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Chilling out.
09/01/2011, Ronda

I took lots of photos of Don Bosco's garden with even Alex saying he wouuld like a garden one day.

Birthday treat
09/01/2011, Ronda

Alex treated me to a trip up in the mountains to visit Ronda a town that clings to the cliff edge with spectacular panoramic views and a famous bridge spanning the gorge. We caught the bus to Algeciras, then took the train up to Ronda, the journey was about 1 ¾ hours through deep gorges, Sue had told us to sit on the right hand side of the carriage for the best views of the surrounding countryside.

We had tapas and the best churros with chocolate I have had so far in Spain. There were lots of touristy things to do, there is a Bull-fighting museum and lots of historical buildings you can visit but we opted for wandering through the streets and parks soaking up the atmosphere and beautiful views, including the famous bridge in the photograph. We did visit Don Bosco's garden 1.50e each, a pretty, peaceful haven over looking the valley with several spots where we sat to rest in the shade away from the blistering heat - worth every cent!

We arrived back at Algeciras station at 21:30 with the train running 2 minutes late and thus missed the bus back to La Linea due to leave at the same time. We sprinted across the road in time to see it draw out of the station, thankfully we still had the 22:30 bus to take us back to the boat. Not wanting to sit in a dismal bus terminal we set off to find something to eat and found a bar round the corner where we shared Secreto de Cerdo which was delicious and some cool wine. The waitress was great and promised to make sure we had time to eat the food before the bus departed.

The Rock
08/28/2011, Gibraltar

Apes grooming at the visitors centre.

More Tourism in Gibraltar
08/28/2011, La Linea

My son Alex is here for almost a week. Yesterday we went up the Rock by cable car, bright blue skies and not a cloud in sight so we were baking. We saw more of the apes than on my earlier visit with Jack last year. For me the view is the thing and it was clear right across to Africa, we spotted dolphins in the bay as well.

There were lots of other tourists snapping the apes grooming each other, they have some disgusting habits which I chose not to photograph myself but this was very popular with many. Here is one of the younsters in the fountain at the visitors centre.

We planned to come down the Mediterranean steps but couldn't find them, Jeff said they were not easy to spot unless you had come up them first and he was right. Alex and I trudged down the winding road, dodging Blands tour buses, sipping what was left of our water and finally made it to the bottom with calf muscles aching. Alex remarked that we should have bought a return on the cable car, it was only £2.50 more - he was right. A pity we missed the steps as although they are steep people say it is well worth the effort and no doubt a lot quicker than by road.

I treated Alex to a cold beer and excellent pizza at Mama Mia before catching the bus back to Casemates. I gather that now buses between Casemates and anywhere apart from the frontier are free.

What an anti-climax!
08/25/2011, La Linea

Here we are back from a summer at home in the UK, catching up with friends and taming the garden etc, as our sailing plans had to be put on hold. This was mainly down to my health problems, I had a fall in Lagos and went over on my left ankle but fortunately it was just a sprain but it still took about 3 weeks until I was back to normal - very frustrating. Next I needed a minor operation under local anaesthetic in Lagos and was unable to sail until the wound had healed sufficiently and finally, as if that was not enough, I injured the index finger on my right hand and it got infected. It took over a month to heal properly and I learnt to do most things with my left hand so that I was well on the way to becoming ambidextrous. Jeff from La Linea visited us which was handy as he was able to help us sail her back to Gib as my injured finger meant I was little help handling ropes etc. The hospital in Gibraltar was great, they changed the dressing on my finger every 3 days and the prescription for anti-biotics was only £2.50!

On returning from Gibraltar airport we bumped into Tara and Mark, who we had met just before leaving to go home. They invited us for drinks and Tapas, made by Mark, which were delicious and saved us doing a late night shop for food. Sue and John, who we met in April in the boatyard at Lagos, were still in La Linea as well and we went with them to a great little Tapas bar the next night which was heaving with locals - always a good sign. The Tapas and wine were good and not expensive.

The boat was fine and we had had a lot of folk keeping an eye on her. The big attraction of La Linea is the view and most importantly the berth prices - 14e a day plus tax and electricity and water - a far cry from 29e in the Andalusia Junta marinas or Lagos at 46e.

Sunset in the Bay
07/25/2011, La Linea

A rather nice sunset taken from the marina.

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