Friday, 8 December 2017

Malaga and Ronda – Days 48 to 51

Our journey: Altea, Gibraltar, Malaga, San Pedro, Ronda
It was sad to leave little old Kuki cat with her arthritic hips and her demands for food she wouldn't eat and to go out which she didn't do, particularly as she did go out in October, when the cleaner accidentally let her out and she was lost for 13 days. She was such a funny cat, showed no interest in Strictly come dancing, with lots of movement and changes of light, but as soon as Blue Planet 2 came on she was absolutely fixated!

Kuki cat watching Blue Planet II
Lunch with Jean and Jimmy in Malaga
An easy journey to Malaga, except for the last 10 minutes, to get to the apartments, interesting set of one way streets, though as it turns out not as interesting or narrow as the streets here in Ronda!

Still we arrived, checked in, parked the car and were only a few minutes late to meet Jean and Jimmy. It was lovely to see them and catch up, we had a late lunch before they walked us round the port and shopping areas. We picked our spot to watch the Christmas lights to music, twice nightly performances, first at 18.30. Very good, glad they'd mentioned it, as we may well have missed it if we'd been on our own. Back to our little apartment with a beer and some roasted chestnuts as neither of us was hungry.

Christmas lights and music in Malaga
The Alcazabra in Malaga
Up the next morning to our free walking tour (never actually free, but you pay what you think they deserve) which was on despite it being a public holiday, Constitution day. He was an interesting bloke, though B found him a bit difficult to hear and to understand, I thought he was good. Quick bite of lunch before going to the two castles, Alcazaba and Gibralfaro, that'll be more walking, and more up then! Another 16km.

Met J&J at 18.00, not to watch the lights again, though lots of people were going to. Finding each other was tricky! Got our dinner before they all headed into the bars though so that was good!

Next morning, off to Ronda, but the usual route is virtually past J&J's door, so we took them home to San Pedro, near Marbella. Saw their current rental apartment and the outside of the one they are buying, that we have been invited to stay in when we next come visit. Really nice atmosphere in the town, so look forward to that.

Malagas bullring from the Gibralfaro
The battlements of the Gibralfaro
40 minutes to Ronda through some lovely scenery, up wiggly windy roads, though I guess in a car not as bad as the bus Denise and Paul normally come in that she had warned me about! Until we arrived in town, the sat nav didn't know that the 'New Bridge', the reason most people visit, was closed to traffic! We found what we thought was a parking space eventually, and blundered up hill to the Airbnb and Irene. 

Picassos statue in his Malaga birthplace (with some random children!)
Nice lady, we are in her room, which is huge, with a great balcony, but absolutely freezing, the whole house, typing is becoming a struggle! On talking to her though, perhaps our car parking space is not so good, the old town is only for permit holders. We confirmed this with the very helpful receptionist of a hotel near the car who said we could drive over the Arab bridge! Glad she told us, we'd never have done it on spec! Fortunately we didn't meet anyone coming the other way down the narrow road to get into the new town, into the street she said we could park in, where there fortunately was a space!

Malagas unfinished cathedral. The right hand tower is finished, but the left hand tower is not there, and apparently never will be. The roof is also unfinished, but apparently there are plans afoot to build that
The roman theatre & Alcazaba in Malaga
Irene had recommended her local tapas bar for supper, but it had closed after lunch, and didn't open again till 20.15, so we nipped off to get some wine and crisp to wait. We were second in the queue outside La Lechugita (the little lettuce) when it opened it's doors, and it's just as well. Every seat was taken in a flash. It was a great place, we were given a list of the tapas they did, the majority of whichever were 80 cents, you circle what you want and somehow pass it to the barman along with your drink order, which gets added to the paper and you wait, and your food gets waved in your general direction from the bar and you collect it! 4 dishes and two big glasses of wine in round one, we went for one glass of wine and three dishes in round two. By this time we'd been befriended by a guy who had obviously had a drink or two, but loves the English (which includes those from Edinburgh and Glasgow) and seemed keen to practice his English. Two of our three dishes turned up, along with a glass of wine each from the guys friends for entertaining him I guess, and the evening went with a bang!

Jean & Jimmys new apartment in San Pedro
We struggled to the bar to pay, it would have been really easy just to walk out but that didn't even cross our minds, though I did have to point out that we never got our third dish, so he just crossed it off. €10.80 the bill came to. Tapas can end up expensive, but not in this case!

Straight into bed, which was warm enough, but very hard to get up out of, though fortunately by the time B had made coffee the sun was on the balcony, so we ate our breakfast out there which was actually very pleasant.

Off to begin the 16km we've walked today, lots of little paths, down the gorge, up the gorge, round the gorge, through the old town, round the old town......there are many pictures, but actually not that many words!

I guess I'll have to wait for him to finish culling his pictures and post this and then, if we are not blocks of ice, we'll go out and find some dinner. Probably more tapas as it does seem to be the tapas capital of Spain! Expect it to be really busy as it's another public holiday today, the day of the Immaculate Conception, so there have been lots of people about!
The Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda
Puente Viejo bridge (old bridge) in Ronda
In the crazy La Lechugita bar
A hot air balloon passed by our bedroom window this morning. I managed to run out on the balcony and get a photo in the cold morning air
Our walk down into the gorge beneath the Puente Nuevo bridge this morning
Right down in the gorge, looking at the river opening of the Casa del Rey Moro
Walking the narrow path beneath the bridge
On the other side of the bridge near the bottom of the gorge with a view of the Puente Nuevo bridge, the newer Ronda town on the left and the old town on the right, all perched precariously on top of 100m sandstone on top of limestone conglomerate, relatively soft rock
Back in the gorge again showing its sheer cliffs. We particularly like the pigeons nest in a hole in the rock top left
From the top in the old town
The Puente Viejo bridge
The classic shot of the bridge through the arch. We had to take our own even though the sun overexposed the top
We passed a signpost giving details of two via ferrata climbs in the gorge and two large groups of guided groups. We found out where they went so we can come back in the future and do them ourselves. We couldn't do them now as we had left of lanyards back in Altea. For the future though. Here the guide is explaining to his group how it works
The other group part way up their climb. They are relatively short but worth doing. Something for us to do when we have our campervan next year and revisit!
This is the Puente Arab deSan Miguel bridge, the third and final bridge in Ronda and the one we drove over to get our car from the old to new town
Going down the stairs in the cave through the cliffs of the Casa de Rey Moro to get to the river access 100m below
At the river level, 200 steps down. Behind us is the other place we walked to earlier in the day (the one with the photograph of the pigeon in his nest in the top left corner). Its not possible to connect the two walks unless you want to paddle or swim in freezing water
One of the lookouts overhanging the edge. They look so benign when you are standing on them, but from a distance they look  ridiculous!

A panorama from the gorge

1 comment:

  1. Excellent photos and lovely clear weather for your trip to Ronda! It's very hard to stop taking photos but looks like you saw all the views worth taking! X