Week 82 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 4th October 2009

We need somewhere to eat as most of Gibraltar is closed on a Sunday so we look on the map and decide to visit the coastline just north of Sotogrande. When we get there the road side sign proclaims that is a "gastronomic route" or something similar. There are, indeed, quite a few cafes and we park at one of them with the hardly original name of Dolce Vita and have a really good feed for less than 40e.

The beach is quite nice but is overshadowed by a concrete monstrosity that would not look out of place in Salford.

Monday 5th October 2009

In the morning Costa Magica looms into view. Very big.

I decide that it would be nice to be able to share files over our wireless network and accomplish this in about ten minutes flat using this guide. I then get cocky and decide it would be nice to be able to just print straight to the printer from any of our laptops wherever we are in the flat. Big mistake. It seems that to do this you need a wireless thingy called a Print Server.

So, we go down town and buy a Linksys Wireless G. It is the only one they have in the shop and when we get it home we find that there is no manual or CD Rom. Undeterred, I go on the web and download manuals and a wizard. I then spend hours going quietly crazy while charming people from the Philipines take over my computer and try to make it work. It doesn't.

Tuesday 5th October 2009

Grimly, we return to the shop and demand our money back. We get it. That's another place we can't go to in Gibraltar.

We then remember a shop just up the ramp from Marks and Spencer where a nice man sells us another Print Server which is also a Wireless G but by Hewlett Packard. It is a HP 2101nw and is knee high to a grass-hopper (ie very small). But it works! At least it does after I install the software twice and we realise that each laptop on the network has to have the driver software installed. Do they tell you that? Of course not. That would be too easy. You are supposed to realise that by telepathy.

Wednesday 7th October 2009

I fly from Gibraltar to Manchester at mid-day. The plane taxis right to the end of the runway, almost into the sea before setting off.

We arrive safely and in the evening I set off for Norwich. All is going more or less OK when I suddenly find myself off the main road on a roundabout full of roadworks that will not let me re-join the road. How did that happen? The diversion sign sends me back down the road and this time I am a lot more careful. To my amazement I am back on the roundabout. Yes, they have completely closed the road.

Eventually I get to the hotel via three Little Chefs (one forgot my order, one closed early, the final one delivered). And Tesco for some milk and chocolate.

Thursday 8th October 2009

My girlfriend meanwhile is on the beach in Gibraltar taking arty photos.

I spend the day in Norwich and in the evening drive to London. In the Spagheti House I ask loudly for another table because of a woman at the next table talking on a mobile phone. I get re-seated next to a youth talking even more loudly on a mobile phone. I hope their batteries run flat.

Friday 9th October 2009

In the afternoon I get the shuttle to Gatwick where I have to get a bus to the North Terminal (they have closed the link railway for some reason). Then I land in Gibraltar where my girlfriend catches the moment of touchdown. Nice to be back.

Saturday 10th October 2009

Off we go to Marbella. On the front is a sand artist whom we decide to support to the tune of 50 cents. Now I may not be able to find the door in a Little Chef but when it comes to chucking things I do have my moments - the coin lands in the tiny pot with a very satisfying clang. A pretty girl gives me a huge smile and her boyfriend quickly takes her from the scene. He knows when he is up against world class competition.

The sun is beating down and on the beach there are yet more pretty girls who seem to have mislaid their tops - let's hope they find them soon. But not too soon.

When we get back to Gibraltar we spot an immense yacht in the bay - note the HH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The next thing we notice is the heavy mist ...


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