Week 25 – Visitors, rest and planning the last weeks
We spent a busy weekend with Georgina and Rachel – the last visitors during our gap year. We have had the pleasure of sharing our adventures with many of our family and friends, and we are sure there will be lots of fun and experiences revisited over a primitivo or rioja in years to come. We still have 5 weeks before heading home but the planning for our next “gap year” is underway!! 2021 based in France is looking good – pencil it in.
It was only 44 km up to Ronda, but with a very slow scooter holding up traffic on the windy road the whole way we needed a beer “settler” on arrival. Ronda was pumping with tourists – like everywhere we have been it seemed so much busier than when we visited in 2007.
Ronda is also home to a very traditional bullfighting arena, but I am happy to say it is only used one day a year. As our visit did not coincide with the day we filled in for the bulls ….
Sunday was always going to be a big day as we headed for the Alhambra palaces in Granada, and did not start well – we headed straight into heavy rain and when a red light started flashing on the dashboard we worked out that our diesel car required something called AdBlue or it would stop – between google and some keen observation we found that all servos have a huge tank of the stuff and we were back in business, (drivers blood pressure going back to normal).
But there was more – between the inadequate arrival instructions from the Sixthrills tour company,(inadequate because they failed to note that we could not actually park at their meeting point and received a 60 Euro fine for following the GPS and driving into the restricted square!!), the 15 euro per person “rebooking fee” for when we finally got to the meeting point an hour late and had to take a later tour, and the final “snafu” when the guide was denied entry to a major section of the castle, the day did not seem to be heading for a success.
The guide then called the tour off, (much to our delight, but lots of anger from the rest of the tour group – and we are still waiting for the promised refunds), and we then headed off for the “Kiwis go large” jogging tour of the Alhambra. On our own we were able to head off and see a large section of the spectacular palaces and gardens – this is a truly beautiful, mystical place – the Moorish buildings and the fabulous gardens are stunning. At every turn I could “hear” Loreena Mckennitt singing “The Mystic’s Dream”.
Given the number of things that we had overcome in a few hours the day was outstanding. Put the Alhambra on your bucket list, but book months early to get into the Nazrid Palaces and do it on your own, (no need for tour guides and lots of forgettable statistics) – this is a place for seeing not hearing about.
By popular demand we dedicated the rest of this week to walking, swimming and lying on the beach. We have found a walk along the beach into Marbella that takes 90 minutes there and back which is perfect.
We have planned a couple of roadtrips for the next two weeks – Seville next week and Lisbon the following week.