Christmas At Sidi Ifni

Preparing the Christmas Barbecue

During our travels in December we were occasionally asked by fellow travellers what we planned to do for Christmas. We had spent Christmas in Sidi Ifni a few years ago, it had an excellent climate, beautiful beaches and you could get most things you needed in the busy little town. The area had been Catholic until fifty years ago so the Muslim locals knew what Christmas was about.

Gary, our chef

It turned out there was quite an influx of guests into the camp site on Christmas Eve: a Welsh couple on their honeymoon travelling in a converted van, a New Zealander and his German girlfriend on their motor bikes, a retired German couple in a Mercedes 4×4 van and a Swedish man on his way south to Dakhla for the water sports. Gary, the New Zealander was a chef and he had offered to cook Christmas dinner on the barbecue.

On Christmas morning we bought millefeuille pastries from the boulangerie and delivered these delicious little cakes to everyone staying on the site. Our pile of firewood was being added to with driftwood collected by walkers on the beach and later that afternoon we lit the fire. As it began to get dark guests wandered over with their chairs, a drink and something to cook on the fire. It was a beautiful evening, warm and still – Christmassy songs emanated from a Bluetooth speaker into the balmy air. We were an eclectic group of strangers in a Muslim country joining together to celebrate the birth of Christ. It was well after 2 am when the last of the diners finally left.

Who could resist?

PS Gary and Chrissie had spotted a tiny, flee ridden puppy cowering in the hedge. The creature was filthy, barely weaned and starving. They took it to a vet who cleaned it up and gave it food and water. The puppy was tiny, but healthy – thinking it was male Gary had named it Charlie but it turned out to be a bitch. The vet gave it the first of a series of injections and Gary was committed! Charlie happily travelled in the pannier of Gary’s bike to Sidi Ifni.