Alcalá de los Gazules to Ronda

Alcalá de los Gazules to Ronda

The day started drizzly ⛆ But then we’re climbing and Andalucia is known to be a tad wet at times! Come to that, it’s not known for its flatness either! Roads again very quiet. April is definitely not tourist season, so a big plus. Good thing I’m not a tourist!

The nights wild camping 🏕️ was amongst numbered-cork-trees. I’ve never seen cork trees before unless attached to the end of a wine bottle! I say numbered, because they had numbers painted on them! The climb (carrying the bike!) to this secluded spot did take some work. Can’t be seen from the rural road and also high up. As I say, if it’s hard for me to get to, then there’s a good chance man won’t be in attendance too. Man’s 🤷‍♂️ generally lazy by nature!

Heard some eerily ‘barks’ from fallow deer during the night 🌌 Good to hear wildlife, though. Reminded me of living in the Namibian bush 🇳🇦

The morning was overcast and wasn’t looking to improve. And it didn’t! Pissed it down! ☔ A significant wet downhill into the town of Obrique. Secured a nice cafe to dry out and a bite to eat. With the customary excellent coffee/s! Leaving town, on the only road out, only to find there’s a automobile-hill-climbing race on 🏎️ FFS … had to wait around for it to finish! Bloody cars! Should’ve gone back for another cafe or two.

When allowed onto the road by the grumpy-gun-toting 🏎️ Guardia Civil police, we headed uphill. And that uphill just got steeper with no end in sight. It all looks so flat on a map! At the same time hordes of automobile watchers descending down the hill. They all seemed amused by loaded cyclists going up. You’d think they’d never encountered anyone on a fully-loaded-bicycle 🚴 before. Some people need to get out more!  

Eventually the ability to carry on climbing started to wane. But when needed, I discovered a wild camping spot over looking Obrique. The town looked awfully close compared to the tough cycling endured to get away from it! Though, higher now! ⛰️ It took some effort working out a pitch amongst the rocks, but managed, with a bit of jiggery-pokery! Acquisition of water was the next agenda. In this sort of terrain they’ll inevitably be a stream or two around. Listen, then follow. The water did look a bit murky and smelt ☣️ but after a filter and boil with the added chlorine tab or two, all was fine. I think!

The next morning was spent finishing off what was left of the climb. A lot easier with fresher legs! 

Stopping in the quaint village of Villaluenga del Rosario for a cafe. If it’s there, its cafe time, anytime! Cafe (coffee) ☕ in Spain is cheap when away from the tourist traps. Then a slow mozzy onto another quaint town, Grazalema. No wild camping but a quiet camp ground … we hope!

I’m starting to suss out which are the party (noisy) campsites and which aren’t. If they’ve tents, caravans and gazebos permanently in place, stop at your own peril! Grazalema’s camp ground was fairly small and turned out be peaceful. Not a gazebo insight! Stayed two nights. Only because the first morning it lashed it down 🌊. I dug gullies to divert some of the torrents. My tent base/tub felt like a water bed. Stayed relatively dry, though. Compared to others 🤣

The subsequent day, setting off with everything nearly dry. Ronda was the destination and a little cabin for the end of the day. I didn’t know I was staying in a cabin 🚪at the beginning of the day! 

Photos generally shot with a Samsung EX1 24-72mm f/1.8 and a Nokia Lumia N9 phone as back-up.

 

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