One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Sunday, July 11, 2010


10/07/2010 3:40 PM
An early sail away from Gibraltar now has us cruising the Straits of Gibraltar between Morocco and Spain. It is a sunny afternoon with white caps on the choppy sea caused by wind against current. Surprisingly the whole day has had a fog floating over the Mediterranean reducing visibility but keeping the temperature down. But the fog is not a surprise to locals. It was used in the 1780s to smuggle food into Gibraltar when the British were blockaded for three years by the French and Spanish forces during the American War of Independence.
Today we explored a 120m tunnel dug at that time using only crow bar, mallet, auger and gun powder to chisel through solid rock. It was constructed to allow the British to surprise the enemy by having a gun out on the end of the cliff that overlooked the isthmus between the Spanish mainland and the Rock. In WWII these tunnels were expanded to about 30 miles of tunnels and caverns within the rock to protect Gibraltar in case of attack by the Germans or Spanish who were still anxious to regain control of the area.
Again “age” amazes me. We rode a cable car up over a Moorish Castle built in 711AD. They held the rock until 1462. How easily the passage of 700 years rolls off the tongue. We saw a Neanderthal scull 60 000 years or so old in a beautiful little museum built over a Moorish Bath House. 6 columns in the hot house were all different indicating the moors were recycling Roman and Greek materials to build the rooms. There was an Egyptian mummy of a young man found by a Spanish fisherman on a ship that had run aground and been abandoned.
We survived the Barbary Apes. Signs everywhere warn you of the dangers of coming too close to these animals. So imagine my fright when one jumped off the rail in front of me and up onto the bus I was leaning against!!!
Gibraltar was yet another different experience! As I’ve said before, my planning last year is paying off...great to talk to a couple of you on the phone at lunch time. ... Sorry to hear Random Rulz is not too well... Love to all in Townsville... I keep mentioning your name Rhys as I visit churches across Europe...We even lit a candle for you in the Black Madonna’s chapel on Montserrat...looking forward to having the freedom to visit you when this great adventure is finished.

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