Back In Ronda

13 Jul 2008, by Brian in Uncategorized

Waking up *really* early this morning to make an ambitious trip to Morocco didn’t seem quite as great an idea when my alarm went off… so I hit snooze and we decided to take it a little easier. It’s kind of hard to resist the trip to Morocco when you are right there, but the fast ferries are expensive (40€ per person each way) and we only had enough time to stay for a few hours… that’s a few hours more than we spent in Tangiers last time we went to Morocco since we went straight to the train to Fez, but it didn’t feel worth it this time.

So we hopped back in the car and went exploring around the rock. We tried to find the 100 ton gun (which shot 1 ton shells) but all we seemed to find was a sign saying “you are here”… no big ass gun though. It’s near impossible to turn around on some streets and this was one of them, so rather than make a big loop back we pressed on to Europa Point. This is from where you can can see Africa, as well as the light house and view of “the rock” from those Prudential commercials. The view is pretty spectacular, can’t wait to get some of the panoramic shots stitched together. The Mediterranean Sea opens up to your left with tons of ships queueing for the straight, and the Atlantic to your right, slightly shrouded in mist rolling off the tip of Africa. From the point we slowly wound our way up the side of the rock to St. Michaels Caves, the Seige Tunnels, and the Moorish Castle. Unfortunately you can’t go all the way to the top… Gibraltar is still kind of a British military point (tons of MOD off limits areas and barbed wire) so I guess that’s why, but nobody really explained, just said you couldn’t go. Oh yeah, there is also supposedly an “ape’s den” but we apparently drove past it mistaking it for another of the many lookout points. That’s ok, cuz there are monkeys *everywhere* on the upper rock. They were drawn to anywhere people were, because despite the apparent £500 fine for feeding them we saw several people keeping them well fed. Before leaving the rock we filled up on cheap gas (tax free zone meant gas, although still expensive by standards at home, was significantly less than in Spain) and I spent much of what we saved from the fast ferries on a tax free rare bottle of scotch.

Back on the road and back on Spanish time, we drove up into the Andalusian hills, winding and putting our car through its paces… it felt like a car commercial. At 3, finally time for lunch in Spain, we were dying for food and lucked out with a well placed restaurant in the middle of nowhere near the top of the pass, looking down on the valleys we’d just ascended. About an hour later we found ourselves back in Ronda where we stayed 8 years ago! This little town has grown a lot in that time. It seems busier but still retains its charm. The Brujeria exhibit is still here too! I got a good chuckle out of that, and some better photos this time. We’ve got a few more days before we return to Jerez de la Frontera for sherry bodegas, so we are going to explore these small towns of the Pueblos Blancos.
Hasta Luego

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