ROCK OF GIBRALTAR & ITS MONOS
- Location: Tippity-tip of Spain, size of 2.6 square miles
- The Rock: Limestone
- Language: Officially British English
- Locals Speak: Llanito Dialect, a mix of Gibraltarian English and Andalucian Spanish
- Monkeys: Barbary macaques, can be violent
- Economy: Cargo, Gambling, Tourism
15 Days until Earth Day and here is one of many places of Earth I find intriguing.
I could probably do an entire research paper on Gibraltar alone, because although it’s not necessarily the most interesting city in the world, I think the rock is cool, the monkeys are funny little gremlins, and the nature of the mixed and confusing culture is unique and interesting.
I asked my friend Luis to drive me two hours from Malaga to Gibraltar to see these monkeys at first, but when I started to explore more about this British territory located on the tip of Southern Spain, I needed to know more about the nature reserve, why the big rock was significant, and learn more about the people who call this place home.
Without boring you with the history that you can easily find online for yourself, here are the basics. The British currently rule Gibraltar. People drive on the left, you purchase goods in pounds, and you can walk to the Spanish border before you can finish your tea and crumpets. The locals speak a mix of British English and Andalucian Spanish and have coined the dialect Lllanito, which I spent an hour on Youtube learning about and listening to. The internet is quite the wormhole. The barbary macques who inhabit the nature reserve at the top of the rock are actually considered ‘wild’ which blows my mind. One of the demons stole my polaroid of him and tried to eat it. I lived to tell the tale and even have the print with bite marks to prove it.
Of course with all things natural and good, they can be disrupted. The macaques’ frequent contact with tourists caused them to become dependent on humans. Close contact with people led them to learn how to open pockets and unzip handbags in order to steal food from humans. For these reasons, deliberately feeding the macaques in Gibraltar is now an offense punishable by law, a fine up to £4,000. With good practices being put into place, the population of these monos is actually increasing.
It goes without saying, but in order to celebrate the earth every day and in-relation to animal conservation and appreciation, let’s do our best to keep our distance and appreciate from a far, both abroad and at home. Let’s not feed the fish at our local beaches, let us clean up our trash and not feed the seagulls, let’s visit places abroad that preserve and protect animals, and fight against money-hungry, animal-exploitation tactics. Research is important. We can’t all be perfect in regards to the ideal way we can respect our environment, but we can learn and grow and do our best!
To purchase a print of a Gibraltar image and support my photography, please venmo @andrea-david with the image and size you’d like.
- 4x6s are $15
- 8x10s are $25
- 11×17 are $35
- please contact me if you’d like a bigger image
Thanks for letting me use this platform as a way to celebrate the Earth, celebrate people and creation and continuously stand in awe of it. Contact me at [email protected] with any questions!