Apparently the Spanish government is planning on developing the area around Ronda.
I first went to Ronda many years ago when the place was supposedly riddled with bandits. Whenever I got on a bus it would stubbornly sit in the yard for ages waiting for what was pompously called the army detachment. This usually consisted of two seventeen year old conscripts looking scruffy and bewildered, and nervously fingering rifles. Luckily they pointed the guns at the roof of the bus otherwise I think most of the passengers would have got off, preferring to walk home.
I never encountered any of these bandits either while walking the roads, or travelling by rickety bus.
Occasionally I would be met by peasants along the dusty tracks and invited back to their homes. Way out in the campo people lived in caves. These were not hollowed out of rock, but simply dug into the side of a low hill, or even set inside a small bank by the side of a dried up water course.
When I went wandering around this area twenty years ago I noted that no-one lived in any of these caves any more. Instead they had been turned into places for growing mushrooms.
I never found Ronda particularly attractive. Sure, I walked across the bridge and looked down into the gorge, but so what? I also remember an interesting day out with a couple of sisters who lived in a dusty concrete box on the edge of town. And a terribly hot day spent looking for a doctor because my travelling companion was ill. Usually I was glad to get out of town.
Nowadays the government is putting in a motorway up from the coast. At the moment the road winds through a sturdy mountain range, and the journey is a trifle jerky. On the other hand, what is the problem here? Does one really need a motorway to get to Ronda?
In one of the valleys is the tiny village of Jorox where I stopped to film the Molino del Rey, which is for sale on the Unique Property site. Do have a look.
I suppose I might as well drop in a plug here, and mention that I do movies of homes for sale, for a price of course, so if you have somewhere unusual to sell and think a movie might make your ad stand out from the crowd, do talk to me.
There’s a comfortable eatery on the Ronda bypass where I had a nice meal of pork in tomato sauce, chicken livers, and potato salad with small snippets of onion and a hint of tuna, with some fried aubergine in honey to finish.
This fried aubergine and honey is on several of the menus these days. I thoroughly recommend it.
Not much partridge on the menus though, despite the fact that the birds are everywhere. There were several scurrying up the track by my hotel in the misty morning. It had been raining, and was very chilly. Southern Spain this spring has not been a congenial place to be. But the tart morning air was refreshing as we had breakfast in the courtyard with the sound of the gamelan of cows down the valley, while in the distance on the slopes of the mountain we could hear the sheep bleat and the new lambs plaintively cry.
The river was dry despite the rain, but the bushes were full of frogs chirruping merrily.
Ronda may be a dusty dump but the surrounding countryside is lovely. However, I was en route for Valencia, so, after breakfast, we headed north.