Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend in Ronda and La Roda

Hello again everyone,

Welcome to another later-than-usual post.  I think this Spanish lifestyle thing is really getting to me.  I'm taking time just to take time.  Its pretty hard work.  Anyway, on to my excursion from the previous weekend.
This last weekend the three of us decided to rent a car again and take a trip to visit our friend Bianca in La Roda.  The town she lives in is a pueblito of about 1500 people.  Its around a two and a half hour drive from our town and the best part is that a town called Ronda is on the way there.  Ronda is this great historical town that we kept hearing about.  We would ask Spaniards about places to go, or about their favorite places to go, and Ronda was almost always in the list.  

That's all the spoilers you're going to get.  Now on to the pictures!

This first one is of our new fiesta-green chariot.  They gave us another Ford, but this one was miles above our previous car. It was a lot smaller, got better fuel mileage, and it was a diesel! When I first started it up, I thought it was a little loud, but I put it off as just being some weird Spanish thing.  I didn't realize it was a diesel until I stopped to get gas, and I was really surprised.  It had good acceleration and it was pretty quiet.  Another great thing is that diesel fuel is about 20 cents cheaper than regular gas. So yeah! Here is it:

We drove up to La Roda Friday afternoon and went into Ronda on Saturday.  There are two ways to get to La Roda from our town and we decided to take the scenic route on the way there.  One quick word on the drive.  Crazy.  Madness. Insanity.  Another synonym of crazy.  That's all I'm going to say.  No, but seriously, you hear of all those wild Europeans that fly around steep mountain curves with virtually no speed limit.  That was the drive to Ronda.  It was almost constantly uphill with really sharp curves.  I take curves faster than most people and I was taking them at 50 km/hr, which felt fast, but the speed limit was 80!  I don't know how those people do it.

Anyway, once we got through those mountains we drove into Ronda.

From here we ditched the car and decided to walk around and explore.

Here are some shots of the park:

And some peacocks in a cage:

A little meditative stone circle:

And a shot of the boardwalk with a taste of the view to come

And the view from Ronda! The town is on a cliff and looks out over the landscape for kilometers and kilometers.  This one is with two of my travel companions:

And the lovely Bianca looking out:
Just a straight view of the mountains:

Here is a nice sideways image of the Plaza de Toros entrance.  I'm not sure why it came out sideways.  It was taken this way, then I rotated it, and even saved it as a new file.  Something apparently gets lost in translation in the hard-drive to blog path.  If this causes any neck pain it should make you feel better to know that this plaza is one of the oldest operational plazas in Spain.  See?  Now the pain is gone.  On to the next picture.

A little farther into the city we found another plateau with an equally breathtaking view of the landscape at just a slightly different angle.

To the right and over the rail:

We were lucky enough to be serenaded by this flamenco guitarist while enjoying the view.

Here is a look at the older part of the city:

The Puente Nuevo is this fantastic stone bridge that spans the gorge and connects the two sides of Ronda.

Here's another of those annoying sideways shots.  This one is of the bridge.  If anyone has an idea of how to fix this, don't hesitate. 

This next shot was taken from the bridge overlooking the city.  

This next picture was taken by an older student of Meg's that met up with us.  She was a really fun lady and showed us around the town.  We found this excellent leather shop, where Meg and Bianca each bought a backpack for around 40 euros.  They had some excellent looking jackets and I think if I find myself with some excess change I might go pick one up.  Almost all of their products were handmade in Ronda.  Anyhow, The Ronda Traveling Crew:

This last shot of Ronda was taken from the bridge overlooking the other side of the city.

After our Ronda excursion we went back to Bianca's town, La Roda, and took a walk out towards the olive groves.

Her town is nestled in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges.

That is the end of my latest trip.  I hope you guys enjoyed the photos.  I'm beginning to get used to the whole camera thing and each trip it seems like I come back with more and more photos.  Ronda was inexplicably beautiful and I hope that these view shots can at least give you a hint of what it was like to be there.  The experience of sitting on a terrace, while being serenaded by a flamenco guitar, and looking out over the valley was transcendent.  We sat out there for around 30 minutes and I'm sure I could have been there for hours.  It truly made me appreciate what an opportunity this has been.  

Many thanks to all those who helped me get here,

Until next time,



  1. Zach;
    The photo's are beautiful. I'm so glad to see you using your gift. Thank you for sharing the pic's. I hope you continue to enjoy your time in Spain. Gratitude is a good thing. Love you. Camille

  2. What amazing city! The idea of strolling through the olive trees makes me think of all of Van Gogh olive tree paintings. How about a close up the grove for me. I see several painting ideas from these. Keep posting