Down to t’ pit

The town of Ronda is split in two by a sheer-sided, 100m-deep gorge with a river sparkling at its base. Three bridges span the gorge, the latest or New Bridge, is especially famous as it looks like, something out of Game of Thrones. The locals call the gorge El Tejo or The Pit.

View from our room to bar below

Our hotel room overlooks the gorge and directly beneath it we can see a bar with a terrace by the river – so our goal for today was to descend into the pit for a cup of coffee on that terrace. The walk proved to be an absolute joy on a warm Spring morning on a winding road surrounded by wildflowers.

We did indeed have coffee on the terrace looking up at the bridge. And looking back up at our hotel room (top floor right-hand corner). This is actually the second bridge in the same spot. The first collapsed after only six years killing 50 people; so when they built this one it was designed to be proper solid.

Ronda’s new bridge (and our hotel room)

With mission joyfully accomplished, we had a slightly more arduous walk up the hill to the town followed by lunch in a lovely shady square. My favorite goats cheese salad for me, and a tortilla for Jennifer. We then sat for ages and amused ourselves trying to guess the nationality of passing tour groups.

Now in the early afternoon, we followed the old city walls down again to river-level to see the two older bridges spanning the gorge at much lower levels. I should point out here that this was not me being a ‘completionist’ this was all Jennifer. And of course having descended we had to then walk back up to the top.

Water mine

Next stop was the Casa del Rey Moro. This old palace has a famous garden which was, well, sort of nice. But it also has a 14th Century ‘water mine’ – a vertical cave cut into the gorge ending in a human-powered water wheel that pumped water up to the top. Today it allows the only access to the gorge at river level. So that was down a lot of steps to a fabulous view of the gorge from the bottom and then back up, what I am certain was an even larger number of steps, to the town again.

If you’re keeping count that’s three times today that we went down into El Tajo and back up to the top. Not that I’m complaining, it’s been fabulous. But it was a big day down t’ pit [insert mental image of coal miner here].

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