Sunday, October 7, 2012

rock on

It was surprisingly easy to get from Chefchaouen across the Straits of Gibraltar to the port city of Algeciras - my intended destination.

It just involved a one hour grand-taxi, a 5 minute mini-taxi, another one hour grand- taxi, a 100 metre walk across the Morocco/Spain border (there is a little bit of Spain on the northen tip of Morocco), a 45 minute ferry ride and finally a 10 minute walk to my hotel. I left Chef. at 07.45 and arrived in my Algeciras hotel at 11.30. The biggest headache was the complete schmozzle at the Moroccan customs on leaving.

It was something of a relief to be on Spanish soil - ahhhh...order, neatness, prices!!

spanish patterns

door (to continue the theme!)

Algeciras is a small quiet town that has grown from its port and probably partly due to its gateway to Morocco.

It is also only a short bus ride to Gibraltar.

It was a small delight to discover the bus station was 50m from my hotel, that the bus to Gibraltar began there and ended at the border, and it was only just over a cuppla bucks either way. It is NEVER usually that straightforward!

So the next morning I set off bright and early for Gibraltar.

the rock looming

the rock

Get ready for another culture jolt!

Gibraltar is basically a quintessential English high street plonked down in Arabic flavoured southen Spain. English pubs and phoneboxes, Marks and Spencers, locals walking bulldogs and streets called Winston Churchill Avenue. Too weird really.

When crossing from Spain to UK territory it is necessary to walk over the Gibraltar International Airport runway!

runway model

So like a good tourist I climbed 'the Rock' as it is referred to.

I took the Mediterranean Steps route which was surprisingly steep and rigorous. It is only 426m high but I had obviously lost some condition during the last 6 weeks as I was panting somewhat by the time I made it to the top.


still higher

The clear blue skies of sunrise gave way to mist and haze which robbed me of any decent views. But there were Macaques aplenty.

Erroneously referred to as Barbary Apes, they are in fact monkeys. And cheeky monkeys at that! One leapt from a tree and swung gleefully from my daypack as I has a carton of fruit juice in a side pocket.

Back now in Algeciras I am planning things to do on my next stop: Granada.

No comments: