Easter 2019 – Day 5 – On the top of the rock

In Out caching
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The route this day took us from Tarifa and further north, into the country. We also did a detour to visit Gibraltar.

Approximate time out caching/traveling: 11,5 hours
Total driving distance: 386 km / 239.8 mi (+ 15km walking)
Total caches found: 11
Total DNF: 0
Famous places visited: Rock of Gibraltar
Most memorable cache: GC7B7NB The Great Siege Tunnels
Biggest surprise: The weather
Weather: Clouds, rain
Temperature range: 14-21°C

Not the best weather

We woke up to gray weather, and colder temperatures. Not what we had wanted for the day. We checked out of the hotel, got the car and figured out that the Lidl we were supposed to shop at, hadn’t opened yet. So we continued to the first cache of the day, GC719HA Mirador del Estrecho.

The view was amazing here when we drove down to Tarifa, it wasn’t that great today… But on the positive side, the area was muggle free!

The next stop was the huge parking lot on the Spanish side of the Gibraltar border. We got there early enough to find parking.

Across the airfield

Walking across an active runway is not something we do very often, especially not on an international airport! So this was a new experience for us. Even though the weather was bad, we still got to enjoy this iconic view.

After crossing, we learnt that even though this is a tiny territory, it still take time to walk into the city center. But after a while, we finally arrived at our first cache in Gibraltar, GC5CG79 Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

The expensive way up

One of the things we wanted to do while here, was to go on the top of the rock. So we bought some very expensive tickets to take the cable car to the top. The ride took longer than expected, but the view was awesome! Even in this weather.

Monkey see, monkey eat

When we finally figured out how to get onto the trail, it didn’t take long before we spotted the first monkeys. They were sitting around some piles of fruit. And one of them climbed up to say hello to all the tourists (or rather look for more food).

The long way to the other side

We had a very specific goal on the rock, and that was the virtual cache GC7B7NB The Great Siege Tunnels. Walking there took forever, but we were almost alone, and the view was amazing! So it was so worth it! The rain was looming in the air, but we didn’t get more than a few drops.

The forecast didn’t look very good for the upcoming days, so we started thinking about making alternative plans. Our plan included driving on dirt/mud roads, which aren’t the smartest thing to do in a rental car in rainy weather. So we asked for some help, and AnetteSylvia started looking at alternatives for us. We got some ideas back, and a medium size trail outside Montpellier in France appeared to be our best option.

Inside the tunnel

We eventually made it to the cache, and got to enjoy the view there while finding the answers. We also got to watch (and hear) EasyJet taking of.

After doing the cache, we decided to head into the tunnel (since we already had paid for a ticket that included access). We’re glad we did, it was well worth the time!

Getting back down

After the visit in the tunnels, we continued back down to the city. We stopped by GC3T5JV Moops Road along the way, which was considerably harder to find than it should be, due to a car parked right next to it. But we managed to find it anyway 😀

Once we made it back down, we noticed that the streets were considerably more packed than when we arrived in Gibraltar. And when we made it back across the border, we noticed that the parking lot was now completely full.

We stayed long enough to find a couple caches on the Spanish side, and get something to eat, before we continued on the journey northbound.

The long way to the hotel

We still had a long way to drive, and very few stops planned. Only a couple caches and a stop to get some supplies were on the plan. We drove along the coast, but didn’t get to see very much of it. So it was nice to stop at the earthcache GC6KA6X Pliegues de roca / Rock Folds / Gesteinsfalten, where we actually got to see something.

The traffic was heavy at times, but mostly not that bad. So we eventually made it to the hotel.

Are you sure you have a reservation here?

When we finally got there, the first problem was to figure out where to check in. Apparently you check in at the restaurant. The second problem was that “receptionist” didn’t understand English. And the third problem was that he couldn’t find any reservation. He used his phone to tell us that.

But after talking to his boss, he found the reservation. The fourth problem was that he couldn’t find our (prepaid) payment. With some help from the Spanish part of hotels.com, which spoke Spanish with him and English with us, we eventually got what we needed – the room key and three remote controls! This is the first time we have received remote controls with the room key! And we stay at hotels for 40+ nights every year…

We actually needed one of the remotes, since the room was so cold that we had to turn on the heater!

Making new plans

We arrived relatively early, so we spent the rest of the evening cancelling the next hotels, ordering new and making new plans on cachetur.no. The new plan took us to the trail suggested by AnetteSylvia (thank you!), via Andorra – a new country for us! So all in all, we got something better out of this.

The new plan was a bit optimistic, and required a lot of driving to get up to France. So we didn’t want to book the hotel for the next day yet, we had to see how far we were able to drive first. With a potentially long day ahead of us, we just had to get some sleep…