Getting Settled in Ronda
It was bound to be daunting to put pen to paper (or mouse to mat) for the first time so I thought I'd start with a little local interest stuff. Now I don't claim to be (or want to be) a travel writer / agent / bore but it feels relevant for this blog to give you a very short overview of Ronda itself, just to help give some perspective to things we write later and particularly, the bike rides and walks which we will talk about. So here goes.
Ronda is.....spectacular ...no, that sounds far too gushy.....awesome.....now it's too American.......a charming white village.....too twee. Truth be told, Ronda is simply a lovely place to live. For a start, we have sunshine and generally lots of it. We sit atop a narrow, 120m deep gorge in the middle of a large valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides. The town itself lies about 100km from Malaga, in the western part of Andalucia, about 750m above sea level, so we are high up, even when standing at the bottom of the gorge.
The town has a rich cultural past, having been lived in and ruled by, amongst others, the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors and the Spanish Catholic Kings. All have left their traces in the buildings and cultural heritage of the town, from the Arab Baths, to the city walls, the many churches, the main bridge ("Puente Nuevo"), perched on the top of the gorge (and it's smaller, earlier incarnations which sit lower down) and the bullring, with Ronda considered the home of modern bullfighting.
Aswell as these key sights there are plenty of museums, shops and cafes to while away the hours under the heat of the Spanish sun.
And it is from this base that we (Hike + Bike) do our cycling, mountain biking and walking, getting out to explore the rich countryside which starts right on the town's doorstep. WIthin a few metres of the city walls, we can be amongst olive groves, vineyards and market gardens, with spectcaular views, interesting tracks and paths through the mountains and, for the mountian bikers, some fun and technical riding.
All in all, it's a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to base themselves for some countryside exploration, which is what Hike + Bike specialise in delivering.
Heather Cooper, Hike + Bike the Sierras 10/7/2012