Gibraltar 4 Mediterranean Steps and more.

Steve & Carol
Thu 31 Mar 2022 10:38
We took the opportunity to get some boat maintenance jobs such as: engine oil change, pickling the watermaker etc and Steve painted the front cabin and I made new dinghy chaps - not a job I enjoyed the first time and I can say with certainty it's not something I ever want  to do again! 
The old ones were getting really shabby and ripped so with the dinghy on deck it was a good opportunity to get the job done! The old cover and the new one, not perfect by any means but job done 😁.
We did the Mediterranean steps walk which was hard work! We chose a windy cloudy day in preference to a sunny one and set off with Lucy, Simon and Darcy (their dog). The Steps start near the Jews Gate towards the south of the rock and go round to the east side where it gets steep in places! We hadn’t appreciated you go down a fair way before the walk carries on up 😬.      
There were some great views on the way up and once at the top and of course a big gun and some monkeys who didn’t like the look of Darcy much!
On the walk we spotted 2 pairs of Barbary partridges - sadly I didn’t get a good picture! 
With our Heritage card we also visited the Museum in the old bath house  - the best exhibit for me was an acurate model of Gibraltar from which was completed in 1865! nearby there is a screen showing an aerial view of the model which morphed into a present day aerial view - its amazing how much of the town is built on reclaimed land and only really apparent when you see the pictures morph! They are still reclaiming land and filling in areas to be built on!
Part of the model - stolen from the internet as you can’t take pictures in the museum!
As well as the museum we also visited the  library and the 100 ton gun! 
Then on Steves Birthday we had the dreaded RED RAIN! We ventured out with Tania, Iain, Lucy and Simon to go bowling then out for a meal ending up rather muddy and with all our clothes in need of a wash! 
The Sahara dust blew north and covered large parts of Europe -for us the sky turned red and so did the boat 😱! Most of it washed off fairly easily a few days later when we hoped it was all over, it was too windy though to get the poor genoa down - it came off the worst for its encounter with the rain - the  brown mess of material is sadly our genoa taken from Falkor  by Simon 😢! 
We celebrated my 60th birthday 😱 with Lucy, Simon, Tania, Iain - his sister and nephew at an Indian restaurant where we had a fabulous meal - it was just next to the marina, we had hoped to eat there before but it closed for 2 months while the owners went home to India and only reopened on my birthday - how did they know 😀😉.
We were determined to leave by the beginning of April and take the weather opportunity to head into the med and so on 31/03/2022 we said good bye to Tania and Iain and set off with Falkor, we weren’t the only ones jumping at the chance to leave - not long after we left Rockhopper of London followed - Jo and Carl who Steve had met briefly and who we would get to know better along the way!