12. Apr, 2017

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WEDNESDAY 12-4-17

We awoke to a lovely blue sky. Special treat today - a shower in the motorhome. The boiler is fired up and the water temperature set to 60˚C. The theory being that with only about ten litres of hot water available, to have it extra hot means it requires more dilution with cold water, and therefore two showers out if the same tank of hot water become more of a reality.

Scrubbed up and fed, I ditched the grey water then ran the engine for a little while as the meter was showing the leisure battery was down about one third and I wanted to top it up.

The heat was very noticeable when we opened the habitation door, so it looked as if it was going to be a pretty hot day.

The Chef made a pack-up and we took along a large carton of orange juice as well. The plan was to catch a bus to the Eastern side of The Rock and take a look at new territory, during which we would have our lunch.

Through the Border Control procedures again, then in to town where we quizzed a bus driver parked up at the bus station as to which bus we should catch. Well, two as it happened. A number 2 would take us to Europa Point at the southern tip of The Rock , and having returned back in to town, a number 8 would take us in an easterly direction up and along the Eastern coast of The Rock to Sandy Bay. Back home we'd probably let both services pass through the tunnel separating the two locations and make it a circular route, one clockwise, one anticlockwise, still they know best.

The queue for the number 2 bus was fairly busy, but fortunately we just managed to get on. Annoyingly the very helpful bus driver explained to us the advantages of, and thus sold us, two 'Hoppa' day tickets allowing us full access to the busses all day for the princely sum of £4.50. This meant that without realising it we had been sold the same ticket when we went to Morrisons AND paid again for the return trip, not realising we'd bought 'Hoppa' all day passes.

We set off passing familiar landmarks we'd walked along yesterday, never mind the exercise did us good. Further down the road two young females got on with two young girls. They both had jam-jar-bottom glasses on, so I assumed they were sisters belonging to one of the women. They were badly behaved, crouching in the shopping trolley rack, and swinging on the adult grab handles for those who have to stand, rather than going and sitting down. It was very dangerous because if the driver had applied the brakes firmly they would have gone flying. In true modern mother tradition she kept telling them not to do this and not to do that, and what would happen if they persisted. Well needless to say the kids carried on doing just as they pleased because the mother was all talk - and the kids knew it.

On arrival at Europa Point we went for a wander around. It was a nice area with a large play park for young children, historical gun emplacements and of all things - a mosque. I suppose it is located there because Muslim North Africa can be seen in the distance. The fitting thing is that whilst they kneel and bow to face Mecca, their bums are pointing towards Spain.

There was also a monument to General Wjadystaw Sikorski, Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army in exile during WW11. He died near here in a flying accident on 4th July 1943.

We sat and had lunch before wandering round for a bit longer. It was starting to get busy with a lot of tour buses. There was a cruise ship in port when we got up so I assume lots of the guests onboard are doing 'Gib in Half a Day'.

Back in to town we went, ready to pick up our second bus a number 8, round to Sandy Bay which looked quite inviting on the tourist map. There was a lot of redevelopment going on along that coastline, so the journey wasn't very pretty.

Eventually we arrived at Sandy Bay and made our way downhill to the beach. Considering how few beaches there are on The Rock, and the fact that it is the end of term for kids and the holiday season, we were surprised to see just how quiet it was. It was impossible to buy an ice cream of all things, though it did have lovely sand. It reminded me of small bays we've been to in Cornwall. Needless to say it didn't take us long to decide it was time to make our way back in to town. Whilst waiting for the bus to arrive at the stop outside a small retirement complex, we were entertained by a mobile wheel clamping service who was trying to figure out how to clamp four scooters with just two clamps. His problem was partly solved when one of the miscreants turned up and paid his £60 fine on the spot, freeing up another clamp.

When we got to the edge of town we jumped off early as we could see the Frontier Crossing down the road. This saved us the walk back from town. I can see how those who have to make the crossing every day could very easily get fed up with going through the process.

No shopping required en-route so we were soon back at the marina complex. This evening has been very peaceful with lots of new neighbours as travellers tend to just stay overnight before moving on. We were entertained for about half an hour by a chap sat on a seat just down the way playing his accordion, that, added to the sunset made me conclude that there are worse places to spend time for just €12 a night.