day 12, 15th August still just above Cadiz.
15.08.2012 - 15.08.2012 29 °C
Mum and Dad are up before us which I'm surprised at as they seemed tired. I come outside to find them very quiet. Apparently they were awoken early by a bang and the bed seemed to drop away on Mums side. Turns out the little button that pops out on the pole that keeps the bed up had sheared clean off. Mum was unamused by our jokes that it was her side not Dad's that broke.
Tool kit to the rescue again. Dan uses a button from the awning legs to fix the bed pole. All good.
Kids want to drive with Nanny and Grandad in the little Polo so we have to endure the trip with no whining or fighting. How will we cope?
Heading to Tarifa Today which takes as a s far as we can go south. So far in fact that we should be able to see Africa. Africa! Just across the sea like the Isle of wight. Then a quick skip round and into Gibraltar, somewhere I've always wanted to go. We can't go up the rock as we have Bodhi, although it would be an experience I'm not sure the apes or him are ready for.
Only fifteen minutes or so in we get a call from Mum to say our exhaust is hanging low. We all pull in and find the rubber ring has fallen off and a quick fix job is needed. Mum and Dad saw something small bounce across the road in front of them at a roundabout and think it was the rubber thingy. Mum does not think our jokes about her looking at it funny might have made it fall off at all funny?
A dirt covered Dan and ten or so zip ties later and we are away. We get to see a couple of German Sheps, other then the puppy thae are the only ones we have seen. They are guard dogs and none to friendly.
Tarifa has a a very long beach on the run up. Loads of campsites and hostels. A very busy place indeed. As we drive into the main town a que is forming down the hill back towards the beaches. It quickly becomes clear that we will not be able to park in the chaos that is the town and abandone the town in the hope to find a look out point on the way to Gibraltar.
As we turn out from Tarifa the que for the beaches has got even longer. As we follow the road round the que just goes on and on. We find a lookout and pull in. What a view. I can't get my head around the fact I'm looking at Africa. Just there is Morocco. Only a four hour boat ride away.
Bodhi loves the fresh breeze coming up as he puts his head over the wall. He even gets treated with us to an ice-cream. You can tell Mum is with us now! He yums it up.
Full up on ice cream and views we push on round to Gibraltar. That que, still there and it went on for a good three miles or more! Spanish don't seem to mind ques.
Wow again. The view of Gibraltar, Spain and Africa all at once is stunning. The rock just rises up out of nowhere and attaches to Spain. A rather complicated queing system and absolutely no passport checks and we are in!
To or surprise you can drive all the way round and Europa point has been refreshed. A free car park and play area for the kids. Once again we get amazing views of Africa and Spain. Dad can tell us all about how it was when he last visited when in the Navy. He can even point out in the water where a boat is anchored is roughly where the sub came up and they weren't allowed in for a few hours so they were allowed up on the casing for a Bar-B-Q. Hard life in the Navy.
On the drive round we even get to see some Gibralten apes. They are sat at the bus stop. We even get to drive through the rock in an underground tunnel; much to Mums amusment....not.
We stop off at Ocean Village to do some shopping. The main high street is all BHS, Dorothy Perkins, Peacocks etc. It's all separated by camera and tobacco/wine shops. Its like someone picked up Fareham and Lanzarote shook them together and this is what you get. I found it quite weird to see all the signs in English, using pounds and all the streets named things like Winston Churchill Avenue, even the police are wearing regular British uniforms right up to the hat and yet we are driving on the wrong side of the road for us and there is still a distinct Spanish flair and Spanish chit chat going on all around you.
Like good ol' blighty the kids are stung for a few pieces of memrobelia and in true British form we fill up on our duty free tobacco for my bro's and drink for us. As just as we hoped they sell Honey Rum. Like kids in a candy shop there is so much. A Huge bottle of my Navy Rum is only six pounds and eighty pence. Get in!
Once more unto the fray we work our way through and out of Gibraltar. Still no interest in our passports or if we have just filled the van to the gunnels with booze 'n' fags. A beautiful sunset follows us home to the trailer where we have a good ol' meal of baked beans with little sausages and cheese.
A night cap of Honey rum finished it all off. Words can not describe how good that stuff is.
I have a lovely chat with the Dutch lady camped next to us. They are struggling with the Spanish and say that the accent here is very strong. Apparently people who live in Madrid can find it hard to understand the Andulcian slant. Lucky for us bad Spanish is bad Spanish where ever we are in Spain and everyone has equally not understood us.They took a day trip to Morocco and found everyone there knew English and were very friendly. Wish we had time to pop over. Ha....still cant believe you can pop over to Africa from here.
What a great day. We all loved it and we all thought Gibraltar was nothing like we expected. We thought it would be older styled and a lot more crampt but it was gorgeous. No issues with the van. Great day.