We did it! We cycled from Amsterdam to Gibraltar. It has been a challenge and it has been glorious.
We left Gaucin this morning at about 0800 with the plan to meet Daniel from Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings (TGS) in Castellar Nuevo de la Frontera. We made excellent progress to begin with – a massive down hill section . This came to an abrupt halt as we took a left turn onto an unpaved road. Yes, Spain had one more treat for us . We not only had a gravel road but a short but punishing climb .
We made it to the top and it was pretty straight forward to get into Castellar Nuevo de la Frontera . We arrived exactly on time at 1030 and met Daniel. Much to our surprise and delight, Chris Nunez from the Gibraltar Cycling Club was also there. We had coffee together and chatted about Gibraltar. The very significant negative effect Brexit has had and what life is like in the territory.
Shortly we left the cafe and cycled on towards Gibraltar arriving at the border at 1300hrs.
We did a short live broadcast before getting back on the bikes and passing through the border. Daniel snd Chris made it clear we MUST get the passports stamped as we go through or we would have problems leaving on the 23rd.
Chris and Daniel also guided us through the potential minefield of flying the wrong flags.
Through every country we have cycled we fly the national flag of said country above the Union Flag. The point of this is threefold:
We are more visible on the road
It creates a talking point and hopefully sparks conversation.
The flag order is meant to show respect to our host nation.
We have only ever had an issue once before and that was early on in Spain. The Spanish flag isn’t always well received in Catalonia and we had someone shout at us as we entered Girona. You live and learn.
As we neared the Gibraltar border, we were advised to keep things low key and only fly the Union flag and the Gibraltar flag. It was explained that provocateurs sometimes come over the border from Spain and then fly the Spanish flag in Gibraltar. This seems petulant and unnecessary. These however are complex issues with significant history and we were grateful for the guidance.
As soon as we passed through the border GBC (Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation) were there filming us. They stuck with us as we visited the office of our Co-sponsor Chestertons and met the lovely staff there. With four of Chestertons staff accompanying us we set off for the office of our primary sponsor Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings (TGS).
At the TGS office there was a welcoming committee, lots of smiles, claps some champagne and some flowers. It was lovely.
We spoke to the guys from GBC – link to follow then had a very nice lunch and chat with the TGS team.
We went to our Airbnb place after this , ate at a fabulous Indian restaurant and drank a cocktail or two to toast the end of Ride to the Rock .
There will be more to follow but for now we are calling it a day. Physically and emotionally we are tired.
Goodnight beautiful people and thank you for all of your support. We cannot overstate our gratitude.