A little bit of England – Gibraltar and Christmas


Happy New Year everybody!

The astute reader will maybe comment that this is our first blog post since Christmas, and you’d be correct! We’ve decided to change the way we do things and put most of our updates on Facebeook seeing as that’s where most of our friends and family find it easiest to see log on to – especially the technically challenged ones! Facebook’s also a lot simpler to do short and quick updates than blog posts.  Our facebook page is Here. We’ll still doing occasional blog updates, as it gives us a nice diary of our travels, but primarily the blog posts will be an amalgamation of our Facebook updates ?

We had a fabulous Christmas with all the family and friends, albeit a little nervous about the well-being of our van Elton parked up in the secure parking near Malaga airport. Huge relief to get back and find everything fine and dandy.

As soon as we got back into Spain, both of us came down with the lurgy, so for the first week of the new year, we sat on a campsite just outside of Malaga, looking after each other, and taking it in turns to go out for supplies.

After a week, and still feeling rough, we decided we needed a change of scenery so we drove down towards Marbella, and found ourselves a lovely little wild camp in some sand dunes, overlooking the sea, Gibraltar and Northern Africa. The only company we had was daily visits by three beautiful Hoopoes picking up the grubs from the sand just outside our door.

After a week moping about with coughs and colds, we decided enough was enough and we needed to be out into the sun. What better place to do it than Gibraltar, our little bit of England perched right on the Southern tip of Spain. It really is like little England, same currency, same shops, same English beer in the pubs, and Heinz Baked Beans in Waitrose!!

(Click on pictures to see larger view)

The suspension bridge was a challenge for Phil with his fear of heights but it’s amazing what people will do on the promise of a pint of Speckled Hen! (And a Magners for Carol)

All in all a fabulous couple of days in Gibraltar, and well worth the visit.

After moving around the glorious southern coast, with Cádiz, one of Europe’s oldest cities being a highlight, we headed up to the bizarre little town of El Rocio, which sits on the edge of the Donana National Park. Donana is considered one of Europe’s most important conservation area, and which is home at some stage to many of Europe’s migrating birds. Such a Beautiful area, we saw some amazing sights, with a dazzling array of birdlife.

El Rocio could have come straight out of an old western film (it was used in many). The whole town is built on sand, all the streets are sand, and the locals use horses to move around the town. Every house has a hitching rail to tie up the horses. We arrived during a religious festival, where “pilgrims” arrive from across Spain to strut their stuff around the town on their thoroughbred horses, and families parade on their beautiful wagons (with beer barrels strapped to the back). A town that’s deserted most of the year is suddenly swamped by 25,000 horses and masses of pilgrims and tourists coming to see the spectacle. Truly one of the most bizarre places we’ve ever visited.

Time moves on and so do we. Two days ago we left Spain and headed across to Portugal, another first for us. The weather’s got noticeably chillier as we moved northwards from Gibraltar, we’re hoping the Algarve is going to bring some new warmth.

Cant believe we only have four weeks of this winter trip before we get the ferry back to the UK.


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