Layby nr Sierra de las Nieves Nat. ParkMarch 16 in Spain
We were so happy we'd chosen to spend the night by ourselves in a country layby instead of at the crowded coastline near Marbella as originally planned. We woke feeling well rested and carried on inland towards Ronda. The hills that surrounded us seemed lush, covered in vibrantly green pines, the reddish tint in their bark matching hues in rocks that showed through the low shrubs. Creases in these red ochre rocks hosted narrow white waterfalls. Remnants of the old road remained and looped off the new road, hopping over the mountain streams with small arched viaducts. We passed sheep grazing free and jangling the bells around their necks, further on was a herd of chestnut and black goats and a couple of brown cows. It's not often we have seen farmed animals in any great numbers in Spain, so we guess this area must be particularly suited to it.
Ahead of us we could see a stark, light grey hill, its landscape almost lunar. The change to these surroundings was quite sudden, there ceased to be trees and only outcrops of dry shrub grew sparsely . Whether the area had been quarried, damaged by fire, or it was just down to the change in rock type, we don't know. Gradually we began to spot trees here and there but they were pale green Holly Oaks instead of rich pines.
The town of Ronda lay in the bed of the valley. We drove in planning to stay the night but we could only find on-street parking. Compared to the beautiful wild camping spots we'd seen on the drive, it didn't hold much appeal, so we turned around, headed back the way we'd come and found a lovely large layby, separated from the road by pines. We couldn't see very much beyond the parking area but it felt secluded and wild; just what we'd hoped for! It rained and the sun shone on and off, there was even a spot of hail, but we enjoyed the snuggness inside the van.Read more