Jimena de la Frontiera to Gibraltar – 49 km

I am posting my journals backdated to the day I wrote them, so read from bottom up if you have just arrived. Keep checking back, I have two weeks of journals to upload.

Doing a short day yesterday has paid off and we are all feeling strong again. The rest of the week is still open, but we have decided to head for Gibraltar which is close enough that we will have enough time in the afternoon to explore the rock.

We sat in the bar this morning drinking coffee, planning our day and listening to Eva Cassidy. The first part of the ride went quickly. After so much time in the mountains, we are flying on the flat roads and even the small hills didn’t slow us down.

When we got near the coast, we mistakenly took a new road that wasn’t on the maps or the GPS. It led us down into an industrial hell that we were forced to weave through to avoid the highways. The traffic was horrid right into Gibraltar.IMG_0856

The Rock of Gibraltar is beautiful, but the city below is crazy with tourists and traffic, making it very stressful. We are staying in the dumpy Bristol Hotel which would give some of the worst in London a run for their money. The walls are fake wood panelling making it look like a 70s basement. All this, and it is one of the most expensive places we have stayed.

Touts below the cable car try to sell tours of the rock and with each person who passed them to take the cable car up, they would say, “fine the, make the rich men richer” and then grumble amongst themselves.

At the top of the rock, Barbary apes lounged around on the walls and on the rocks. One baby took a liking to Dave, playing with his shoes and trying to climb up on him. It must be his motherly disposition. IMG_0860IMG_0867

We spent the afternoon wandering back down the rock annoyed by the high cost of visiting all of the historic sites, refusing to pay £10 a pop to see tunnels, castles, or other attractions. The small details like the gun emplacements, the huge steel rings used to haul the cannons up the steeps, and of course, the views made the walk worthwhile.IMG_0871 IMG_0874IMG_0881Back in town, the cruise ships had set sail and the crowds were more manageable, so we wandered through the duty free stores and shops that seem to be the backbone of the local economy. Locals flowed between Spanish and English in the same sentence, speaking with an indefinable accent.

Download GPX file for the day. [maptype=G_MAP_TYPE]

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