The white villages of Andalusia

Today we headed out of Cadiz to the North on a mission to visit the white villages of Andalucía.

Not far from Cadiz an impressive tangle of mountains and valleys are home to a series of small towns that boast white walls and red roofs. The biggest problem facing a visitor is deciding whether it’s better to wander the cobbled streets or to find a distant vantage point to take in the whole village. We tried for a judicious mix of the two as we drove from town to town.

I must admit that I enjoyed the views from the mountains even more than seeing the villages. Spain does a fine line in mountains with green plains disappearing off to the horizon and there were some fine examples today.

The drive through the mountains was on very narrow, very twisty roads. If there was a collective noun for hairpin bends they could use these roads to illustrate it. It was OK, the views totally compensated for the anxiety-inducing drive.

We ended today in Ronda where we are staying in a hotel that has a view to rival most we’ve seen today. I’m not sure the hotel will approve of our use of the balcony to dry our clothes, but such is life when you’re living out of a backpack.

The hotel of course drove home to me the problem with having a car. I don’t have a problem with driving on the right, or a manual car, or narrow roads – but parking under old buildings in Spain is pretty much universally a nightmare. This was no exception.

That said, I’ve recovered from the stress thanks to another Spanish tradition. Order a gin and tonic and they come and start pouring gin until you tell them to stop. So we’re sitting on a terrace overlooking Ronda’s famous bridge and feeling pretty happy.

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