Flashback Friday – Gibraltar and monkeys done!

While we’re back at home in the UK, we’re reliving some of our favourite and memorable places and posts with you.

This week it is the turn of our first visit to Gibraltar in February 2012. We’d heard mixed reviews about the place (it seems to be a bit marmite, you either love it or hate it), but we had to go an see for ourselves.

We’re here – N36.15659 W5.34504

Weather – cloudy this morning but brightened up this afternoon.

We’re sat in Spain looking over the fence at Gibraltar, we didn’t fancy the hassle of taking Dave in, and when we saw the queue to get out as we left, we knew we’d done the right thing.

Last night we were reminded how noisy wild camping can be, but ear plugs soon saw me in the land of sleep. This morning our alarm didn’t go off til 9.30am (as we forgot to change the time on it) but we needed that extra hour. We got up to find there were only a couple of vans left in the car park, so after breakfast and showers we set off for Gibraltar – only 6 exits further along on the motorway.

We found a bit of wasteland with some other vans on it and set off on foot the 500m to the border. J and I showed our passports as we walked in, once again Charlie (the international dog of mystery) just wandered in unchecked. Once through customs everything stopped as the runway for the airport crosses the only road in, and an easyjet flight was heading home. Once he’d gone barriers opened, traffic lights went green and we all charged over the runway to little Britain.

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On main street we were greeted with home favourites M&S, Bon Marche, BHS, Dorothy Perkins to name a few, and sat beside them were cheap booze, cigs, perfume and electronics shop – the land of the tax free. No shopping though, we were here to see the monkeys.

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At the cable car station we met our first hurdle, no pets allowed. Charlie did get a stroke from the lady behind the counter as she explained it would not be safe for him.

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Undeterred, we set off to walk via the road, then eagle-eyed J spotted movement on a terrace – not one ape, but two staring down at us.

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We carried on walking up towards the entrance to the nature reserve to see the views and possibly more apes. It was £10 each to walk right up to the top, it was hot and the woman advised us that the monkeys might attack Charlie – so we admired the view from where we were, then headed back down along another road. More monkey action as we found two peering into the window of an office block. One started towards us, we left sharpish. These aren’t the nice barbery apes we saw over in Morocco, these were their evil British relatives.

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Mission one accomplished – go to Gibraltar and see the apes. Now mission two – fish and chips! Smiths Chippy sorted us out a treat, J even got curry sauce.

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While in the land of cheap electronics J haggled and got us a fiver knocked off the price of a folding bluetooth keyboard – should make typing the blog easier as we have to use the mobile – you can take the man out of Morocco….

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Final mission of the day – Morrisons for Ribena, only just like when I used to nip in there at home I got carried away and four carrier bagfuls later (including ribena) we head back to Dave.

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We’re all exhausted but it’s been a fun day. Quite a few people said its rubbish, expensive etc, but to us it’s Little Britain the theme park. Sure it’s slightly dearer than home, themeparks are, but it was a nice little taste of home after a long time away.

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Could be in England!

Ju x

2 Comments

  1. Hi to you all Ju & Jay and nit for getting Charlie. Firstly wow what a blog. Started at beginning and now at August 2015?.. Anyway to the point… my wife Nic, myself, another Jay and our two dogs, Alfie and Louie,are off sometime next year to do similar around Europe with no intention of permanently returning to the rat race and are finding the info contained in your blog invaluable. Financially we have opted for the much riskier option of selling up completely relying on prents spare rooms when we return for the annual visits. We are a bit older than yourselves at 51 and reckon we can manage 10 years on our money by which time pensions will have started kicking in one each at 60 with others still to come at 67. Anyway to the point of my contact,,,, you obviously drive around with quite a load of water either in fresh or grey form. Did/does this not affect the handling of Dave/Zagan as I seem to find manufacturers talking about a max of 20 litres and I guess Zaganholds closer to 100 litres.

    • Hi Guys
      Great to hear from you. Sounds like you are much braver than me, I liked keeping a toe on the property ladder in the UK in case our experiment (that’s what our lifestyle is) didn’t turn out quite as planned.
      Zagan’s water tanks are in the middle of him under the floor, Dave’s fresh tank was under a bench at one side and his grey underneath him at the back. Neither seemed to appear to affect his handling, but then let’s face it we aren’t talking about a performance sports vehicle here!
      I think the max 20l figure may come from the manufacturers weight calculations. So, any amount of water above 20l would have to come off your payload (what you can put in the van without being over its rated weight).
      I hope this helps you a bit, and please feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions. There are also some great motorhome forums on Facebook (which is where I learned about the 20l thing) which might be worth following – just search Motorhome or the brand you have – we’re in the Hymer Owners Group and Classic Hymers.
      Cheers Julie

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