Day 20: Down to RondaMarch 7, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C
Time to pack up and leave Lucena after an interesting week! Spent the morning cleaning the house and packing, before our hosts arrived back from their week in Belgium around midday. Had a brief chat with them before we headed off to Malaga where we had to return our car.
Had a bit of difficulty finding a petrol station to fill up, and then again finding the proper entrance to the carpark at the main train station where the rental car office was. Eventually we managed everything, and dropped the car off with no problems. We had an hour to kill before picking up the next rental car from a different agency, and conveniently it was lunchtime so we headed upstairs to check out our options. Out of Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and McDonalds we opted for the latter. They actually have some special localised items which are quite reasonable - Shandos had one with camembert, caramelised onion and sweet peppers!
Back downstairs to the rental office where our expected VW Golf wasn't available - they gave us a brand new Mercedes A200 instead! Nice. Though it's much smaller than the old car, it's also essentially brand new (about 1200km on the clock) and worth a lot of money, so I'm terrified of scratching it!
Navigated our way out of Malaga with some difficulty again - too many one-way streets and confusing directions from Google! Finally escaped the city and headed south-west into the countryside to our next destination, Ronda. This is a small town that's very well known in Andalusia for a very tall stone bridge between the two halves of town on separate sandstone pinnacles.
Our Airbnb accomodation was a farmhouse about 10 minutes out of town, so we headed their first. The proprietor, a friendly English expat named Will, was actually unaware of our booking as he'd been offline for a few days: one of his dogs had eaten a dangerous spiked caterpillar and was having surgery to get a partial tongue amputation. Poor thing! Will keep a close eye on Schnitzel here.
Thankfully our room was ready anyway and we settled in before heading into Ronda for some dinner (it was 7pm by this stage). Had a wander around and watched the sunset from a clifftop adjacent to the giant stone bridge, then headed for the various plazas to eat. First up we had some paella and a beverage from one place on a square popular with families, then we headed for a quiet side-street and a small tapas bar where we had more delicious food. Beef cheek in red wine was the highlight, closely followed by a sheep's milk cheese. Great prices too, will definitely be back!
Squeezed the car out of the carpark (though I put a tiny scratch in the front bumper navigating to the ticket machine, stupid Spaniards put it at the outside of the furthest apex of the corner, so it was almost impossible to reach the machine from inside your car). Dang. It's only tiny, hopefully the rental company don't notice. Back to the farmhouse where we used our enormous clawfoot bath to rinse off and relax! Will had said there was good star-gazing from our balcony, but unfortunately it's only a few days from the full moon so the starts were mostly blotted out. Maybe next time!Read more