GIBRALTAR & SPAIN
Our first land fall after Sardinia was Menorca, the less commercial island of the Balearics . Here we had the pleasure of meeting up with our cruising friends Ted and Judith who live on the island. A pleasant few days were spent in their company and we even got to sleep ashore for the first time in 4 months.
We decided to do another overnighter, by passing Mallorca and going straight onto Ibiza – The only thing going for this island was Branston pickle, sweet chilli sauce, baked beans and English biscuits. The island certainly caters for the younger set. It was all a bit seedy with fish and chips and English beer. It reminded me a bit of Blackpool in the UK (we must be getting old!!). Although we did meet up with an Australian boat that informed us that there were some good parts to the island, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to find out as we had to move on again.
We broke up the last 400 miles to Gibraltar with a couple of overnight stops firstly in Torreviejaa and then Cabo De Gata (Costa del Sol) before arriving early in the morning in the straits of Gibraltar. Fortunately it was day light as our AIS (Automatic Identification of Ships) was picking up over 100 tankers and cargo boats and it was certainly interesting weaving your way through them.
Gibraltar is very British – everyone speaks English and all the shops are full of British goods and it was good to be able to speak to people without the hassle of having to wave your arms around, speak loudly and still not understand a word they said (even met a lady at the delli who was from Wamberal.). With this in mind we were hoping to get a few jobs done on the boat, but the problem with Gib is that it’s difficult to get spare parts and even when you do most of the tradesmen either are on holiday or aren’t interested in doing the job. There were several shops that clearly stated on their door that they were open from 8 to 6 only to find them closed during those hours.
Besides doing the normal tourist things in exploring the rock, visiting the apes and caves we also hired a car and drove into Spain where we visited John and Marion (friends from the rally) in their house just north of Malaga. We spent a couple of days with them and they took us on a tour of the local area. We couldn’t get over the amount of development that is taking place all along the Spanish coast, although it has come to a grinding halt with the world credit squeeze.
We got back to Gib on the 3rd September where we met our friend Barry from U.K. who is going to sail with us to Lanzarote to get a feel of the boat in preparation for the big crossing of the pond.