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Ronda is just about the same size as Segovia where I was living last year; they’ve got around 35,000 inhabitants/ the city is at the top of some mountains divided by a gorge. To connect the two parts  Puente Nuevo, Ronda’s main draw,  was built around 1740.

Our day consisted of strolling around taking in the noticeably distinct feel of the place; a mix between north south and central Spain. The architecture was different, instead of just tomato and olive oil there was some types of patae you could spread on your toast for breakfast. The landscape from Sevilla’s sheet-like cityscape was was exaggerated compared to the mountains bordering Ronda’s horizon and the cliff’s that protected the Celtic then Roman city from invading forces.

Becca, her Boyfriend, “Twister”, Megan and I walked the perimeter of the city along the Paseo Ingles, taking in the views of the patchwork of gardens, farms, houses and roads and paths. It would be awesome to spell things out or make designs with your garden so that people looking down could see some garden art; maybe a set of eyes like the ones in Brazil’s favelas.

There was a medieval fair going on which was really just a market dressed in medieval clothes, selling cheese, cured meats, sweets and other things. These fairs are common all over Spain. we all sat and ate our lunch on a bench inside the park where the fair was happening then wandered around getting sucked into buying something. I got my favorite gummy sweets, Megan; some tea, Becca; chocolate cake, and Twister; some mini donuts coated in chocolate syrup.

We crossed over the bridge and milled around, passing a cool church with a balcony, I’ve never seen that before. We went down and checked out the old city gate, which was similar to the one in Avila but smaller. Earlier we saw people down near the base of the Puente Nuevo so we traced the cities edge working back to the Puente Nuevo to hike down.

Just before going down the first set of steps we saw a sign saying that the path was in poor condition but disregarded it and continued down several crumbly switchbacks. Halfway down there was a “clear path” and an off of the beaten one. The latter seemed to lead towards the foot of the bridge which would not make for a great picture but a better adventure.

We climbed past remnants of an old dweling, walking on orange clay roofing tile shards then worked our way down a path along a solid vertical rock face. i stopped to take a picture or 10 and Megan walked ahead. After realizing how far in front of me she was I started running down the path, gaining more and more speed. trying to slow down in boots not meant for hiking, i just started sliding. eventually i was back under control and a lady put out her arms and said, “you stop?”. “Thanks i’m fine” I puffed out as I continued running past her.

At the base we found a pitch black cave I lead the way with my boots slipping in the mud feeling my way forward without light to see what was ahead of me. The mud of each successive step getting watery and deeper. Megan passed her Iphone forward to Becca who had on rain boots. She marched forward using the phones light. All she discovered was shin deep liquid mud and more light-less cave.

we worked our way back out and along a wall about 2 feet wide, not so scary until you consider that there is no railing and the drop if a few hundred feet to the rocks below. The path lead to an old shack of some sort with cool lighting. Inside the melted candles hinted to some satanic or other sacred acts so we went to the actual trail. but before leaving that drop Becca had a task to complete. Earlier her boyfriend brought up that toy we had when we were kids; the little parachute guy. We thought it would look cool to have one of them and toss it down. I had a plastic bag and she had a bottle so we tied it together and had been holding on to it all day. Now was the time. she cocked back and launched it off of the cliff only ending in a tree about 50 feet below.

Its nice to have people around when traveling; to have people you are making these memories with. And as an added bonus from time to time I get a few pictures of me. These are thanks to Megan:

Dead End? I think we can climb over.

I’m camouflaged

On a humorous but not so humorous note. We entered the cathedral earlier in the day we were exiting and I first lost my balance and almost tipped over then someone went in front of me and a reached out to catch the door as it was closing. I wasn’t looking and thought the door would hit my hand but instead I caught the huge wooden door with my camera. Thankfully no harm was done. At least none that will be immediately noticeable.