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Spain – September 2008


Road to Ronda

Lively banter between an older generation of locals on the bus to Ronda kept us amused, and awake.  The driver, near retirement age himself, was chatting/shouting/arguing away with the ladies and gents sitting in the first four or five rows of the bus as we travelled up into the hills behind Malaga, occasionally chatting on his mobile phone whilst driving full speed down narrow mountain roads! Dry, barren landscape gave way to shocks of sage and green of olive and orange groves, studded with occasional rambshackle buildings, with us stopping at a number of villages and small towns.  We were quite taken by the impressive mountain peaks, reminiscent of the dry, cracked mountains in Provence, France.

With no sign of taxis we walked down to our B&B, stopping off at the Restaurante Pedro Romero, named after the famed bullfighter, which sits across the street from the Bull Ring.  The place is filled with Bull Fighting memorabilia.  We ate to satisfaction, going with the Spanish way and eating a full lunch with a view to eating tapas in the evening.  We then headed for our accommodation at Boabdil Guesthouse, crossing the Puente Nueva on the way and getting our first glimpse of the stunning views it offers.

Puente Nueva, Ronda

Puente Nueva, Ronda

We headed for the smaller bridges which look up to the Puente Nueva, which was completed in 1793 and spans the El Tajo, then walked up through the staggered gardens which give a handsome view of the bridge.

We walked round to the other side of the bridge to take in the views across the Valley laid out before us.

The following day we visited La Casa del Rey Moro – the Moorish King’s House. The 18th century house, apparently built over remains of an Islamic palace, is in a dilapidated state but the cliff top gardens are very pleasant and offer lovely views.  We climbed down La Mina, a 14th century Islamic winding stairway carved into the rock that takes you down to the bottom of the gorge, past the Room of the Spring (Sala del Manantial) and the Room of Secrets (Sala de Secretos) where what is spoken from one corner to another cannot be heard in the middle of the

Gardens of Moor King's House

Gardens of Moor King

room, apparently. The stair well was badly lit, badly maintained and left you with the distinct possibility of falling and breaking a limb! The occasional SOS boxes which had not cords or electrical power links didn’t encourage!

We did some more wandering around then headed to the other side of the town to head down a steep path down the gorge to take in another vantage point of the Puente Nueva, offering views of the cliff and valley beyond as well as the waterfalls under the Puente Nueva which you don’t see from above, as the sun started to set.

We found the best time to be in Ronda is early in the morning, or in the late afternoon and evening as it seems to be visited mostly by day trippers despite being able to easily spend a few days here in this lovely town.

Other side of the bridge

Other side of the bridge

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