The Monkeys of Gibraltar

Posted on
Nov 7, 2017

Note: We were in Spain last spring, but work on the book meant that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about a lot of the places we visited. In keeping with the better-late-than-never mindset that characterizes much of my life, I’m finally writing about some of the strange and wonderful things we saw. If you want to read more about this trip, check out the posts here that are from 2016.

There are many things that I should tell you about Gibraltar. It’s a strange place: it’s a territory of the U.K., but it’s literally attached to Spain. The Spanish want it back, but the Gibraltarians are pretty happy being subjects of Queen. In a recent vote, less than 1% of the population wanted to return to Spanish rule. It all goes back to the 1700s and the Treaty of Utrecht where the Spanish ceded Gibraltar to the British and I will get to all of that in another post BUT FIRST MONKEYS.

Yes, monkeys.

They are all over Gibraltar.

Another thing that’s all over Gibraltar? Signs telling you not to feed the monkeys. There are even drawings which illustrate, rather graphically, what will happen if you feed the monkeys. The food can be harmful to them, and it makes them both far too trusting of and aggressive towards humans. The point is, feeding the monkeys is bad for everyone.


So guess what a bunch of people do the second they see a monkey in Gibraltar?



As you walk around Gibraltar (which is, as the Prudential logo promises, a giant monolith extending out from the sea) you will see a lot of monkeys. There are about 160 Barbary Macaques living on the rock. They are sometimes called “Barbary Apes” because they don’t have tails (they are still monkeys, though). They greet you almost immediately upon your arrival, and the entire experience is a bit startling – you are high up on the rock of Gibraltar, the views are dizzying, and there are monkeys.


They are fat and seem quite content provided you don’t get too close to them. That’s usually pretty easy except sometimes you’ll be walking down a path and there’s just a monkey just sitting there.


You suddenly hear the Clint Eastwood western showdown music in your head. Conceptually monkeys are like the coolest thing ever but when you actually see a live, wild one in close proximity to you, it’s quite unsettling. They have sharp teeth and are profoundly strong, yet there is something uncannily human about their appearance, and all of that is just a little bit terrifying.

Our friend Rob, and the monkey that wasn’t quite on his back.

Given enough time, though, and things cease to seem all that strange. This massive rock, sticking straight out of the ocean doesn’t seem that odd. The views cease to be so dizzying.


And the locals become a little less scary.

(But you still shouldn’t feed them.)

Also published on Medium.

Leave a Comment

  • Katie Bell

    My boyfriend at the time fed a monkey when we were there – if you include walking with an ice cream within eyesight of a monkey, it sprinting towards him and jumping on his back, batting the ice cream out of his hand, feeding them. Those monkeys are wily bastards.

  • Andi Plummer

    They look so soft! Must fight urge to touch them…

    • Hilma

      Dear God, now watch on our channel channels more affordable and quality faster such as Woodshock HD >>>>>> HBOMOVIES01HD.BLOGSPOT.COM

    • Siskka

      Oh my god, right now we are witnessing anything on our channel better and quality for example The Dark Tower HD >>>>>>>>> HBOMOVIES11HD.BLOGSPOT.COM

    • Ferra

      Let’s look at our channel for free and have the contents of The Rendezvous HD >>> POPCORNHBOMOVIES.BLOGSPOT.COM

  • The Wizard of Oz ruined monkeys for me at an early age. For 40 years, I have found them utterly terrifying. And yes, I probably should have gotten over it by now, but, alas, there goes Gibraltar from the bucket list… Boo.

    • Cirana

      Let’s now copy our website with all languages and everything is always the latest update for example Deep HD >>>>> PURPLEMOVIE.NET.

  • Mike@Bitaboutbritain

    Fabulous shots and great narrative. I’ve never been, but we’re very fond of Gibraltar 🙂

    • Gionaa

      Let’s now look at the quality channels and always the latest ones for example Singularity HD >>> YESMOVIE01HD.BLOGSPOT.COM

    • Raisa

      Watch Salyut only on this web site :

  • Jake Terrell

    You took pictures so well! it made me have interest to read what it writes below.

    Jake Terrell |

  • Caduk Huntu Koneng

    your only saturated healer by watching a movie,
    title: Bumblebee Online Free [English]

    see complete here ™> WATCHPROHD.BLOGSPOT.COM

  • Febryy

    Oh my god, now also visit our chanel can watch and download for example How To Be A Latin Lover HD >>>>>>> MOVIES01HD.BLOGSPOT.COM

  • Sinister Gates

    U Can see (Everybody to love somebody) 4K Qwalty here >>>™ STYXHD.BLOGSPOT.COM

  • Anne

    Oh my god, now let’s see our channel for free registration and always the latest one for example Gangster Land HD >>>>>>>> HBOMOVIE01HD.BLOGSPOT.COM

  • Taara

    Stronger online and do not miss it >>> STREAMISLANDZ.BLOGSPOT.COM

  • I’m afraid if monkeys wherever they are. I better stay clear.

    • Killau

      Watch Walking Out only on this web site : RETROVISIONHD.BLOGSPOT.COM

  • Shreya Sharma

    This monkey reminds me of an experience I had in India. Thank you for the sharing the experience.

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • I asked Rand's grandfather what he thought about his grandson becoming an author. He tried to pretend he was unimpressed.
  • When People Are Nice To Me, I Find It Profoundly Confusing: The Geraldine DeRuiter Story.

We had a lovely dinner with some folks based here in Quebec, and they also gave me cupcakes, and it was all lovely and confusing because I am a nightmare of a human.
  • I went to a stunning library in Quebec City today - the Maison de la litterature was once an old church, and now it is full of books and winding staircases.
  • He complained that we were old, and I told him that we had maybe five more minutes of being young and beautiful, so let's enjoy them. Here they are.
  • It's below freezing in Quebec, and I'm fairly certain everything is haunted, but people are politely enduring my terrible French and there is poutine everywhere, so ... win?
  • Just rummaged through my office, looking for a notebook so I could write down some ideas for my next big project. I opened up this one and found a handwritten draft of the intro to my last book. #thisisagoodsignright
  • Look, just because I rolled a snickerdoodle in curry powder doesn't mean I'm a domestic goddess. Domestic demigoddess? Maybe.
  • Bye-bye, San Diego. It's been ... surprisingly cold, actually. But thanks for the Vitamin D.
  • That'll do, San Diego. That'll do. #tacotacotaco
  • Why, yes, my PJs do feature a cartoon version on my husband of them.

All Over The Place

Buy my book and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.