Rising to the Med Steps 5 Challenge (in pictures)

Last Saturday morning, my alarm went off  at 7 so that I could get up the hill to the start of the Med Steps 5 Challenge. After a couple of days with rain showers I was relieved to see that the forecast of cloudy but dry skies was correct. 

It wasn’t long before the crowds of walkers and their supporters began to arrive. Just after 9am, the safety briefing began in readiness for the start of the event. 

And at approximately 9:30, we were off and underway on lap one! It wasn’t too bad as we were carried along with the momentum of the crowd, although by the summit, the crowd had thinned out a bit.

There were a lot of tourists on the Upper Rock and the apes had come out to greet them, and us!


48 minutes for the first lap, not too bad.

The wildflowers are at their peak in the nature reserve at the moment, these poppies were my favourite.

2 laps done…

And here’s the proof!

Onwards and upwards…

Three laps in two and a half hours…

Time for a breather and a great view south towards the lighthouse.

Starting to slow up a bit… Almost a whole hour for lap number 4.

On the final lap and I was starting to flag, I couldn’t even focus the picture! Thank you Soreen for giving me the energy to finish (you can take the girl out of Manchester…).

The floor in parts of the walk was carpeted in a confetti of olive blossom. I was looking down a lot at this point, just trying to get one foot in front of the other…

I did it! I even managed 15 minutes faster than last year (I have no idea how I managed that with less training, unless the extra weight brought me down quicker šŸ˜‰).

Look, five stamps, one for each lap of the challenge. Phew, I’m glad that’s over, anyone fancy joining me next year?

Time to collapse…

If you would like to hear some of the atmosphere of the day, why not give my latest podcast a listen here?

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 012: Doing the Med Steps 5 Challenge 2017

This time last week, dozens of intrepid walkers were preparing for the challenge of the year: the Med Steps 5 Challenge. Organised by the Gibraltar Prison Service and with all funds raised going to Cancer Relief Gibraltar, it’s an event which is growing year on year.

After a few wet days, the rain held off meaning everything went to plan. Individuals and teams of walkers and runners set off for up to five laps each of the Mediterranean Steps.

One walker even attempted to complete the challenge in high heels! In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast I meet some of the people behind the event and take you along with me for the walk. 

I even managed to complete all five laps!

***To hear the podcast click here***

This is the last in this first series of Postcard from Gibraltar Podcasts. I’m taking a little break to record some more material for future podcasts, thank you so much for joining me so far.

If you have missed any of my earlier podcasts, you can find them all through my blog postcardfromgibraltar.com as well as on iTunes and PodOmatic.

Theme Music : Happy Me by Twisterium

Convent Christmas Fair 2015

  
Today marks the pinnacle of the crafting year in Gibraltar, the Convent Christmas Fair. The fair is such a great event on the Gibraltar social calendar. The venue is magnificent for a start, the Convent is the home of the Governor of Gibraltar, the Queen’s representative here in Gib. It’s a beautiful place to visit, see this post for more about the Convent and it’s stunning garden. However, this beautiful building is just a backdrop to the wonderful things which are offered for sale there at the fair.

  

Stall holders are made up of local charities, artists and crafters, you can easily make a considerable dent in your Christmas present list in a visit here. From handmade and charity cards to hand painted baubles, fused glass, toiletries, crochet, dƩcoupage, needlework and jewelry, there are goods to suit all tastes and budgets.

  

I have held a stall at the fair in the past a couple of times and they were both great days. The camaraderie between the stall holders is great and it’s such an honour to be able to spend so many happy hours in such beautiful surroundings (can you tell I like it there?). It’s also a great place to see friends; Gibraltar is so small that you are bound to bump into loads of people you know!

   

My pal Louise hand-sews these cute sock monkeys. Aren’t they adorable? She also sells her makes in the Gibraltar cruise terminal and the Arts & Craft store in town. 

  

One stall I made a bee-line for was Kate Davies’ beautiful fused glass creations. They are a real favourite of mine – I have bought some of her things before at previous fairs.

   

One or two of her lovely things may have made their way into my shopping bag – I’ve not decided yet whether I’m prepared to part with them as presents for other people yet!
 

For more info on Kate’s work you can contact her by email on: kdavies62@gmail.com you can also find her on Instagram.

Another favourite regular stall of mine is shared by two talented ladies; Debbie & Sylvie. Debbie’s crocheted and sewn items have made ended up under the Christmas trees belonging to members of my family on previous Christmas mornings and her hand-painted glass, candles and baubles are a big hit, as are Sylvie’s beautiful cards. 

 

Debbie’s lovely crafty makes are also available for sale at the Gibraltar Arts & Crafts shop in Casemates Square. You can see some of Sylvie’s beautiful cards on her blog GIBMISS.

  

As I mentioned before, many local and international charities are represented at the fair as well. The ladies of the Cancer Relief Centre in Gibraltar had a great stall filled with crafts and edible gifts made by their volunteers.

   

Another local charity, Childline, had sweeties as prizes in their tombola. A lucky ticket made my boys very happy when I went to collect them from school!

  

And if you were in need of refreshment after a busy time shopping upstairs, where better to enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake than the Convent’s lovely courtyard with its orange laden trees. As I took this photo, I could hear Santa’s bell ringing out from his nearby grotto as he raised money for local charities too. 

As you can see, it was reasonably quiet when I was there, after the initial opening rush and before school pick up time. Later on the volunteers were serving wine and mince pies accompanied by carols sung by a local school choir. I think you’ll agree this Christmas fair is a really great one, just what you need to get you in the spirit!  

A walk around the historical corridors of the Convent reinforces not only how many talented people live within this community of 30,000 but also gives you such a warm glow to realise it really is a community in the true sense of the word. So many people have worked so hard to make today a success, and the hard work showed – well done everyone!
 
Oh and there was something else happening in Gibraltar today – a General Election. The Christmas fair’s far more interesting though, don’t you think? šŸ˜‰