I stayed a few miles north of Gibraltar last night to explore Gibraltar this morning. I arrived at the border crossing at about 0830. It was busy and frantic with lots of bikes squeezing between gaps between cars and buses. All of a sudden, I noticed the motorcycle in front wave a passport at the policeman stationed at the border control, and they were waved through. I wasn't prepared (didn't show anything crossing from France to Spain), so I crept forward. The policeman who was wearing a pollution mask stopped me and asked to see my passport. I fumbled my zips and started to get flustered as I knew the traffic that was steadily moving across the border had now stopped, because of me. He waved me through onto the airport runway. The airport's stretches across the width of the country and has to be crossed to enter the country. It was strange to see people and vehicles crossing the middle of the runway!

My motivation for visiting Gibraltar was to see where my Mum was born and lived. My grandad was in the army, so they were stationed there. Mum and her twin were born in a military hospital, so not possible to see my mum's birthplace even if it remains. However, I did see the building in the south where Mum lived. I was 99.9% certain I found the correct building!

A building on Europa Road in Gibraltar.
Stephen Matthews in front of a building on Europa Road in Gibraltar.

Returning north, I saw signs for the Upper Rock and the GPS showed tight hairpins. I turned the bike around and started heading up the Rock of Gibraltar. Fantastic view of Gibraltar, the harbour, and Algeciras in Spain.

View of Gibraltar Strait.
A view of Algeciras from Gibraltar.

Further up the Rock, I stumbled upon the only wild monkey population on the European continent. These macaques were very tame. The first ones I spotted were playing/fighting on dirt on the slope of the Rock. Reminded me of my brother and I when we were younger!

Barbary Macaque monkeys on Gibraltar rock.
Two Barbary Macaque monkeys on Gibraltar rock.
Three Barbary Macaque monkeys on Gibraltar rock.
Four Barbary Macaque monkeys on Gibraltar rock.
Three Barbary Macaque monkeys on Gibraltar rock.
Five Barbary Macaque monkeys on Gibraltar rock.

I continued up the Rock. A traffic jam appeared, so I parked up and progressed on foot. The macaques were now much bigger. Walking next to a fence, I suddenly noticed a macaque grooming itself on the other side about 1 metre from me. Whilst trying not to look startled by how close the macaque was, I was about to snap a photo when a security guard approached me to explain that I was parked in the taxi area. He was very polite and laid back. I apologised and got going.

I rode around a bit more. There's a mix of posh looking business buildings blended with more traditional Spanish style buildings. A heavy police presence too. I found the cheapest fuel so far at £1.03. Luckily, my tank was close to empty!

For lunch, I had Zurrapa de Carne on some Andalucian bread with cucumber and pimientos de Padron peppers. This is lean fried pork with spices, such as paprika. Really, really tasty!

Zurrap de carne spread on bread with cucumber.

Tomorrow, I'll have new tyres fitted, and then day after, I'll then enter Morocco!

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