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31.12.2014 admin
With a couple of dives under my belt in Gibraltar, it was time to get my dives done on the mainland of Spain instead of doing it from an island. The only problem with this dive was that the waters didn’t cooperate so well making visibility difficult to get any great photos.
Yes, you can dive off the waters of the Rock of Gibraltar despite the constant cloudy weather like it is in England (that was a running joke that I heard all the time while I was there from Spaniards; the Brits got a kick out of it as well). For me, I was already dive-qualified and I happen to be in Costa del Sol for vacation so it was all about finding a scuba diving shop in the area which I found in Marbella, the town I was in. It took over an hour to get there as the traffic to get in and out can be horrendous since there was only one way in, one way out as I noticed from my earlier trip to Gibraltar. As soon as I put on the gear and my dive buddy was ready to go as well (always go diving with a buddy!
After diving around the wreck, there wasn’t much to see after swimming around for 20-30 minutes due to the murky water so we headed back to shore so we could switch out tanks and take a rest. So much to see and do but I highly doubt that 2 dives were going to cut it and I was right.
I just laughed at the situation and then in the distance I could hear police sirens which meant that the Gibraltarian police was coming. But in the end, nothing happened and our driver came to pick us up and finally out of that British overseas territory. This was one trip that I could not pass up which was go to Africa for the first time and arrive in Morocco.
I’ve been asked questions about going to Morocco and what it was like out there and I have to say I felt it was quite Europeanized but also not all the way there. The people were offering a 1-2 minute camel rides for 1 Euro which I thought to myself, nope, no thanks.
Overall, I didn’t think very much of it while other people did since it was the first time they ever saw poverty.
This Mosque in Tangier, Morocco might look neat but there are parts where it's not great. All in all, I thought of the entire thing as a good educational trip where I can say that I have gone to Africa even though most people associate the word, Africa, with jungles, savannahs, lions, hippos, tribal warfare, etc.
I know that US citizens are not allowed to smoke any Cuban cigars and for the most part are generally not well familiarized with them (I know I didn’t know anything about them). I wasn’t sure about brands so I asked the shopkeeper for his advice and he recommended to me to get his one particular premium brand which was above all the others which was the Romeo y Julieta brand which in English translates basically to Romeo and Juliette, named after the two main characters of the well-known Shakespearean love-tragedy. Another brand the shop keeper also suggested was Cohiba, the brand that Fidel Castro, Cuba’s well-known leader, is supposedly fond of. One thing I also came across about Romeo y Julieta was that the cigars came in different sizes from the cigarette-types to the cigar #8s, 9s, and 10s.
One thing I found out while staying in Costa del Sol was the sheer amount of trips tourist agencies were offering. I’ve always been fascinated how one island could play a pivotal role in history because of its geographical location and how so many people and nations have fought for this piece of rock.
These monkeys are pretty funny in their own way as it was theorized that the Moors brought them to the island to act as pets although no one really knows the truth.
Another great thing about this island is that during World War II, the Nazi Germans have tried numerous times in an effort to control the rock. One of the best parts about this tour was getting this great view of the northern part of the island which also has the craziest part in my opinion: there was the main road that connects itself to Spain and how people and vehicles cross this road all the time while it’s part of the airport! And lastly, the city square itself (like a main plaza) was a nice place for shopping and eating food. Set your kids imagination and adventurous spirits free as they learn about the natural environment and the important skills of survival.
Set among the beautiful redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, just 1 mile from downtown Boulder Creek, our 4-Day Nature & Wilderness Survival Camp is a great way to keep your kids busy this summer while making sure they learn important (and life-saving) skills. Learning these timeless traditions, such as native shelter building and fire-by-friction, helps to build self-esteem and awareness from knowing YOU CAN SURVIVE!
In short: this camp is about getting back to the earth, learning how our ancestors lived in harmony with our planet, and experiencing nature to its fullest. Matt is the Stone Age “shaman” of this duo and has more than two decades of experience living off the land. MORE ON DUAL SURVIVALDual Survival A new season brings a new partnership, forged between two survivalists from very different worlds. Five of us had lunch and then wondered through the maze, sometimes losing each other as we explored secret passages, obscured tunnels, arches, and all of the amazing formations of this beautiful place.  A quick 5 hour trip from beautiful Boulder, Utah, though it could be done in a bit less if you wanted to fit more things in, as I would do if I was pressed for time. Angela and I went with her sister & family down Hole in the Rock road to Spooky and Peek-a-Boo slot canyons. I was so tickled with the photos of my grand daughter, Samantha Rain, not quite one year old who is oblivious to the bizarre experience of a baby on a hike through Spooky Gulch, which my nurse daughter said shows that all babies have to feel is the presence of their parents to feel safe! For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.
Technically I would be able to call this my actual first European dive but whatever the case might be it all diving which was one of the big attractive reasons why I wanted to go to Costa del Sol. Apparently, I came at the wrong period of time as there was some swells in the waves making it difficult to go diving. I went to the same big dive shop where I arrived to do the Gibraltar dive trip and got geared up. The best way to go scuba diving in England’s overseas territory to sign for it up in a dive shop in Costa del Sol. It was just a matter of finding a dive shop with all the craziness of the splash of old and new buildings while avoiding people on the streets. But it was a fairly easy day as there weren’t a lot of people so getting to the dive spot was easy.


