At least once a month, my partner and I try to take a trip, which we call our “fin de semana de gastos”—or, our weekend of spending. This month we decided to check out the coast of Cádiz, which I had visited once before, many years ago, with my mom and my aunt when they had come to visit. When I think of Cádiz, I instantly think of peace and paradise. It’s a part of Spain that has somehow resisted the temptation to become commercialized and over-developed, like the nearby “Costa del Sol” of Málaga.

As Alex and I crossed the border into the province of Cádiz, we both felt a tranquility take over our bodies and our minds. I think there’s a certain magic there, a certain wildness that allows you to disconnect completely from the day to day drama. We stayed the first night in Barbate and had dinner in a restaurant called El Campero, which is expensive but honestly worth every penny. They specialized in blue-fin tuna, which is caught right on the coast, and is prepared in countless different forms—tataki, tuna “albondigas”, tartar, tuna steak, hamburgers, and the list goes on.

The next day we headed up to Vejer de la Frontera, which is a white village about ten minutes inland and sits atop a steep hillside. We took a walk along the winding streets, admiring the pristine white walls and striking pink gardenias and had a tapa of “queso payoyo” which is an amazing artisan goat’s cheese from the region.

We then drove back down to the coast to visit Zahara de los Atunes, which is another town that is famous for the tuna which is caught on its coast. We were just so lucky as to stumble upon the annual Tuna Festival, which is a town-wide celebration in which every bar creates a signature tapa with tuna as its main ingredient—and again we tried local tuna in many different forms and flavors. As part of the festival, we caught a horse race on the beach, which was a completely authentic and very special experience.

We drove half an hour back down the coast to Tarifa, another beach town but this one with a very distinct surfer-bohemian vibe. We brought a blanket to the beach, and as it was a full moon—in Scorpio to be exact—we had a little chat with the luna, listening to the dark, crashing waves in the background.