Day 25 - Return to Gibraltar

We wake and pack Elsa ready to get back to Europe. The camp shop supplies us with plenty of fizzy drinks for the journey to Tangier. Just outside Meknes we stop to fill up six jerry cans full of diesel. Its half the price of Spanish or French diesel, and nearly a third the price of British diesel. Somehow Sam gets talking to the attendant and the conversation turns to football - and once he realises we are English he mentions 1966 and Bobby Charlton. I doubt if he knows who David Beckham is.

Elsa takes us up the coast again and into Tangier. We drive through the new town quarter and the signs lead us to the port with no problem. As we enter the port, we are waved at by several people. We're wary of accepting help from strangers but one of them waggles an official pass at us and offers to help us do the paperwork. Sam takes our passports and heads off to an office for twenty minutes, then comes back and says we're all set. But first we have to pay our helper, and we hand over pretty much all of our dirhams. Its a good wage for twenty minutes of his time.

Elsa is almost the last vehicle on a crowded boat. We steam out of Tangier and Sam is clearly upset to be leaving Africa.

Sam wishing he wasn't going

I try and put on a brave face as we head into the Mediterranean.

Baz heading home

I try and make Sam raise a smile as he stands at the stern and watches Africa disappear in the distance.

Sam wishing he wasn't going

As we get out someone spots dolphins behind us and we watch them surface occasionally.

Arriving at Algeciras there's a mad panic to get off. There's no trouble at customs, except Sam is upset that we have to drive through a shallow trench designed to wash off contamination from the underside of cars, and Sam wants to keep as much of the Sahara on Elsa as long as possible. Nobody checks us for contraband.

We head for Gibraltar and stock up with good british food in Safeway. Then we cook it in the car park.

mmm lovely

Sam notices something not right with the front left wheel. There's fluid on the hub, and the dustcap covering the centre is split. He's worried that he may have hit something and damaged the wheel. Its too late to do anything about it now, and Sam decides we have to wait for the garage to open to see if they can sort it out tomorrow. He doesn't want to risk driving without it getting checked, so we find a quiet corner of Gibraltar and park Elsa there.

We look for a pub for food, but its Saturday and everywhere is either not serving food or is busy. We pop into one pub, ask to see the menu, and then leg it when we decide we dont like the look of it. Eventually we find an indian restaurant and I have a chili pakora starter - something I've never seen in a restaurant back home!

We get back to Elsa and its gone midnight. The nearest public toilets are locked so we have to hang on till morning. We're not supposed to be camping there, so we make sure the road is clear and then quickly all pile in to the back. Its quite an acrobatic performance to get the three of us in.

- To the Worst Spanish Service Station