That’s one of the rules of scuba), we were off into the water where it was fairly warm (I was wearing a 5 mm wetsuit). Apparently, there has been a rash of robberies of vehicles that have happened in Gibraltar.
There were more dive spots around Gibraltar but most of the time they all require a boat to get to them. Still it was a good experience to go diving underwater especially when I’ve already seen above the water of Gibraltar.
There were daily trips from Spain to Morocco on these special organized transportation adventures so I figured that I should do at least one of them despite how super-touristy this was.
There were plenty of modernized buildings and well-paved roads with plenty of signs in French, English, and Spanish but at the same time, there were dirty, damaged roads, poor people walking around, trash and feral dogs everywhere, and homes that wouldn’t exactly inspire a rich person to stay around.
I would have to believe they couldn’t imagine how people lived like that but after going to South America, I sure can. The great part about this trip was going to an actual authentic Moroccan restaurant, one that didn’t rip us off or made us sick. But geographically, Morocco is in the continent of Africa so technically I can say that I have been there. However, just as I wrote before about Gibraltar on the last post, I had no idea that I could buy Cuban cigars there.
He told me to watch out for fakes because this was also one of the top brands of cigar tobacco that Castro liked so much and therefore doesn’t allow this brand to be grown outside of Cuba.
I did some more digging around for information and found out that the cigar number does not mean that it tastes better or has a different flavor or what. A lot of them were offered in various languages such as English, German, Russian, French, and even Japanese. Sitting on a mountainous island south of Spain, this strategic piece of land has been fought over for thousands of years because of its importance of covering the Strait of Gibraltar, the opening of the Mediterranean Sea. They were even noted in history when Nazi Germans tried to invade the island, Great Britain exclaimed that the British crown and its royal troops would never leave Gibraltar as long as the monkeys stayed on the island as well. It was determined that whoever controlled Gibraltar could control the outcome of the Mediterranean Sea war campaign, mainly in South Europe and North Africa. You have to remember that this is not a Spanish enclave but a British one meaning you’re going to see British table fare at the many restaurants located there.
Spain has its great share of gorgeous-looking women especially in Costa del Sol area but Gibraltar, probably because of the numerous tourists that go there, has a great number of good-looking women as well.
If you are interested in carpooling to Boulder Creek, Adventure Out is always happy to help connect parents to arrange this and reduce our carbon footprint.
There is something here for every child – come with an open mind and be ready to have fun!
Kids aged 9-11 will be in the kids program, while those 13 & up will be in the teens class (held concurrently on the same dates, but separated out upon arrival). Click one of the REGISTER links below and you will be taken to our online reservation system where you can view schedules and locations.
I remember being told that I might be able to get one dive in and that was it – all depending on the conditions. Once everything was set, I got on one of the boats where the divemaster told me where we’d be going, how long, what to do in trouble, what to see, safety briefing, etc.
It made perfect sense why as thieves would break in vehicles since the people were underwater. So after the last dive team came out and we all packed our gear away, we were set to leave and get back to mainland Spain. The driver got out of the vehicle to look at the van to see if there was any damage which happened to be few minor scrapes on the side of the vehicle, nothing major, but it was the other driver that got most of the attention who happened to be a Gibraltarian taxi driver. However, our driver had to go to the police station because he couldn’t find his car insurance amongst all of his paperwork so what did that mean? Obviously, it was a sign-up and pay and provide passport information and then on that day of departure, it was hop on a bus and get on the ferry to cross the Strait of Gibraltar… and then bam, it was Morocco.
Plus, we always had a flock of wares sellers following our group at all times trying to make a sale.
It would have been nice to stay longer in the country and check out the sand dunes and maybe even go to Rabat or Casablanca, two other well-known cities of Morocco, but oh well, life is tough.
Apparently, many Spaniards go to Gibraltar to regularly purchase their alcohol and tobacco products because of the tax-free rates. According to the shop keeper, cigar aficionados commonly state that this brand has a much fuller, better tasting tobacco both in the cigar itself as well as in its smoke that other brands cannot provide. It also happens to be expensive compared to the other cheaper Cuban brands causing high potential for selling fakes on the marketplace. Thankfully, due to high volumes of English-speakers in the area, I went along with the UKers for trip to Gibraltar.
Any well-placed artillery piece could shell rounds from Gibraltar all the way to Africa (Morocco) which could potentially close off any ship traffic in or out of the Mediterranean Sea or Atlantic Ocean.
It was a very easy process to see this British island as you can sign up in Spain with your passport and pay the trip fee and then get picked up by the tour bus en-route to Gibraltar.
And as time went on, the British military garrison and later the Gibraltar government took care of the monkeys and eventually became one of big tourist attraction draws along with shopping.
In order to shore up defenses and camouflage any troop presence, the British military constructed tunnels throughout the island in order to protect its soldiers from any artillery or aerial bombings.
