Ernest Hemingway wrote of Ronda in his book, “Death in the Afternoon”: “… and we shall meet face to face the abrupt beauty of the Tajo … It is to Ronda where you have to go, if you ever go to Spain. The whole city and its surroundings are a romantic decoration. A pretty spot. It has been built in a circle of mountains on a plateau; the plateau is cut by a gorge which divides it into two cities …, after the bullfights they carry the dead horses to the edge of this rocky place where the birds, who have been waiting for their turn all day, fling themselves on the remains.”
Today, Jane did not fling me from the edge, so I lived to hike to the bottom of the Tajo Gorge with her and to the rivers, Rio Guadalevin (River of Milk in Arabic) and Arroyo de las Culebras, that have carved this awesome, majestic, ‘death in the afternoon’ place.
From the top to hugging the walls on the way down and return was four hours. Every step was a joy as the Tajo just ‘possessed’ you. One could not get enough of it. Each step
gave you a different view with the colours changing constantly. The enormity of the Walls had you feeling so, so small. There is nothing like being in nature and having it seep into your soul. It reminded us of how we felt going to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and feeling the Colorado River.The track at times was very narrow and most of the time very loose rock. The use of rope or hand / foot pins to lower or climb had to be used at times if we wanted to go as close to the bridge and to the waterfall as possible. We did. No one else around. The sound of the clear, running water was music to one’s ears. The water was cold. Walking down with my trekking poles as aids was slow but I didn’t want Jane inheriting just yet. Going up was fine. I wonder if our knees and thighs feel it tomorrow. The flowers, particularly poppies, were out in force, so Jane spent much of her time photographing flowers … as well as the gorge.
We ended our walk by coming through the back end of Ronda, capturing a very recently married couple
unglamorously climbing into their 4 horse drawn carriage. We completed it by seating ourselves in a busy but nice restaurant and had vegetable paella and a few glasses of Rose. Siesta came quickly.
Tot: 2.503s; Tpl: 0.067s; cc: 11; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0621s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb