El Torcal Natural Reserve
Ivan, from Play Granada picked us up at 10:00 am, actually around the corner from where we were to meet him. Fortunately, Jill spotted him and we took off for the El Torcal Natural Reserve to begin our day.
We drove for a good hour, steadily climbing the mountains via numerous switchbacks and some very narrow roads. When asked where we were going, Ivan declared “to where the clouds are!” And clouds there were and a very low 4 degrees C. It was just plain miserable. The mist and dampness chilled us to the bone! We did spend 20 minutes or so here taking pictures of the strangely shaped rocks. There are more on the attached photo blog.
From here drove to Ardales. Along the way we stopped and took pictures of a large reservoir that provided the water for Malaga. Another stop for coffee and pastries where the dam for the reservoir was located. Our travels then brought us to XXXXXX. It is here were there is a bridge built to cross a very deep gorge and it is quite picturesque. We also, saw a railway tunnel and train bridge in the same location. At a lower level we saw climbers using a zip line to cross the river beneath them.
Setenil de las Bodegas
Next on our travel list was Setenil de las Bodegas on the Rio Trejo. This is a very pretty & unique little town. Many of the the village bars and cafes are built right into the cliff face providing a very different setting inside the cafe. We stopped for lunch here and had fries and calamari, the calamari was all tentacles and not the rings we are used too, however it was still quite good as was the beer! Of note, the car ended up being somewhat boxed in so that Ivan could not leave his parking spot . . . no problem, Scott, Ivan, a passerby and me simply lifted the car to allow Ivan to get out of the laneway.
From here, we went off to see the gem of the trip; Ronda, or so we were told. I for one was very pleased that we did more than just go to Ronda, while the views and bridge are spectacular; after you have seen them there is not much more to see. Our first stop was a fabulous lookout that allowed you to see for miles and miles in just about every direction. There was also a small park and a bull ring in the immediate area.
Our next stop, not much more than around the corner we came upon “The Roman Bridge”. It is quite the engineering marvel, crossing a very deep and ravine. Ferdinand the XXXX threw 500 soldiers fighting for Franco off the bridge back in 1937. This would have been a very horrible way to die.
We could also see the Arab bridge from our vantage point, however it was considerably lower and shorter in length then what was referred to as the Roman Bridge. This was quite spectacular.
From here, we headed back to Malaga having accumulated approximately 500 K. in our travels, arriving back at about 6:30pm. We went out to dinner and all four us really enjoyed it.
See ya . . .