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Published: December 3rd 2010
We had a fairly leisurely start, setting off back to Gibraltar about 9am. We were ultimately aiming for the campsite where we would be meeting our overland truck for our African odyssey – the campsite being in Spain, about 20 minutes from Gibraltar. We decided to stop off first to visit Malaga though, on the way driving on more fantastically smooth highways that threaded their way through acres and acres of olive groves. It was pretty cool – and definitely felt like proper ‘Spain’ ;-) It took about 2 hours to reach Malaga, but to be honest we weren’t that impressed once we got there, I guess it was both quiet season and, like so many places in Spain, it comes alive at night – but there didn’t seem to be much of interest there during the short time we were there. We walked along the beach for a bit, but it was certainly no better than our good ol’ New Zealand beaches.
We set off again and went to Marbella, probably about 40 minutes further south. Marbella is quite lovely, they have a good palm tree and restaurant lined beach promenade – the weather was a bit mud but
could imagine it would be pretty awesome in the heat of summer. However, having said that, it no longer really felt like Spain when you took in the people, the accents around you and the restaurants. Suddenly you were in a sunny, beachy Britain!! Gone were the fabulous tapas and sangria restaurants....... replaced by pizzas, burgers and ‘bangers & mash’! So although it did feel like a lovely area, we prefer more Spanish areas of Spain if that makes sense!!!
On we went, following motorway signs towards Gibraltar. Finally flicked back to our printed google map directions in order to find ‘La Casita’ campsite near San Roque in Cadiz.....mmmmm..... here was the biggest slip up of google maps so far – we got to where it said really easily but there was clearly no campsite there. After asking a couple of local people and trying to use our pigeon-Spanish, we realised it was probably about 15km away! So off we headed, stopping a couple more times to check our direction and heading. Finally we arrived and found our home-to-be for the next few months – the big yellow Oasis truck! We found Andi and Grant, our ‘crew’ for the
next few months, and had a leisurely afternoon with them.... then, when it was time to go to Gibraltar to meet the rest of our travelling crew at the airport, the little Piccanto no longer wanted to work. We finally got it going (thought maybe it was because the fuel was quite low...) but when we stopped en-route to Gibraltar for petrol it took quite some time to start (again)... it had been fine the last 5 days but it was suddenly rubbish - so we were quite glad to get rid of it at the car depot.
We found out then that the flight from London to Gibraltar with the rest of our travellers was delayed by an hour and a half so we just hung out in the truck with Andi and Grant – the weather was really grim. Sad to see some rain, though at least it was the first we’d seen in 5 days since starting our holiday so we’d been pretty lucky so far! The plane finally arrived and we both stood with Andi and Grant, trying to guess which passenger’s coming through the tiny arrivals area were part of our group - by
their luggage - which was pretty funny, as a process of elimination we started by taking out those with suitcases, children and high heels :-)
Since we didn’t get back to the camp until quite late.... about 9pm.... we had a finger food dinner then the drinks began; which had most people up until about 3am or 4am – a real mix of people, some crazy drunken antics and it was a big night for the start of the trip!
The next day we headed off to a large Spanish supermarket to stock up on alcohol as it’s cheap here and also we have a few ‘dry’ countries coming up. Managed to fill a trolley with beer slabs, sangria bottles, vodka, snacks and also grabbed some real pillows to add to our travel pillows – awesome! On arriving back at the truck we found everyone else also has a full trolley so we all spent some fun time getting everything into our on-board lockers – and somehow it actually all fitted – amazing!
Then it was off to Gibraltar, which to be honest, we didn’t expect much from .... but it was a really lovely day! One
of the coolest things about entering Gibraltar from Spain is the fact that you have to walk (or drive) across the runway of the international airport – they literally have traffic lights and stop signs when a plane lands or takes off! Very eerie walking across tarmac just to get into town! It was beautiful and sunny so we wandered around the town, which was quite quirky as it was clearly reminiscent of London and thus radically different to the rest of Spain. After some idle exploring we then took a cable car up to the top of the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’. There was a fantastic view from the top, and the weather was perfect – so clear! Really quite stunning up there! We took a few (ah hem... bit of an understatement) compulsory pics of the Barbary Apes hanging about on the mountain. It’s quite amazing how ‘the rock’ is covered in these tail-less monkeys that live nowhere else in Europe. After that we walked down the rock which, after stopping for more Barbary Ape photos, took about 1.5 hours. Met up with a few other people from our truck and then walked through town with Tim, stopping off
for some Tapas and Sangria to finish off our trip to Spain and Gibraltar – perfect.
We headed back to camp at about 5.30pm where the general consensus was that everyone had had a great day in Gibraltar and were equally surprised by it We all had a good dinner of Nachos and looked forward to starting camp fires and setting foot back on the African continent tomorrow (Yay!!) ;-)
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