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Lucky timing in Rota
09/17/2011, Spain

We set off to Rota on our way back to Lagos and had to motor again. All went well until the engine cut out when we were 10m off the visitors pontoon so we glided in. Steve judged it perfectly and I just stepped off and secured a line to midships.

Steve checked us in at the office and they said they would send some help round to the berth to help us tie up incase we encountered trouble again. The same thing happened again but no one was there, we had put fenders on the bow as a precaution. I could not get off so we called out and a rigger working on the boat opposite helped so I could hop off and tie us up.

We are eating out tonight as we feel in need of a treat. An English speaking mechanic is visiting us Monday hopefully.

Goodbye Gibraltar
09/13/2011, Babate

We said goodbye to Gib etc and will miss Jeff who always makes me laugh - not always intentionally but never mind. We motored to Babate yesterday having to start slightly later than planned as we found the Marina office in La Linea had changed its opening hours and was only open for 3 hours Sunday - very helpful!

We are now in Babate where the marina is surrounded by grim, grey concrete walls and buildings giving it prison-like feel - not welcoming to look at but the showers are clean and there is a washing machine. The marina bar is a bit pricey and the newly opened bar on the road out has already closed, hardly surprising as when we went in last summer the service was dire and the wifi wasn't working.

The nearest supermarket, a Supersol, is 20 minutes away after an often smelly walk through the fish dock and the town is a further 10 minutes. It is no fun in the heat. There is a long sandy beach and some nice bars etc in the town and on the promenade. This year there was a lot of rubbish floating around the marina between the boats which will be a slight worry when we want to leave, not wanting to suck any into the injection pump inlet.

The postcard bridge
09/01/2011, Ronda

The Puente Nuevo (New bridge) was built in 1751 and took 42 years to construct. It spans the El Tajo canyon and looks spectacular. We were too hot and bothered to walk down from the town for the best views so I have downloaded a picture off the net - cheat! - better than my snaps.

What a view!
09/01/2011, Ronda

One of the many spectacular views to be seen in Ronda.

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.

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