08 May Wonderful Week in Ronda, Spain
Days 56 – 59 (4/7 May 2013) – Our mission for the first day in Ronda was to find a bike shop to check on parts for Ron’s crank set as a back up, should we not be able to get them replaced through FSA . After lying around in our tent for a short while, we got ready to walk the 2 miles into the new part of town. To our surprise, half way down the mountain into town a guy on a bicycle with a familiar face rides past us… Erik was staying another day in Ronda and while riding around the area he was trying to find our campground. We made our way into town together and made plans to hang out together later in the day, after we touch base with the bike shop.
We make our way to the shop and find that they have some parts we could use, should FSA not come through with the warranty to replace the cranks.
Afterwards we go to the bullfighting ring, where we meet up with Erik. Together we wander around the old part of Ronda, up and down old cobblestone steps and narrow, twisty alleyways. We check out the top of the old bridge, and the Arab bathhouse. Unfortunately the weather turns from warm sunshine to cool rain, so we decide to stop somewhere to have a couple of beers. Once the rain disappears, we continue with the touristy wandering until we get hungry, that’s when we stop for some Tappas and more beer. It was great hanging out with Erik and to discuss some of our travel plans with him.
Eventually it was getting late and we headed back to our camp.
Sunday morning we saw Erik off, as he had to ride past our campsite to leave town. Hopefully we get to see him again some place in Morocco.
Since we were not going to hear anything back from FSA until Monday, we decided to do some hiking around town. Ronda was built on very high cliffs, and to connect the old part of Ronda with the new part the “New Bridge” was built over a very deep gorge. During the Arab times there were mills and aqueducts built into the rock along the cliff side to supply the town with water. We take a hiking path toward the bottom of the New Bridge, where we have the most amazing view of the bridge between the cliffs. We discover some of the old aqueducts and ruined buildings along the cliff. Once we make it all the way to the bottom of the bridge we feel like we are in a National Geographic edition. The canyon, the turquoise colored waters, the sand-colored rock, the bridge that fits so perfectly into the scene, seem so surreal. The pictures probably won’t do it any justice.
If you ever make it to Ronda, make sure to take the hike to the bottom of the bridge, you won’t regret it, and it takes you away from some of the tourist hustle and bustle.
Finally Monday, we hear back from FSA in Italy, they tell us to go back to the bike shop, where we will be taken care off.
We take Ron’s bike to the shop, and after some miscommunications, we get our part sent to us—managing an issue by having to involve 3 parties, which speak 3 different languages, is no easy task! However, the new part will be here either Tuesday or Wednesday, so we just hang out lazily around the campground and explore the town for the next few days, until our bike is taken care off. Luckily we are at an affordable, nice campground, the staff is pleasant, and Ronda is a gorgeous place to spend a few days.
Also, we had the pleasure to have Debbie and Gary as our camp neighbors for a few days. The two of them are a very nice couple from Scotland, hiking through Andalusia. They have previously taken time off to sail for several months. We enjoyed listening to their inspiring and funny stories of their travels, and the obstacles they have overcome while traveling.
One of the best part of traveling is meeting all the wonderful people along our way…truly inspirational!