After a day exploring the old town of Malaga, it was time to head back out into the countryside and the little country roads.
Heading away from the coast across the valley floor of the hinterland behind Malaga, the road passes through extensive citrus orchards before starting to climb up into the enclosing hills.
The citrus groves on the coastal plains soon give way to the ubiquitous olive and the signs of a more arid environment become evident in the landscape and flora. As the main road became less main road-like, the village of Casarabonelle could be seen in it’s homogeneous white livery, nestling on the hillside facing southwards. In the surrounding countryside there was evidence of some serious money being invested in new properties
This was the point where I planned to leave the main road and head via a more circuitous route along minor roads through El Burgo, to Ronda. It was also the point where ‘Madame la Satnav‘ and I fell out after I found myself directed down a dead-end road that required a twenty-point turn, in front of as many locals, to extricate myself from.
Once on the right road again it soon wound its way up the valley side and over a broad pass in the Sierra de Alcaparain between the peaks of Grajo (1293m) and Prieta (1521m). Immediately the landscape changed marking an increased aridity in the rain shadow.
El Burgo, sits comfortably in the shelter of its surrounding hills at the head of the Rio Turón and on the edge of a Natural Park. Although small, it has a nice feel about the place and it would no doubt make a good base for exploring the area on foot.
The road to Ronda climbs up out of El Burgo, through several hairpins to the Mirador del Guarda Forestal, where pale blue iris were flowering among the rocks together with the creamy-white blooms of clematis trailing through the low, scrubby bushes.
|From the mirador the road continues to climb until the Puerto del Viento pass at 1190m in the Sierra de los Merlinos. Alas I didn’t spy any Merlin’s but there were a dozen or more Griffon vultures wheeling about overhead .
From the pass the road steadily descended, in the softening late afternoon sunshine, to Ronda. Passing through the remains of an ancient (Roman?) aqueduct I parked the van under a stretch of the old city walls on the eastern slopes, before walking up into the old town as the sun was setting.
Malaga to Casarabonella, El Burgo and Ronda.