Friday, 1 December 2017

Gibraltar – Days 40 to 44

Jackie messing about on the Rock of Gibraltar
Monday was like a usual end of Housesit day, cleaning, including the windows as the low winter sun has been catching them horribly, sweeping the pine needles yet again, and generally in the house before popping into the village for the €8 menu del dia at our regular coffee stop, can't argue at that for three course. This meant that with the addition of a quiche (cooked by Brian) we could lay out regular lunch stuff for easy tapas dinner for D&E's return, it's surprising how enjoyable bread and cheese, cold meat and pate with salad and pickles can be. We love it. Not sure how pleased they were to be back. It's jolly cold in an evening, though compared to the wetness they had been experiencing in Scotland, I think it was good to be home.

Having passed through border control at Gibraltar we had to wait for a plane to land before we could proceed on the main and only road between Spain and Gibraltar, which happens to go straight across the runway
Little Kuki cat appears for a fuss at our Gibraltar housesit
Tuesday unpacking was done by some, and shopping in preparation for going away by others, followed by just one of those early evenings in the kitchen preparing dinner. Don't know what the three of us were on, but by the time father got back from bridge he wished he'd been on it too, but come the following morning we wished we hadn't! E & I went to the hairdressers, I'd suddenly gone bushy, though we were a little late, it was actually raining, and halfway down the drive the need for the windscreen wiper was quite high, when one of them suddenly fell off! Leaving the boys to repair E's car we hopped into fathers, and sped off.

Evening walk along the harbour at Gibraltar
We weren't cooking, deciding a last trip to the cheap Chinese was called for, thoroughly enjoyable. B didn't mind driving as he was still feeling slightly fragile.... and we had to be up early.

The view of the rock from the harbour just before sunset
Kuki cat settling down next to Jackie
OK not really that early, we left about 09.15 for our 6 1/2 hour drive south to Gibraltar, where we were not to arrive before 17.00 for fear of disturbing the cleaner. We were a bit early, but fortunately so was she! This has to be one of the strangest Housesits we've done, we haven't met Sarah, we won't meet Sarah, and until yesterday I hadn't even spoken to her, except via email. After an easy journey, except for a short section before Granada when we were in a cloud meaning we could only see 100m with the temperature dropping to 3 degrees. With time to spare we stayed on the free road taking us round the edge of Malaga, Fuengirola and Marbella. All looking very built up, but noticeably greener than we are used to. Driving into Gibraltar was easy, we could have had a boot full of anything but no one looked. We followed Sarah's perfect instructions, found a car parking space right outside and let ourselves in using our code on the keypad! 

The Jewish cemetary on Gibraltar. Opened in 1726, the Jews petitioned the govenor to allow them to bury their dead and they wanted it to be as far away from the Spanish mainland as possible as the Spanish Inquisition was still raging
The Gibraltan Barbary Macaques
Kuki was where we expected her to be, in her divan drawer under the bed, I opened it a crack, said hello, closed her back in and told her the ball was in her court, she could come out when she was ready. I emailed Sarah to say pretty much the same thing, we were here, safely in, and waiting for her to say hello, when out she came. She's a little old cat, but seemed pleased to see us and made us feel very welcome. I managed to get a couple of pictures to attach to my email and sent it off which prompted the phone to ring. I had a lovely chat with Sarah when she pointed me at the very sweet card and chocolates she'd left. We went out for a quick walk, just to stretch our legs, and it was quick because as soon as the sun went, it was cold. Came home, had dinner and were joined by Kuki on the sofa. Again sent Sarah a picture and had an almost immediate reply that it was quick, it's often a few days before she feels that comfortable, so we were really happy.

Looking out from a viewpoint halfway up. The land above Jackies head is the Spanish mainland, the hill in the distance above the building on the left is Africa, just 8 miles across the strait
The Rock and Spain beyond
This morning was sunny, clear and cold, where cold is about 16 so we headed up the rock. We somehow managed to both miss the Mediterranean steps, the traditional way up, so headed off up the road not realising. The map was rubbish, as was the signage, but we eventually found our way to St. Michael's cave where we met our fist apes, but declined to pay £10 to go in the cave. We spent four hours in total, up and down paths, dead ends, apes, guns, walls, suspension bridge before finally coming down the Mediterranean steps, which as I'd read was probably the worst direction. My knees certainly think it was! With a stop in a little hole in the wall Indian for a late lunch, we arrived home for Kuki to come out, really pleased to see us for a quick snuggle on the sofa. Supermarket visit over the road for dinner, and we are now settled, just waiting a glass of wine to appear!
A Macaque, the Rock, ships in the harbour and Spain beyond
Not quite sure what this warning sign is showing, but we didn't see any

Walking down the Charles V wall, built in 16th century

The house we're staying in is just down there. Its in the centre of the photo behind the long blue roof of the zig-zag building

Jackie walking across the suspension bridge

At this spot in 1954, HMQ and HRH stood....

And this is what they looked at

 View from the summit
We finally found the Mediterranean Steps to take us back down. The 9.2" gun at O'Hara's battery on the summit is visible

Its fairly steep and uneven steps down here

A view of the other side of the rock, the Mediterranean side

Jackie walking towards Europa Point, the hills of Africa on the horizon

Kuki cat seems to have got really used to us

Ipad videos of fish keeps Kuki amused

Thats when she's not sleeping resting her head on Jackies leg

Her usual sleeping spot in the drawer onder the bed

1 comment:

  1. Great pics- brings back happy memories of visits to Gibraltar- the weather looks great! Enjoy x