I was hoping to get some amazing photos of the sunrise over the valley this morning but when I walked over to the view point all I could see was clouds, I took a few photos anyway and went back to the van to warm up. I popped out again half an hour later to see if there was any sign of a red sky but nope it was still overcast.
We were a bit slow going out this morning because it looked like rain and then it suddenly occurred to us that if we didn’t get a move on Ronda would be full of coach loads of tourists and sure enough as we walked into the Old Town we had to rush past a large group of people. I was so annoyed with myself, I’d been up since 7 a.m. editing and taking photos and we’d specifically said we’d go into town early this morning to beat the crowds and then we forgot. Anyway enough of the griping.
We decided to walk to the opposite end of the town and explore that part first although it took me quite a long time to drag myself away from photographing the cute little lambs in the field we passed en route.
We climbed up and walked along part of the city wall which had gorgeous views and then we went looking for a cafe for coffee but got sidetracked by a flight of steps which looked like it might go up to a park. Half way up we saw a sign pointing into a building and on closer inspection it mentioned food so we went in. The building was lovely, very old with brick arches. We were the only customers and as it was nearly midday we decided to have lunch with our coffee. The food was very tasty and looked beautiful on the plate. We were very pleased that we’d stumbled across the little cafe particularly when we continued up the steps and discovered that we had been in the bowels of the Town Hall which is a very grand building. Opposite the Town Hall was a lovely square with cafes dotted amongst the buildings surrounding it, we were pleased to see that the one we’d chosen was by far the cheapest, always a good feeling and not something we’re usually very good at.
We wandered down some gorgeous little streets and eventually came to another square with an amazing view over the valley and some steps which led down to the Puente Nuevo.
Unfortunately for me the steps petered out, turning into a muddy hill which then became a stony hill with water running down it before changing yet again into a concrete slope again with water running down it. Somehow I persuaded myself that I’d be fine going down there, my nosiness always ends up getting the better of me. The path got far worse from there on, it became a narrow concrete ledge in places with nothing to hold on to and I had to negotiate some dodgy metal steps by the time I’d navigated my way to the end point I was shaking like a leaf and my legs felt like jelly. The view was absolutely stunning but I’m not sure the journey there was worth the additional grey hairs. After my legs had stopped shaking a bit I was persuaded to do the last little bit which involved clambering down onto a concrete ridge, shuffling along it holding on to a metal bar and standing on a little platform which looked like it was made from 2 rotten pieces of scaffolding board. Darren was already on the platform and I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t be man enough to hold us both. I’m pleased to say that it did stay intact, the view was great and I managed to get back on to dry land without falling into the churning water. It took me a good 10 minutes to sort my adrenaline level out before I was able to retrace my steps back along the ledge and up the hill. I am SORT OF glad I did it! Darren insisted he wanted to take photos of me as we came to another view point, these are the ONLY photos in the whole of our blog where I am NOT smiling, although it was a stunningly beautiful area I was SO scared that I simply couldn’t muster up a smile.
After my ordeal we went looking for coffee, we didn’t find any but we did find the Casa del Rey Moro. I should have read the information board more thoroughly, I thought we were going in to look around some pretty gardens, I didn’t realise we were actually going to be clambering down hundreds of steps going down, down, down to the river, to stand on a platform on the other side of the river overlooking the very place we’d been standing an hour earlier! It was well worth doing though. I saw some pretty little birds down there and we only made our way back up the stairs when we noticed that the rooks were throwing pieces of rock down on to the metal platform, that was when we noticed the large indentations in the metal and started wondering whether larger chunks of mountain had occasionally landed there. That thought put the wind up us and we got out of there just in case. The tunnel we were climbing up through had little side chambers cut out at intervals, some had windows added so there were fleeting views of the mountain and river. Although it was a hard slog back to the top it was an interesting experience.
After we’d sat down to recuperate we decided to call it a day and head back to the van for coffee and a well earned sit down.
Not long after we got back the 4 remaining motorhomes that were parked with us suddenly drove off and we were left being Billy No Mates. We toyed with the idea of leaving too but decided to stick to our plan to leave tomorrow. Shortly afterwards Darren noticed a man and woman waving to us and he opened the door for a chat. They introduced themselves as Richard and Hilary, they wanted to know whether we were staying here for the night because they were currently parked in a car park with coaches and thought it would be better to move here. We told them we were staying and they appeared in their cute orange VW campervan a short while later. They told us about the place they’d just come from and how windy it had been last night and they also mentioned a place they’d stayed at the night before called Casares. They said it was stunningly beautiful AND we would be able to see griffon vultures AND eagles. We are DEFINITELY going there when we return from the UK.