9th February 2020 by emmadurnford

9th February 2020

We got up reasonably on time and the sun was shining! Fresh mango and grapes for breakfast before we headed out. Our first mission was to visit the Casa del Rey Moro - the ‘water mine’ that we had spotted yesterday. We didn’t actually realise when we bought our entrance tickets that there were 290 steps - steep, uneven, unlit, wet steps inside the rock face all the way down to the bottom of the gorge - we know as we counted them! It was a bit hairy at some points but we made it and it was amazing to have the different perspective from the bottom looking up and also watching the wagtails collecting mud for their nests.

290 steps back up for a rest in the beautiful Moorish and French style gardens - grandeur slightly faded with age but still with small fountains and streams running through the azulejo tiles.

We had worked up an appetite and also a sweat for the first time this trip it was actually rather warm. We walked through the old half of the town which we hadn’t seen on our last visit. I was heading for a large square and we sat at the first restaurant we came to. They were anxious to tell us about their special oven and dishes of the day but when we quickly ordered totally different dishes they realised we weren’t looking for a tourist experience. Despite my reservations it was a very good lunch day in the hot sun with cold beers. We even got a chef’s complimentary dish - sadly mushrooms- and two drinks at the end - caramel vodka is truly delicious.

Ronda was lovely in the sun with trees full of old oranges against white buildings and blue sky. We spent the afternoon in the archeological museum which was very well laid out and also had stunning views across the gorge. We spent so long we had to be let out as the place was locked up at 3.00pm!

I was looking for the path down from Ronda that gives the best views of the new bridge and gorge. We walked into square and I could see where I was looking for except that it was blocked off with safety tape and wire. People were managing to scramble over and I did start to say how bad it was people simply ignoring the signs… about 5 minutes later we too were struggling over the dodgy barricade, helped by others and it was tricky. We made it and walked the steep walk down to the best view point. I can understand why it was blocked off as I imagine the plan is to build a safety barrier but we and others managed to keep our feet firmly grounded even though it was very high and this is todays photo that I had planned to take months ago and didn’t achieve back in 2003!

After this excitement we knew we had to get back over the dodgy barricade but on our return somebody had found some rubbish bags and had piled them up on the other side which made getting back a lot easier than we had anticipated. We felt rather stiff but triumphant. I tried to photograph choughs of which there are a flock in the canyon but with little luck and it was getting rather grey and chilly after the sunshine of earlier in the day.

Back to the apartment and following an exchange of messages with our host Alejandro, he recommended a great tapas bar - Bodega San Francisco - only a few minutes from where we were staying. We were lucky to grab a table and two stools and a few minutes later we had two large beers and a table weighted under with tapas and raćiones including pimientos Padrôn, fried boquerones, patatas bravas, prawns in garlic and our new found favourite - rosada or kingklip fish. All delicious and we even finished up with a pudding and dos cuchara (two spoons). What a lovely way to finish my birthday trip. We were quite full so decided to walk off some fo the food before we went back to the apartment and went to view the floodlit bridge at night under the full moon - apparently known as a ‘snow moon’. It had risen too high to capture on camera (or rather phone) at the same time as the bridge but was lovely to see anyway.

Positive - I managed to take the photo I had planned nearly 17 years ago!

Footsteps - 13,348
Great shot
February 18th, 2020  
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