What do I need to know to make a last-minute trip to Cadiz for Carnival and come out with my dignity, health, and belongings (mostly) intact?
January 20, 2008 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Some friends and I are planning to spend a few days in Cadiz for Carnival. All the hostels and hotels are booked (and we're students so our budget is fairly tight to begin with), so we figured we'd just pack light and sleep on the beach. Any advice on how to do this comfortably, and without getting our stuff stolen while we're asleep? Should we plan on stowing our stuff in lockers at the train station? Should we bring costumes with us or get them there? Any scams, sketchy areas, etc. that we should watch out for? Any and all advice is welcome, we don't really know what to expect!
posted by slowcat to Travel & Transportation around Cadiz, Spain (8 answers total)
Just like the tourists still getting off the planes here in Barcelona in t-shirts, you're going to get a major shock if you try and sleep on the beach in February. Spain is not permanently hot, all year round, and on the Atlantic coast at this time of year, night time temperatures of around or below freezing are not unheard of. Are you sure all the pensiones are booked?
posted by benzo8 at 8:13 AM on January 20, 2008

I think most train stations don't allow you to store items anymore due to the threat of terrorism. At least it was that way in Murcia last summer and is most likely the same in all of Spain. You can easily call the Consigna at the station in Cadiz beforehand but it is doubtful.
posted by JJ86 at 8:23 AM on January 20, 2008

I did this when I was studying abroad in Sevilla, now more than 7 years ago. We just booked the first train out in the morning and stayed up all night. It was warm enough to be out and about all night, and I think we headed to the train station a couple hours before our train, to relax.

But benzo8 is right. Even though it's southern Spain, it's not warm enough to sleep on the beach. I would recommend camping (if that's available), or finding hostels in nearby cities, and taking the train into Cadiz. You really only need 1 day/1 night to experience Carnival...I don't think I would have survived any more than that!
posted by elquien at 8:40 AM on January 20, 2008

I've done the carnevales in Cadiz and it was f**king freezing. I was warmly dressed and still after a few hours at the outdoor festivities I could not stand it and had to go home. The waves are huge this time of year, this is one of the windiest places in Spain, near some of the best surfing in Spain. You CANNOT be serious!
posted by Wilder at 8:40 AM on January 20, 2008

don't get the costumes there, the street stalls are extremely expensive. Some of the bars tend to overcharge extranjeros during the festivities.
posted by Wilder at 8:44 AM on January 20, 2008

Here's the basic weather there right now. Based on what I'm seeing there it looks like you either get 45-55F (7-13C) with tons of wind, or 35-45F (2-7C) with calm winds. Either way this does not sound very good for sleeping on the beach. Just thinking about this I can visualize getting chilled by the sand underneath, too, even with a bunch of blankets.
posted by crapmatic at 10:06 AM on January 20, 2008

No way!

1) You'll freeze your bits off sleeping on the beach.
2) It may not be allowed by the local authorities in festival time. They might not have a stated policy against beach sleeping per se, but I'm sure they do against panhandlers, etc. Any local problems during the festival might be met with the police clearing out the beach.
3) Sleeping on the beach isn't as romantic as it sounds.

It's still February in Europe, even it is southern Europe-ish. If you're OK with sleeping on a beach on holiday, and you're looking for cheap digs, you probably wouldn't turn your nose up at a hostel. Hostelworld.com is good, but so are expedia & lastminute for hostels.

B&Bs might be a cheap option for you as well. I don't know where you're located, but European B&Bs aren't like American B&Bs. Think less Laura Ashley twee and more "local family with a spare bedroom who might feed you breakfast". Just a thought.
posted by Grrlscout at 9:59 PM on January 20, 2008

Thanks, everyone. My devil-may-care male friends are still planning to sleep on the beach, but my girlfriends and I decided to invest in a tent. At least we'll have shelter. Grrlscout, I would love a hostel, but unfortunately EVERYTHING in Cádiz (and the surrounding towns) is booked for carnival - hostels, hotels, guesthouses, pensiones, even random stranger's couches (via CouchSurfing).
posted by slowcat at 8:42 AM on January 29, 2008

« Older Did poor women wear corsets?   |   Booting a USB flash drive without BIOS support Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.