Managed a bit of a sleep in at our lovely resort style hotel in Algeciras then downstairs for our yummy buffet breakfast - bit of a novelty after apartment accommodation for the past two weeks. We headed off not long after 10 am for the drive inland through the mountains to Ronda. A destination that was recommended by several people and certainly did not disappoint! The drive was incredibly scenic - so windy but a great road nonetheless. Every turn was an “oh my god” moment- breathtaking at times and beyond comprehension of how ever it was constructed. The vistas to the coastline and those to the mountainous terrain were equally amazing. After reaching over 1100metres above sea level we did begin to descend slightly with quite quite barren rocky outcrops around us, then finally coming to the large township of Ronda. Interesting to envisage how this landscape would look engulfed in snow during the winter - awesome no doubt.
We had a short time for a coffee before meeting our guide Cladia for our (free!) walking tour that I booked last night. Once again she was fabulous - informative and interesting while battling a bi-lingual situation. We learnt so much about the history of Ronda from ancient times and various legends and issues of geographical significance. Connections with Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells not to mention the legends of bullfighters over the years all added to the authenticity of the day. Such a scenic and memorable spot. We grabbed a bocadilla and wandered some more before heading off on our equally scenic descent to the Costa del Sol. An area dotted with not just picturesque terrain but imposing “haciendas” generally on a grand scale - whether privately owned or otherwise. And not to mention the occasional golf course mixed in. With views of the coastline incorporated it is all quite breathtaking.
The Costa del Sol on the other hand is a different matter! I was determined we had to detour off the motorway to really check out the coastline and from San Pedro de Alcantara to Marbella seemed the perfect opportunity. We parked and had a wander to the beach - and from there the disappointment began! I’m certainly not unfamiliar with dark sand beaches- but I wasn’t expecting it here! And the water didn’t even appear inviting... no waves and murky water.... not what I was expecting. Beach goers seemed unperturbed lazing on their sunbeds under umbrellas...
We were happy to continue on about 40 minutes to Torremolinos to our hotel - Parasol Garden. First impressions were underwhelming- looked and felt more like a hospital but our room with a balcony overlooks the pool. We were anxious to utilise our welcome drink and have a swim - despite the mass of families with young children! Was so refreshing!
Raymo found a restaurant literally on the beach two minutes away (without Roh’s assistance!) and it was unreal! Sardines, octopus, prawns and sea bream- all
barbequed outside on coals! Delicious!
A memorable day and night!