Not surprisingly, the ferry transport to Spain didn’t go at all as planned. I realized that taking the ferry and then renting a car in Spain might save some funding because the ferry tickets for cars are $200+. There aren’t any rental car companies in Tarifa so taking the ferry from Tanger Med to Algeciras was the best option. Despite the mess going from Tangier Ville to Tarifa over New Years, in hindsight it was highly organized in comparison with Tangier Med.
Since I left work a bit early and arrived in Tangier Med by 3, I booked a non-refundable room in Jerez. Picking up the rental car and making the hour trip seemed feasible. The 4pm ferry was delayed until 6 so we debated taking our chances with the ferry from Ceuta, but decided to grab a café au lait and catch up on emails. Just kidding, the wifi was out and hadn’t been working for a few days. So we waited, and waited. At 6:30 we boarded the ferry and then waited some more. At 7:30 the ferry finally disembarked and we thought we’d arrive in Algeciras just in time to pick up the rental car before Enterprise closed at 9pm.
Too bad I didn’t realize that Spain was an hour ahead! Enterprise was closed, the last train and bus had already departed and the hotel in Jerez was firm about charging for the room. Faced with burning $100 on the hotel room, we bartered with a taxi driver to take the hour long journey for 100 Euro (about $150) and hoped to find a rental car in Jerez. That decision severely dented my vino de tinto budget. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have had 100 Euro to my name to waste on an overpriced taxi.
Despite the initial transportation frustrations, today is a success. We found a 4-day rental car for $70 and managed to stop in at a veterinarian to procure an EU pet passport for Miss Noël, all before noon. We celebrated with tapas and vino tinto de verano in Plaza del Arenal. Jerez is beyond lovely, and is perfect for aimless wandering interspersed with beverage stops.