Saturday, June 05, 2010

Spain: Ronda

Our first big bike adventure was a couple of days ago, we rode from here on the farm to Ronda, which is about 60km´s away. On the map it looked loke a pretty easy ride, but unfortunatley I don´t have a topographical map, so we weren´t aware of the mountains we were going to ride over. Aside from the tough ride, insane heat and lack of a big breakfast it was an awesome ride.
View towards Pruna and Olvera from Sierra del Tablón
Southern Spain consists mostly of the Province of Andalusia, and we got a good tast for it riding through many small villages, over the mountain ranges and around fields of grain, olives and pastures. For me the best part is not the amazing scenery but the numerous tight little villages, the Moorish ruins, and massive churches everywhere. Its totally unlike NZ in that so much has happened in such a small space.. the Romans, the Moors, the Catholic influnce... and much more.


We passed through many cool towns, Olvera was atop a hill with a big church and good ice cream... Setenil de las Bodegas was built in to a cliff and had excellent meats.. and even the little towns that to a local were probably little nothings (like Geraldine..? ) seemed to us to be pretty and exciting with there plazas, narrow streets and refreshing little cafes.
The edge of Ronda.
We got into Ronda at about 8pm.. it was a long day, but we took lots of breaks and a long siesta along the way... also it was also our first big ride and it got to 38 degrees! We got a room at a nice little pension (cheap hotel) then went out and got some good tapas.
Steph and I looking over the edge. Its a good 80m down.
The next day we did some proper exploring around town. It was a little touristy, but for good reason. The town is situated on top of an 80m cliff, with part of it on another out crop connected by an big old bridge.
The gorge that runs through Ronda.
The town was built by the Moors back when the controlled this place. The Islamic history is really really interesting.. Andalusia is named from al Andalu and the locals say oholallah (sp?), which means the same as inshallah (God willing).
The "New Bridge" that spans the gorge. Built in the
So we rode back from Ronda a few nights later, and were stoked to discover the first 40kms of the return leg was generally downhill. So we got to Pruna, which is 20kms from the farm, in time for a late breakfast. We are not so sore and are looking forward to starting our big trip, during our siestas on the farm we are looking at different routes and places to visit.

Thats all for now, next time I post will be in a few weeks, probably from Seville, or Cordoba... or somewhere else in Europe..


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