Straights of Gibraltar

Yesterday, June 10, 2016, I awoke early to walk the streets of Chefchaoun with my camera.  It was cool and all of the stores were closed and the streets were empty.  Some of my pics are on the previous post.

(BTW, now that I am Europe, inet speeds are blazing.  As I have time I am reviewing previous posts, uploading additional pics and correcting errors in grammar. Speeds are 1,800 times faster than in Egypt and hundreds of times faster than Morocco).

Muhamed was asleep on the couch, with the TV still on as I departed.  I left the room key with him and wandered the streets of The Blue Pearl.  There were a few other people walking about town with the same idea – morning light photography.  I wish I had access to a computer to view the shots on my camera.  If I downloaded them to my ipad, it would use up the balance of my memory.

While walking around I bought a wool bedspread and a couch blanket woven in the blues and white of Chefchaoun.  Mohamed will give my purchases to Aziz and he will ship them home with the custom made leather camera bag/backpack I had made for my sister/cousin Donna’s husband.

We departed Chefchaoun and headed north towards the Med.
The drive was spectacular – through wide valleys dotted with fruit and olive trees – and sweeping open vistas.  The sun was shining, the windows were down, the wildflowers were blooming and the air was clear and clean.  It was beautiful and it was not because I was high.  Being high did not diminish the scenery.

We arrived in Ceuta and to my surprise, it was part of Spain.  I said goodbye to Mohamed, paid him and set off with my backpack and daysack to make the border crossing.  Had to lug my packs about 1/2 mile through ‘no man’s land’ and get my passport stamped for entry into the EU.  There were no VISA or entry fees.  Just a passport stamp.

Making a border crossing ‘on foot’ is a special border crossing.   Airport, train or car entries do not earn travel badges but ‘on foot’ entries do.
I reflected on my other on foot border crossings – Thailand to Myanmar, Myanmar to Thailand, Thailand to Lao (twice),  U.S. To Mexico, Nepal to Tibet.  Special moments in my travel life.

I was hot packing since I was unable to make any room reservations in advance.  Walked another half mile lugging my packs through the ferry terminals, wishing I had a rolling suitcase or duffle like everyone else.  But then, I do not travel like everyone else.

On to the ferry and I walked straight past the reclining chairs in the salon to the upper deck for the solitude, fresh air and sunshine.

Bought two beers and reflected on the five days after meeting Omar.  I feel as though I could write a movie script.

 

Past The Rock of Gibraltar to the port of Algeciras, one of the largest ports in the world.




Upon arrival, I went to the tourist info desk and received info on a room and taxi rates, then to the ATM for Euros.  Staying at a hotel that is part of the Marriot chain, nice.

Bought four beers and then slept for 12 hours.  Woke up, showered, shaved and the went downstairs and said, “Quiero uno mas noche, por favor”.  Then went back to bed.  Recharged the batteries today – mine and all my electronics.

At 5:30 went to dinner.

Was finally able to book a train to Granada tomorrow at 11:30 AM.  A 4.5 hour ride for about $35.00.

Adios, amigos.

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