Spain, Morocco: Spanish Africa, Pillars of Hercules, Southernmost Point in Europe

There are many reasons that I wanted to go to Gibraltar. It is a separate country, the rock is eponymous, the Strait of Gibraltar is naturally interesting, and the place separates the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The problem lies in the fact that Spain is not happy that it signed a treaty assigning sovereignty to individuals other than Spain, so the story goes that they assigned a lovely series of astonishingly annoying restricted areas along the coast, making flights into and out of Gibraltar difficult. That means a trip out to sea, which, as we know, Garrett does not like. In my prior visit with the PA-11, the reality of the distance involved and the out-to-sea trip meant that fuel was a problem, which meant a stop in Gibraltar itself, which meant significant fees to close the road, as well as clear customs both ways. I appropriately abandoned the idea in 2018.

With a better aircraft that could fly to Gibraltar and back, including the nautical jaunt, without fueling, I decided that it was time. Given that I had four hours of fuel, I started the flight frolicking in the normally restricted areas near the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, then proceeded along the coast toward Tarifa, Spain, the first point at which I had to be out to sea.

Along the way, a nagging slice of deviousness brewed, which was able to proceed from naughty thought to naughty deed. Since I could actually talk to Seville Approach (that is something of an issue at 1,000 feet above the ground, far from Seville), I asked if I could cross the Strait of Gibraltar, wander around a bit on the coast of Morocco, and return on this flight plan. “Yeah, no problem,” was the reply. Hmmm…

Source and entire report: ‚Garrett Fisher‚.

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