So, getting back to the van, I felt a bit disgruntled. I mean, a day spent looking at Morrisons and being wowed by seeing Bonne Maman jam next to items from the Waitrose Essentials range would hardly be a goal for overseas exploration.
The next day dawned, grey, wet and windy, just like the previous one. There was no way I was going to do any more mooching. I was ready to sightsee and learn, whatever the weather. Mike acquiesced, he must have weighed up the pros and cons of my moaning about being stuck with a menial day comparing it to his desire not to get his hair wet. We walked round to the cable car and it was shut due to the high winds. Undaunted we proceeded through the adjacent botanical gardens while Mike outlined the best plan to get around, over and through the rock. We climbed the steep slope through the gardens and onto the narrow road beyond. There was an entry gate to the protected area and the nice man in the kiosk sold us two day passes for £10 each. This included entry on foot to the park (£1.00) and the caves, the tunnels and the Moorish fortress. He pointed to the Meditterranean steps and explained we could take them to the caves. 'Not the best day for it though - rather windy' he added.
My only concern was the location of a cafe as I hadn't had the chance of my daily caffeine fix. He assured us that there was a cafe near the entrance to the caves, so without further ado we set off. The first few steps were great but as soon as we rounded the first corner we felt the full force of the wind. I let Mike go on ahead and managed not to get blown off the side. That would have made a rough start to the year. I then managed to make it to the top. Two agile female squaddies jogged jauntily up the steps as I was heaving painful breaths. The final steps were taken by physically lifting each foot up onto each uneven step. Thank goodness that the steps had been restored with rope side rails to steady myself with.
What a brilliant day, and wonderful country. Would definitely go back.