Thursday, 9 August 2012

Monkey magic


Day 108 8.08.12 Gibraltar

After a slow morning we caught up with Mark around lunchtime for our guided tour of the upper rock.  Thanks to Mark’s local lingo we managed to get in everywhere for free!

The trek up the rock was steep and pretty tiring.  Thankfully the somewhat overcast weather made it a little easier!  The first stop was the pillar of Hercules and the impressive views beyond.  Sadly the overcast weather somewhat marred the views of Africa but there were lots to see nonetheless.

Onwards and upwards we trekked to St Michael’s cave where we spotted our first wild monkeys.  They’re so used to tourist day trippers we immediately found a group of around 5 monkeys, one sat atop a man’s head whilst another riffled through his pockets for nuts! 

The caves were amazing.  The water crumbling through the limestone has produced incredibly impressive stalactites and stalagmites.  Aside from the tours of the caves, you can also go to concerts in the astounding auditorium area.  I’ve no doubt it must be quite an amazing event.  The caves are nicely lit with coloured lights which gives the place a pretty spooky feel, although sadly it didn’t make for great photos!  It was a fantastic place to visit and we both really enjoyed it, not least because it was wonderfully cold inside!

After the cave we visited the apes den area where we found yet more chilled out Barbary macaques.  They really are just so used to tourists they don’t seem to bat an eyelid at their presence.

Next stop was the tunnels within the rock itself and a whole load more cannons!  There are actually more roads within the Gibraltar rock than outside it!  They certainly make for fun exploring and yet more great views over the rock and out to Spain.  Thanks again to Mark for his superb tour guide skills, the man really does know everything worth knowing about Gibraltar and put up well with my incessant monkey picture taking!

Thankfully the walk back down the rock was a lot easier on the legs and we rewarded ourselves with a couple of (read several) cold beers with Mark and later his friend Nathan.  After heading back to the van for food we went back out to meet up with Mark and his friends, including Gibraltarian rock band Breed 77 who are here for a holiday and a gig.  We had a great evening chatting to loads of people at an Irish bar and then onto cocktails at the casino.  We all parted ways at around 3am and (spoiler alert for tomorrow’s post) we’re not feeling too great today!

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