Friday, 27 December 2013
Day 51 - Malaga to Gibraltar
I Woke up at 6.30 to a really nice morning, decided after a bit of pondering that I would go for a swim so got ready by about 7.30. The others were just waking up so told them to go now if they wanted a swim. The swim was very hard due to massive fatigue and lack of practice which resulted in leaving at more like 8.45. We pedalled to the outskirts of city to look for food. McDonald's wasn't open (it was Sunday) so went to Lidl and had a tub of ice cream, bar of chocolate and rice I cooked earlier for breakfast. I then lost the others when leaving the city. It wasn't long before getting a call from Tom telling me where to go. I went to check this at a shopping centre's wifi on google maps. After planning my route to meet the others I spent ages looking for a nearby Decathlon store to buy more gas canisters (there were signposts but they weren't very clear). This caused a big delay and to top it off my phone died so sent others fb msg to tell them I would meet them at Gibraltar later. On the plus side I got Couchsurfing sorted for later. Eventually I left at probably 1.30. Thankfully the directions seemed straight forward, and I made fast progress on a major road to Marbella. I had quick lunch here on the beachfront - it was very nice with trendy cafe's/wine bars everywhere. There was a bit of confusion getting back on track - I took the wrong option to stay on the major road when I should have turned onto the coastal road. Anyway after a while I ended up at some toll gates. The woman there couldn't speak English but gestured for me to turn off. The turn off would have taken me in completely the wrong direction, so my only option was to sneak through on the other side of the road away from the officials and continue on toll road. Thankfully the road was pretty quiet and didn't get bibbed too much from the oncoming vehicles. Thankfully I got to a promising-looking turn off about 10k later and thought it would be easy to head towards the coast and join back onto the coastal road I should have taken. I was wrong. I Ended up in a really expensive posh community - it was like the Bel Air of the Costa Del Sol. I Asked someone for directions and they pointed out The Rock in the distance. A few hours of hard cycling later and looking for almost non existent signposts for Gibraltar I finally arrived at the top of the hill overlooking it. Amazing view. Probably another hour later I followed the seemingly scenic route signposts into Gibraltar and went through the passport gates. Bizarrely the road into town went across the middle of the airport runway. Everything was like it is in England (postboxes, police cars, shops etc) except everyone was driving on the right hand side of the road like in Spain. I Found the Main Street very easily and looked for the Post Office where I arranged to meet others earlier. I Randomly bumped into Chris a bit further down the main street, then met the others in the main square. We got drinks at a pub called Allswell's, met a guy called Martin who was cycling from Morocco to his home in Somerset, so were asking him lots of questions about what to expect in Morocco. There was a fish and chip shop in the square so the battered sausage and chips had to happen. This was amazingly good. There was a cheap hostel right by the square so we decided to sack off Couchsurfing. The owner was very nice, the rooms good and it was great value :). After sorting this out we were back into the square for a night out. We started off back in Allswell's for some drinks. They had a cheesy selection of music and there were lots youngsters and gay guys around. We stayed for a while, Michelle went back with key. We then headed to Ocean Village (a marina around the corner) after meeting a few college boys who showed us where the bars and clubs were. We walked along - one place looked well good. Unfortunately it was over 30's only. Tom's 'ah I'm 29' response to the bouncer was very funny. We ended up going back to another place which looked decent. It was busy, pretty good atmosphere and there was a rave saxophonist which was cool. We left at probably 2am a bit drunk and very tired. When we got back to the hostel the door was locked. Tom fell asleep on a table Chris fell asleep sitting on floor with a cat on his lap and I fell asleep lying on the floor directly outside the door. Shortly later Mark and Martin got back and let us in. Straight to bed I set my alarm for 8.