded.
Europe can as easily meet
Africa in the plantations of Jamaica,
or Islam in a tunnel under London.

Perhaps a landscape should not mean, but be;
a curve of bluegreen water
breaking against the beach,
thistles flowering on the sand dunes.