Date: 14-15th September 2019
Travelled: 99 kms from Barbate to Gibraltar
Stayed: Municipal Aire
Budget: 98 days @ €74 per day
Although we spent most of yesterday and last night on the marina in Barbate, we didn’t do a post as we normally would. We spend the day washing and drying cloths as well as cleaning this and that. Didn’t seem much point doing a post all about nothing.
Some heavy rain and storms are causing havoc is central Spain, this extends down to within 100 kms of Barbate and Gibraltar. It was windy overnight and a little cooler than usual. We have our usual coffee and fruit in the morning before walking into Barbate. The beach is long and sandy here, but a bit wind blown today.
Returning we ready the Hymer and set the GPS for the English enclave of Gibralta. We have set aside two weeks for Morocco, but issues with insurance have given us all sorts of dramas. We hope to sort that today one way or another.
Map of Gibraltar, the icon on our parking spot
We drive firstly to Algeciras, our aim to purchase ferry tickets and check on the availability of insurance for Morocco. Blogger friends Jenny and Ewout from Adelaide recommended Carlos. An hour later we have our tickets and the information we need.
Then we re-fill our LPG system as there is no pump-in LPG in Morocco and fill with enough diesel to get us going on the African side. Bit scary when you say it but Pam has her heart set on riding a camel across the Western Sahara. Then we drive around the bay to Gibraltar.
We arrive at the aire (€12.50 pd), just two hundred metres from the Spanish/English border. Gibraltar is England’s last remaining colony. The Spanish want it back and the English want to get rid of it, but the residents through referendum have voted to remain part of England, enjoying it’s current tax haven status. You can read about the history of Gibraltar here.
Gibraltar is not Spain, the shops all close at 5.30, other than the pubs and bars it’s a ghost town. The square seems dirty and littered, compared to most places we have visited in Spain. We enjoy our drink but the bill of £7.80 bring us back to reality. It’s about the same as a pint and glass of wine in an English pub. Which does make you wonder as there is no tax on alcohol or fuel in Gibraltar.
We have a quiet evening in the aire with about 15 other motorhomes. It’s not a warm night but very humid. We wake to a heavy mist or cloud hanging over Gibraltar. It’s dark until 8am this time of the year, so it’s after dawn that we realise we cannot see the yachts some 50 metres away.
We argue the toss about calling Gibraltar done and making for the ferry and Morocco today, but decide to see what the weather does and stick with our plan for a Monday crossing. After a late breakfast and second coffee we do the border crossing walk across the runway again. We do however note a huge cruise ship has docked so it may be a busy day.
Our walk today was much more pleasant, passing through a tunnel inside the bastion we find the square we had a drink in last evening. That saved 15 minutes walking and set the mood for the day. From there it was easy to find Main Street and walk south exploring as we did. Gibraltar has a vibe about it today helped by the thousand or more American tourist off the Celebrity whatever wandering about buying souvenirs and talking about whatever.
The weather has cleared to a beautiful day. Consequently the queue for the cable car to top of the rock is over an hour long. So unfortunately we miss that opportunity, but find a pub for lunch instead. Lunch and a drink was a lot less expensive than the cable car, so we call it a win win situation.
We take our time wandering back to the Spanish side. I purchase a bottle of duty free Wild Turkey (the last bottle lasted more than two years) and Pam finds something stylish for Morocco.
Back in the Hymer we have a quiet evening a little nervous about tomorrow.
Michael and Pam