Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday 14 February – Palmone, La Linea and Gibraltar

Where’s Colin? He’s in the car park of the football ground at La Linea, with quite a few other motorhomes of various nationalities (but mainly British registered), at N36º9’30”, W5º20’20”. There are no facilities (except for a rumoured sewer manhole cover that can be lifted), but then it only costs €3 for a day and a night.

It was, once again, to rain that we awoke this morning. Not the sort of weather that made walking around Gibraltar appealing, so the plan was formulated to overshoot Gibraltar and head to Palmone, where we could spend a chunk of time reading our books and drinking tea, before having a nice lunch at a friend’s cousin’s restaurant, Casa Mané.

The first part of the plan went well. The restaurant was located and with a nice sea view we parked up and made inroads into our books. The sun even came out every now and again and we snatched one such opportunity for a walk along the beach (two British people stopped by our pitch on the campsite this morning to chat about the weather and both informed us that it was going to be very windy today; they were right - we got thoroughly sandblasted during our shoreline stroll).

At quarter to two we decided it was a reasonable hour to go for lunch, which coincided with three other cars simultaneously arriving, their occupants going to the restuarant and then immediately returning to their cars. This didn’t look good, and it wasn’t. We were met at the door with the news that the place was booked out. What we’d forgotten at some point between waking up and formulating our plan was that it wasn’t just a Sunday (a day when we assume restaurants are busier than they are during the week), but it’s also Valentine’s Day.

Momentarily thrown, we soon had a new plan: back a little way we would go, to Gibraltar.

There’s Gibraltar, just over the water from Palmone. It’s a little further to drive around by road.

Until yesterday’s campsite, our previous 13 night’s accommodation costs had come in at a whopping total of €15 and, thinking that the €12 Aire at La Linea would be our home for the next couple of nights, it was looking like we were about to enter a comparatively expensive period. However, one of the British-bearers-of-gloomy-weather-forecasts this morning mentioned to us the parking at the football stadium and that rang a bell in my mind. I checked the Park4Night app, and as we don’t currently need any facilities, we thought we may as well go for the €3 option rather than the €12 one. In fact, we could have parked out on the road for free, but even though this place has no security, €3 seemed like a reasonable price to be in amongst plenty of other vans, at least some of which are likely to be occupied when we’re out.

Getting closer…  Note the palm tree and the wind-sock – it was a tad breezy!

It was late afternoon by the time we walked the half kilometre (into the wind; it was still blowing some) back to the border, where only passing glances were given to our UK passports. Once across the runway, the first things encountered are two petrol stations. Fifty-nine pence per litre for Diesel. Pity Colin’s not got a lot of capacity at the moment – I’d take the trouble to drive over the border for that price!

We didn’t progress an awful lot further, as we happened to pass a pub door which was immediately opposite one a TV screen and, having established that they were showing the England rugby game, in we went. Finding that they had the Liverpool game on too made Mick a very happy chap:

We did manage to fit in a stroll up the main street (where almost everything looks so very British) before the time of day caused us to turn back for the border. We’ll be back to explore the place further tomorrow.

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