We drove out of Marbella from San Pedro, on the Ronda road that climbs the 40 kms to Ronda, past the golf clubs, urbanisations and country clubs, and past the exclusive enclaves for the super rich such as La Zagaleta.
It’s only a matter of minutes before one is in the dramatic scenery of pine forests and mountain rivers – here one sees the ancient Spanish firs, a species only found here and in North Africa. In fact as one drives further north, along the winding road the landscape changes from coastal to mountain forest through to more alpine scenery.
We arrive in Ronda, la Ciudad Soñada a little before 2pm – luckily we are hungry as we are about to enjoy quite a substantial meal.
First there is the tasty jamón Serrano – much better than that available in the supermarkets on the coast – and of course, the cured Manchego hard cheese that completes almost all Andalucian tapas.
Lunch was a traditional paella – a huge steel dish piled high with saffron stained rice, meat, shell fish and huge tasty, fresh prawns. Salad and vino tinto complement the dish.
Then, as if that was not enough, there is rice pudding, flan and cheesecake – and of course, since this is a birthday meal, a large, sugary cake!
Thankfully small cups of strong black coffee end the meal.
Although I’ve only been at Inlingua for a week, I was able to string together a few phrases to win some understanding and together with a patient audience and some theatrical body language I managed to communicate.
On the drive home I captured the dramatic evening light over the pueblo.
I will return to Ronda over Easter – Semana Santa – to experience the traditional Easter Thursday proscession through the streets.