It was not planned and that made it all the more exciting! Take someone not used to a manual transmission car and make them drive one. Add over 1400 feet straight up on one lane roads with sheer drop offs into the sea. For fun, make the driver stop on 60 plus % grades. For dare devil madness have the driver park forward on a steep decline with no railing in front of the parking space. Mix in stiff u-turns on steep inclines with big mirrors on the side of the mountain your only way of knowing if there is oncoming traffic on one lane roads. For fun, add monkeys hitching a ride by clinging to the side mirrors. And what do you have? My day driving on the Rock of Gibraltar.
We could not find the taxi stand for the guide tour and missed a turn and found the GPS had stopped giving directions because Gibraltar is governed by England, although on the southern tip of Spain, and the GPS was only for Spain. Before we knew it, we were totally lost and were ascending to the heavens on a one lane road. When I got us to the top, I told the policeman at the entrance to the top of the Rock that I couldn’t find the tour taxi and ended up there. He just shook his head, told me I owed the government 36Euro’s and made me park literally forward into a space where you could actually see the sea about 1,400 feet below from the front seat because the space was steeply declined towards the cliff. I pulled the emergency brake so hard it almost broke off. I got back at the policeman, however, because when I tried to back out later–I kissed Kathy goodby and made her and Carolyn Elsey who was with us for the day stand outside while I attempted reverse in that precarious parking position. It did not work! The car idled and lurched forward, no kidding or exaggeration here, with one tire about 2 inches from oblivion–remember, this is a rent car. I pulled the emergency brake again, put the car in neutral and went to find the policeman. I told him he would have to back out the car–I had paid my money and now I wanted something for it. He shook his head and walked away to find someone braver or dumber than he. Thankfully, he returned and the nice man ably backed up the car. We got in and I was so frazzled on the now steep incline that I popped the clutch and pealed out. This was only the beginning of the thrill ride, and I’ll spare you the details, but it was one wild day! Kathy sat speechless most of the way and when we got home, she quickly changed clothes and washed the ones she had been wearing. Carolyn asked to go by the hospital for a quick EKG.
It will be a day we will long remember.