Abbie Is Happy on the Ferry
My first ferry experience across the Strait of Gibraltar was less than awesome, so I was a little apprehensive about traveling back to Spain the same way. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by a slightly smaller boat (with the option to stand on the top deck, outside), a quicker ride, and overall easier to understand process.
I took the ferry from Tangier, Morocco, to Tarifa, Spain, with two friends from my Tangier hostel who were going the same way as me. The ferry company was FRS, and although we still didn’t leave on time, the experience was much better.
We walked through the Tangier port, which I had been primed (from things I’d read) to think was full of touts and people ready to take your money for all kinds of random things, but we only had a minor encounter with this. As we were getting our exit stamp on our passports, there was a guy who seemed to be with the ferry company waiting to fill out our customs cards for us. We thought this was weird, but there he was in the office, and none of the FRS staff were bothered by him. We realized after that he was doing it for tips, especially when he filled out the cards all wrong. Needless to say, we didn’t tip him, and we each got a second card from the counter to fill out ourselves. Sigh. Otherwise, we weren’t hassled at all, and the fort was pretty empty at 10:15 a.m. on a Tuesday.
The three of us made the trip on the top deck, which was windy, but the views were worth it.
We seemed to have picked the best window for crossing the strait out of four or five whole days. We docked soon after noon, and it clouded up and started raining again by mid-afternoon. It hadn’t stopped by the time I left Tarifa the next day. It’s very possible they cancelled the ferries again for the evening and/or the next morning.
But the important thing is that I made it back to Spain, and I’m “home” again in Alhaurin el Grande.