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Climbing The Rock of Gibraltar | Watch out for the monkeys!

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The Rock of Gibraltar is an awesome sight. it commands a view to Africa to the south. On a cruise that stopped at that port, I decided to get to the top - not by taking the ship’s excursion, nor by local taxi. Nope, I decided to jog it from the harbor to the top – and back.

If you plan to do it (yes, it’s recommended and safe), don’t count on a direct shot to the top. Even with local maps it gets confusing. The flats next to the harbor are easy, but once you head west and into the town, it gets confusing. Neatly trimmed yards and tight streets that wind left, right and back again can lead to frustration. After a bit of trial and error and asking the locals, I got on a street that seemed to be heading to the top. There are no “This way to the top” signs.

Once at the top, at 1400 feet, the biggest challenge is keeping the monkeys off you back – literally. Officially called Barbary macaques, they are harmless, but will go through your pockets looking for a handout. The lookout area is full of camera toting tourists. There has been a lot of history related to the Rock of Gibraltar. The UK owns it but there have been moments with surrounding Spain.

The run to the top takes about an hour. After a rest and 30 minutes of gawking, it’s time to head back. The constant downhill will punish your knees so take it easy. It’s best to have a spot of water with you as there are no fountains on top.

This is a fun outing and no special gear is required. When you get lost, just ask the friendlynatives.Don't miss your ship!

Carpe Diem!!

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