November 1, 2012 – Ronda and Torremolinos, Spain

This morning we eat our final breakfast at the Hiphotel Sherry Park in Jerez. After seeing who stays here, I can understand the Sherry Park part but definitely not the Hiphotel part. Most of the folks who have been staying at the hotel are pensioners from England. Busloads of older ladies (we learn from an overheard conversation that they are mostly over 70) with the occasional gentleman. In fact there is one gentleman from Australian who seems to sit with a group of different ladies every morning at breakfast. The men are in high demand.

The most exciting thing at breakfast today is that I find out that there is fried cauliflower. Darn! What didn’t I try these puffs of delciousness sooner?

Although it was raining earlier, the rain has stopped and we hop in the car for our trip to Torremolinos via Ronda. Ronda has been recommended to us several times. And, seriously, you got to to help me ronda, help, help me ronda, help me get her out of my heart. (Sorry but that tune has been stuck in my head since we decided to go there.)

Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100 plus meters deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches.

We reach the city. Once again we find an underground parking garage near the tourist information office. Passing the original bullfighting ring of Spain, we stop in for some excellent family souvenirs.

Statue of matador outside historic Ronda bullring

We walk out on the viewing platform and are dizzied by the precipitous drop. We take various pictures of the gorge, the puente nuevo (the “new bridge” built in the 18th century and the old Arab bridge at a much lower point on the river.

Looking down into the gorge at Ronda

The puente nuevo

We stop and take pictures of each other with the dramatic background. You will notice that once again I am wearing my rain jacket. It has gotten a lot of use on this trip.

John with the puente nuevo in the background

Mary not so close to the edge

We wander about the little town across the bridge. I buy a scarf. We find a quiet cafe. We are watched by a small cat who makes his living by scarfing up handouts from tourists.

Small cafe in Ronda

Small cat sitting on a chair adjoining our table hoping to become our luncheon companion

We still have a ways to go so we make our way back to the car past the statue of a bull.

The real horse seems unconcerned by the charging bull

We are staying in Torremolinos at a Japanese hotel. Tonight we will have a Japanese dinner prepared by the innkeeper and his wife. But that’s a separate post.

Japanese hotel but just a regular room

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