SUP was brilliant fun, we all managed to stand in our one hour session and the views from Sandy Bay were incredible, a great angle to see Gibraltar from and a glorious sunny day to top it off. Will be looking out for more spots to do paddle boarding in future, great work out for the core but still very relaxing.
After a few days in Gibraltar we headed inland to Ronda, famous for the gorge so we did the obligatory tourist bit and also had a wander about the town before meeting friends from home for dinner. The two places recommended by my sister were closed so we ate at Toro Tapas and it was fantastic. Local red wine and lots of plates of delicious tapas and we even got a complimentary sherry to finish off the meal.
From Ronda we headed along inland to Granada, was nice to mooch about the city and see the Alhanbra (from afar as it was booked up) but the following day we took a 4wd tour of the Sierra Nevada, wow! Bad timing for the weather meant we got to the top in freezing conditions and in thick fog but we still stopped at the one open place for tapas and a drink before heading back down the switchbacks. One of the detours down a craggy ridge line took us to one of the best alpine views I have ever seen, turquoise water, green and rocky peaks for miles, truly stunning and unexpected given the visibility a few minutes earlier. After stopping to buy honey from a street vendor on the descent (apparently avocado honey is the best so I got some to see what the fuss is about) we headed back to town. Our guide felt bad about the lack of view from the top so took us on a GTA dash about the cobbled streets showing us his highlights of a city he clearly loves, ending with a cracking view way above Granada, taking in mountains on all sides and a top view of the Alhambra, great way to end the tour.
The next day we drove to Monachil, somehow squeezing the van through the tight streets to do a walk along a massive gorge at Los Caharros. The walk was great fun with suspension bridges , overhangs you need to crawl under and sections with holds in the rock to scramble by. The last bridge was closed for maintenance so we returned the same way with a small diversion to a look out point for more amazing views. Following lunch in the van we drove back towards Ronda and stopped at the Laguna Fuente de Piedra, a massive lagoon which is home to hundreds of wild flamingos, was brilliant to see them so close up and free, it is pretty spectacular when they take flight over your head to a different part of the lagoon!
We are now back in Portugal, in Lagos and hope to do some cave exploring in kayaks before heading back up the country for more Natas and Port!
The van tap has been leaking recently so used the time in Gib (and not using ) to fix it and tidy up a few bits. The the cupboard door for the over sofa storage gave up so that was held up with duct tape until I took it down and fixed that too. The down side of me converting the van myself is I did it on a tight budget with only a cheap jigsaw and borrowed drill, the upside is I can fix most things quickly on the road. I think I will revamp the van interior soon as I now have way better tools and a fair bit more knowledge so reckon I can make something pretty good, watch this space!