24-26 November 2019
Sunday lunch at a restaurant is a thing, but not something we ever do. Inspired by the nice feel of the San Francisco quarter we booked ourselves in to a recommended restaurant on the corner of Plaza Alameda, a nice square with a fountain where locals gather to gossip and people-watch.
We were not disappointed. The tuna tartare was the biggest we had ever seen, and the scampi wrapped in filo served with a curry-infused sauce was delicious. Kate played safe with fish but Danny went for the local Rabo de Toro – the best he has had – and he sucked away happily on the bones until there wasn’t a thing left, much to the appreciation of the staff who rewarded us with a complementary dessert wine. Another great Rough Guide recommendation. The only difficulty was waddling home up the hill!
We needed to walk it off and although the weather wasn’t giving us the beautiful sunshine that would have set off the scenery to perfection we did do some exploring. One day we planned a circular walk, taking us up along a ridge through olive groves carpeted with small yellow flowers and sumac bushes in autumn colours. Small birds flitted about and the rain just about held off. When we reached the Ermita Virgen de la Cabeza – a chapel built next to a group caves where a small group of monks once lived and worshipped and where annual pilgrimages are still made – we found the gates firmly chained and padlocked, although the place is clearly well tended.
We did however have great views across the Ronda basin to the town perched on the cliffs and we could appreciate again the gorge of El Tajo and the Puente Nuevo across it.
We had intended following a footpath down the ridge and walking to Ronda across the basin before climbing up the gorge to the bridge. However our plans had not taken into account the difference between MapMe.com and reality. The track was gated, barred, and marked as private. We tried to assess routes down but everywhere we looked there was either barbed wire or dogs guarding stock. We had to go back and enter town the normal way.
On a rainy afternoon we visited 2 of Ronda’s museums. First the Bandit Museum, small, cheap and mildly interesting. This is the Spanish version of the Wild West combined with Highwaymen, and is immortalised through rose-tinted glasses in films and TV series. Easy to see where Zorro came from. Next the much more eclectic and eccentric Lara Museum. The private collection of a local grandee it’s an extensive collections of all-sorts including : clocks, weapons, phones, pipes, typewriters, musical instruments, scientific instruments, knives, bullfighting, cinema and photography, witchcraft and torture Instruments from the Spanish Inquisition. Fascinating, and only €4 each.
The only way to finish a damp, dark day like that was churros and hot chocolate before a last look at the bridge before walking back to camp.