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Route taken: Toledo, Madrid, Avila, Salamanca – 269 miles

Route taken: Algeciras, Gibraltar, Malaga, Cordoba, Ciudad Real, Orgaz, camped near Toledo – 353 miles

Dark at eight o’clock in the morning – we are not liking this at all. Wish we were back in Africa! We held out getting out of the tent until the sun came up. We got going not long after.

First stop Gibraltar. A salute to the bobby on patrol near the Customs post. Hat on, covering his face and his hands tucked into his bullet proof vest as is the normal position for UK policeman looking busy. We went in search of Toyota Stockholdings. Any time spent travelling in Africa and you will recognise this sticker on the back of most UN, Red Cross or MSF Landcruisers. The small office inside Gibraltar provides all new vehicles to Humanitarian agencies working in Africa. A weird sight, seeing Landcruiser ‘troopies’ parked in high-rise parking lots just waiting for the next ship to the danger zone.

We wanted a quick check of the vehicle. We had a warning light come on and thought it was best to check it. It proved to be nothing major, so we headed on. I gave Bun a whizz around the rock and the town.

Taking it as it came, we decided to head for La Mancha plateau. We would wild camp somewhere off the road. Well that was the plan. We made good ground. No time for sightseeing in Southern Spain – maybe another time. We were aiming for Toledo the next day. One of the former capitals of the Spanish empire, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its monuments and culture. Set on a mountain top surrounded on three side by the Tagus river. A crowd pleaser. It’s a very impressive sight, seeing the old town as we drove up to it from the south.

October 2010