Reunion with Teba and Luis & A Trip to Gibraltar

Posted by on Apr 28, 2012 in Blog, Spain | 5 comments

Twelve years have passed since I had last seen my friends Teba and Luis. Teba and I met while we were both Au Pairs in Kansas City where we had lots of wonderful times together. While in Kansas City she fell in love with Luis and later they got married and moved together to her hometown Marbella in Spain. I was so excited when I realized that we could plan our cycling route so that we could visit Teba and Luis. When we arrived in Teba’s town we got a bit lost while trying to find her apartment. Eric asked a friendly lady at a daycare center for directions and when he tried to get back out of the building he realized that the gate was locked and it took him a while (hey, it’s childproof) to figure out how to open it. We then found to the right street but were still lost because so many buildings had the same name. When we were about to get desperate I heard a car honking behind us and to my delight it was Teba. We hugged and were so excited to see each-other. Poor Teba…Eric and I had been stealth camping three days in a row and it’s been a while since we last showered. Their apartment was very nice and we called it from then on “Hotel de Teba y Luis”. We both took nice warm showers and afterwards drove over to Teba’s mom’s house for lunch.

There we met Teba’s mom, dad (who I accidentally called her uncle, ooops), her funny aunt and her super-cute two year old daughter Agatha. At the table there was already a large line-up of different Spanish dishes Teba’s mom had cooked and when we were offered to start eating we didn’t hesitate. There was Spanish Omelette, special tuna pizza, different salads, chorizo, Iberian ham, delicious cheese, a yummy dessert and tea. It was all home-cooked and absolutely scrumptious! When we were leaving Teba’s aunt gave Eric a big hug and asked him if he had an uncle who was single. He needed to be well-off she emphasized.

On the drive home we noticed that Teba has a lot of animals living in her neighborhood. Not just dogs and cats, but also a herd of bulls was crossing the street when we drove up to her apartment.

Luis had come home from work and after we reconnected he was so kind to take us to the store so that we could buy a couple of needed bike parts and some pajama pants for Eric. He had been jealous of me having yoga pants to sleep in ever since our first day camping and now he was happy to have his own sleeping pants. Luis suggested that we go out party but Eric’s eyes were starting to get heavy so we went to bed early.

It felt really nice sleeping in the next day and we were happy to not be cycling for a couple days to give our sore legs some rest. That afternoon we took a long stroll through Marbella with Teba, Luis, Agatha and their friends. Marbella is a popular tourist and retirement destination on the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain. It has a long stretch of beach and a promenade with lots of shops and restaurants where we enjoyed some ice cream (I had Malaga flavor) and a couple of cocktails while the little ones played in the sand.

After we also got a tour of the older parts of the town we went back home where Teba spoiled us with an authentic Venezuelan dish and homemade Sangria. She made Arepas which are corncakes that can be filled to your liking with cheese, meats and salads. I almost ate more Arepas than Luis who said that he could eat a ton but then I held back since I didn’t want him to look bad. 😉

We had decided to go to Gibraltar the next day. Agatha was going to miss out on her usual Sunday horseback riding lessons, so while having breakfast we talked to her about the monkeys we were going to see. Gibraltar is home to Barbary Macaques, tailless monkeys who roam around freely on the ”Rock”. Now Agatha was really excited to go to the “Casa de Monos” (home of the monkeys) and couldn’t wait for us to finish breakfast and get going.

After a drive of about an hour we arrived in Gibraltar and had to show our passports. Right as we entered we felt like we were in Great Britain. British phone booths, police men, products, food, everyone speaking English. And all that in an area of less than 3 square miles on the southern tip of Spain. We then had to wait at a traffic light because there was cross traffic. No, not cars, but an airplane was crossing in front of us! The airport of Gibraltar runs straight through the middle of the city.

When we turned around the first bend on a tiny, narrow road to the mountain we already got to see our first monkey. He was sitting on bin full of trash and was enjoying a feast of leftover food. I had heard that there was a large fine for feeding them but somehow I have a feeling that these monkeys don’t have problems getting to food. We saw many more as we drove up further. They are quite mischievous little rascals that just grab whatever they can get their hands on. They hop on cars, catch rides on the rooftops and poke their heads inside. One of them even jumped on Eric and me and another one shook hands with Luis. Needless to say it was hilarious. Agatha and Teba even managed to get some “caca de mono” (monkey poo) on their pants and shoes which wasn’t quite as much fun to clean up.

We then spent some time exploring the extensive history and tunnel system inside the “Rock”. There are over 30 miles of tunnels that have been dug over time for various political and strategic reasons. We were able to walk inside a part of the Great Siege Tunnels that were used when Spain tried to unsuccessfully take over Gibraltar in the 18th century. Many of the tunnels are closed to the public and are still being used today.

A trip to Great Britain (even if it’s just a territory) is not complete without some fish and chips. We enjoyed a great early dinner on the little square in town. After that Eric even scored some English Wine Gums (his absolute favorite candy) at Morrison’s, the local grocery store. When we got back home we spent the evening with lots of travel planning and received great tips from Luis and Teba about our upcoming route.

We had a wonderful time and were sad to leave our friends the next day. Teba and Luis have been nothing but kind and more hospitable than we could have imagined. We intend to return the favor to them some day and hope it won’t take another twelve years until we meet again.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Anja and Eric,

    Your blog is so much fun, and I love reading it and keeping up with what you guys are doing. The photos are beautiful and the stories are great!
    How fun that you got to catch up with Teba and Luis! I love that!

    I see on your map route that you’ll be going through Queensland next year. My husband and I are moving to Brisbane, QLD in a couple of months. If you happen to go through Brisbane we’d love to see you and catch up. 🙂

    Take care and keep having fun!

    Lina 🙂

    • Hi Lina,
      We haven’t completely planned out this part of the trip yet, but if we make it to Brisbane we will definitely stop by. I would love to meet your family and catch up! I will keep you updated. Thanks for your nice comments about the blog!! 🙂

  2. Hi Guys – I just wanted you to know that I’m following you! It’s been so great reading all of the adventures you’ve had in just the first leg of your journey! Keep having fun and stay safe.

    I miss you Anja!!

    Susan 🙂

    • Miss you too, Susan and Herman! So nice to hear from you! 🙂

  3. Favorite pictures yet! We love us some monkeys!