Monthly Archives: January 2009

Time travel to Gibraltar and beyond

Beware the long stay, campers!
It was a real wrench to move on from Cabopino!

At home in CabopinoAt home in Cabopino

All the reports indicated that the weather was better there than anywhere else North of Africa!
The longer you stay on any given site, the more people you meet and so you start to make friends and don’t want to leave them behind. It was probably just as well that we made a commitment to meet Ro & Geoff at Faro or we would probably have stayed at Cabopino until the heat of Summer drove us away…

Actually, the processional caterpillas that drop out of the pine trees before travelling across the ground to eventually dig under the sand and pupate had become something of a problem. Their hairs are very toxic both to humans and to dogs, for whom they can be fatal. They tag on to each other to process in long lines. It seems that a biologist conducted an experiment by which he got them to follow around the rim of a bowl in a continuous circle. It seems that they continued for about a week before dying of exhaustion and starvation. It appears that their instinct to follow the leader is stronger than their wish to eat and survive!

Gibraltar, Blighty of the 1950’s

We called in at The Rock to do some shopping in the Morrison’s supermarket. Interesting what we found we had missed without knowing it.
Biscuits that aren’t chocolate
Real Cadbury’s milk chocolate
Tomato Ketchup
Curry Paste
Dolmio sauces
and a decent pillow to replace the one Patrick left in La Manga (Liz’s, of course)
Cigarettes at £11.50 for 200
Then we called at the Petrol station. Unleaded was 63.5p or 72.1 euro-cents. We filled our tank and were about to pay in euros when the exchange rate struck us. I enquired wether that was really the exchange rate, 88 to the £. “Yes,” they said, “odd isn’t it?”, so we paid in stirling… My first thought is that this is a method of giving the indigenous population a better deal than those foreign day-trippers but, sadly, I suspect that it is because Morrisons have to change all those euros to get the stuff from England.
Very strange to see policemen wearing the pointed helmets and all the shop names in English. Even stranger to drive across the airport runway with no more than traffic lights to allow the aeroplanes to land.
We were stopped on the way in. The PC wanted to know what the buggy ran on and how fast it would go.
On the way out, it was a much more serious affair involving a long queue. They didn’t stop many but those they did stop got a very thorough search involving screwdrivers, even for scooters. Guess the Spanish don’t like the Gibraltar prices for fags and petrol…

Torre de la Pena

We promised that we would go to Tarifa that we visited by boat 24 years ago and here we are.
The site we were aiming for, Camping Tarifa, turned out to be closed so we went on to the next one, here about 4 miles West of Tarifa.
The site is split by the main road and we opted to be on the beach side. What a wonderful pitch! Liz is convinced that we will have to stay for the year just to keep it for ourselves.
We arrived fairly late in the evening and just sat and watched the lights on the waves and the lights from Tangier over the incredibly busy Straits.Night view towards Tangiers

Those are the lights of Tangiers in the background

Settling down for the night beside the wavesSettling down for the night

To-day we just sat and watched the sea till after breakfast (about 11:30).Our pitch as seen from the beach

Our pitch from the beach

We appear to be the only Brits on site. The majority are geriatric German hippies who are only here for the wind surfing. It is amazing to see men in their late 60s+ wearing pony tails and wet suits jumping around in the waves!

Tarifa
We took the buggy to Tarifa this afternoon. The outskirts are, like so many Spanish towns, a building site without benefit of architects. The main town benefits from the old town wall defences so isn’t really capable of development, thank heavens. The port has been changed with the addition of another quay wall (very good idea!) and a ferry terminal for the big catamaran ferries to Tangier and Cueta.Tarifa harbour

The Port at Tarifa

We have found our ideal resting place – again.On the harbour side and yet derelict!

This derelict is on the harbour’s edge looking South over the Straits of Gibralter

A difficult choice!

A difficult choice!

A quick diversion into the hinterland provided us with some wonderful views across the straits and of some pigs that resemble hippos, basking in the sun.

Pigs or Hippos? Who cares when the sun shines?

Pigs or Hippos? Who cares when the sun shines?

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