They also don’t use the Euro but rather utilize the Gibraltarian pound similar to the British pound version. Children will gain confidence and comfort in being outdoors, while having a great time and staying active.
12-year-olds can go to either camp and parents may consult with the instructors in advance to decide which is best depending on class demographics.


Exact directions, maps, recommended packing lists, and other details will all be provided during the registration process.
He lives in a remote area of southern Utah where he primarily sleeps in primitive structures.Matt started down this path at age 15, when he first became a triathlete and rock climber. I mean you can’t beat great weather, great food, attractive looking women, relaxing atmosphere, and plenty of great activities to do fun stuff! The guy who I talked to was Jan, a Finnish guy who lived and breathed diving along with his diving buddy and wife, Marjo.
But as you know, looks can be deceiving as I found out that this place was one of the best shore diving spots to go to. We dived straight out in front of the beach, first reaching what appeared to be a small ship wreck where there were tons of fish hanging out which gave me an idea that I better get a picture of myself hanging out as well. By having a rotation system of putting in a group of divers in and out, someone could watch the vehicle as well as keep an eye for any underwater emergencies that could occur but probably unlikely.
The other driver was hooting and hollering that his vehicle got damaged and it looked like his side mirror was completely shattered.
Well, it meant that all of us divers had to walk down to the city square since we all couldn’t go to the police station with him since none of us were liable for anything. Morocco is quite an interesting country being that the French and Spanish have both invaded and made a colony out of the country resulting in a mix of Arab, Berber, and European cultures. Both are like mazes in which you go in, you might not get out without a guide leading the way. It was really interesting because there were so many grown-up men trying to sell something while as in South America, it was generally some kid trying to sell me something. Because of the historic and strategic importance of this emplacement, the British ended up with the island through various treaties and to this day still maintain possession of the island despite the constant haggling over the years by the Spanish government to get it back. But I must recommend that you do what the Brits and Gibraltarians would do which is order the fish and chips with a pint of beer. I’ve had theories that it must have been the water over there in that part of Europe! This is a great opportunity to pull your kids and teens away from the television, computer, and electronic devices, and get them excited about the wilderness. At age 23, Matt proved his amazing athletic endurance as a runner when he ran the Pacific Crest Trail – 1,700 miles crossing the length of the California crest – in 58 days.Matt has been teaching primitive skills for the past 20 years, including at the Boulder (Utah) Outdoor Survival School and guiding llama packing trips while continuing to compete as an endurance athlete.
What affects the underwater world are waves and currents that were being formed miles away, all the way from Africa so you can imagine how much force can start coming in when it finally gets to Spain’s coast where all the divers are at.
But of course, you have to bring your diving credentials to go scuba diving in the first place so if you don’t have it, you’ll have to earn it. The both of them moved from Finland to engage in diving on a full-time basis in order to extract the full potential of Spain’s great underwater world.
After both drivers talked about the situation, our driver all of a sudden walks back to our stating to “go take some pictures because this guy is being a prick!” That’s when I offered to take pictures but turned it onto video mode and started walking out to the scene. It took about 2-3 hours by bus and ferry even with the specialized tours streamlining the immigration process. Both can also be very dangerous, probably more so in Brazil even though Tangier also had an old reputation of whatever happens, happens. The tour guide will no doubt take you to the southern part of the island where on a clear, cloud-less day, you can easily see Africa only 20-30 miles away.
I got up close and personal in visualizing the past of how much energy and work was required to construct these things which I know was a very tiring process back in those days.
You can’t go wrong with that choice unless you want the mix of Moorish, Spanish, British cuisine which is also offered.
Jan explained to me how the whole process worked and where to go to in order to meet up to go diving in Gibraltar. So after the other team did their dive and came out, my dive buddy and I jumped back in the water again to see what else was underneath in the other direction.
I started filming with the camera but once the Gibraltarian guy saw me he got really angry and tried to take my camera out of my hands and started cussing at me. And then once I was there it was a relaxing time on the bus with a German, English, Spanish, Arabic speaking guide. Of course, the majority of tourists are not just interested in the views but are more receptive to seeing the other tourist attractions such as the monkeys of Gibraltar. He’s also skilled at hunting with the long bow and in the primitive art of brain-tanning hides to make clothing. Apparently, it wasn’t that exact dive shop where I met up with Jan but instead I had to go to a different location where the main dive shop was which happened to be in front of a big hotel that the dive shop associated itself with. This time was more interesting as we could see a bit more since the day got warmer and brighter which could also meant that the fish get warmed up to move around.
Speaking some French or Spanish will help greatly as well especially if you talk to a shop keeper who is basically standing outside of his store or souk. Yes, there are wild monkeys on this island which number in the hundreds (probably around 300+). So on the morning of the dive, I drove and met up with the rest of the crew (about 8-9 other divers) who helped put the rest of the dive gear together into a big van and we were off to Gibraltar. I do have to admit that one of the reasons why I wanted to go as well and see these fur-balls. They’re pretty tame (but be careful as they can bite!) as they are obviously used to human interaction on a daily basis thanks to tourists.
Even I got up real close and personal as one of them tried to groom my hair in a certain way.




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