22nd April 2010 Tarifa to Ronda (via Gibraltar)

23 04 2010

We wanted to get cracking today and for the first time on our travels we set our alarm for a morning wake up. We left Tarifa at 8.45am and headed for Gibraltar, it was kind of ironic that on the day we were going back into English territory it was absolutely hammering down.

We just about managed to see the rock of Gibraltar as we approached and then we went through customs without any worries, the first time we have had to show passports at any border crossing. We had been told that the best place to park would be the Morrisons supermarket and so we headed into town and luckily found the superstore quite easily, good signposts. Shopping for English stuff was first on the list so into Morrisons we went and pocked up some lamb, Guinness, hair dye for Lorna and much to my joy, six bottles of Badger Golden Glory, my very favorite real ale!

We had three hours to use the car park and clamping was very much in evidence so we made a note of the time on the receipt, stuck it in the window and headed into the town centre. The weather seemed to be picking up initially but when we got onto Maim Street the heavens opened up again and torrential rain poured down. Jack seemed to be getting the usual rush of attention but slightly more so for some reason, especially from an older woman who was most keen to talk to us about the dogs in Gibraltar, rescue centres and how the Spanish treat their canines. Turns out she was from Bloxwich in Walsall.

We managed to pick up the fourth book in the Twilight series from a book store that had sold out, the owner selling us her own unread copy and then had a wander around, dodging under canopies when the rain got heavier. I had wanted to go and see the apes in their natural habitat but the weather was so grim that the cable car was not running and we didn’t have enough parking time left to do a taxi tour so I decided reluctantly to give it a miss. We headed back to the car park, stopping only to buy tabacco and a bottle of brandy and got into the motorhome with about 20 minutes to spare. I filled up with diesel at a staggeringly low cost of 75p per litre, excellent.

Interesting place Gibraltar, one that deserves a little more time than we could spend there, maybe we will go back one day.

As soon as we got through customs and back into Spain the weather improved and so I pulled around the main road to get a photo of the Rock and our presence there, shame the weather was so poor when we were actually there, but at least we have a record shot.

Parked just outside of Gibraltar

We decided to head for a place called Ronda which was south east of Seville, a two hour drive away along a road marked for it’s views. We soon got into the mountains of the Serrania de Ronda and the roads just kept climbing until we were looking down on the clouds. The weather though had turned again and in places visibility was down to maybe 30 metres with the combination of cloud and the heavy rain, not ideal when you are negotiating mountain roads with sheer drops and hairpin bends.

In the clouds on the way to Ronda

It was a shame again that the weather was so bad as there would have been some amazing views from there. We were headed for a campsite called El Sur which was just on the outskirts of Ronda. When we arrived we checked in and were both amazed at the charge of over €30 for one nights stay, made up of two people, one dog, one motorhome, one pitch to park it on, 5A electricity and an internet connection, it seems that the Spanish like to charge for everything they possibly can. Nice site but ridiculously expensive!

We relaxed for the remainder of the day, had lamb shoulder for our dinner before watching Twilight on DVD and finally retiring to bed after a busy day.

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