Trevor Leeden (“Lord L”) chronicles a family road trip to the south coast of Spain. They leave the beautiful city of Sevilla and travel through Andalucia’s breathtaking white washed towns (Los Pueblos Blancos) as they make their way to Malaga
And so we bid a fond ‘adios’ to Sevilla – there’s more to see there, but that can be said of every city. Rocinante’s grille is pointed south east as we head for the coastal resort town of Malaga. The plan is to take the 90 minute drive to Ronda, but as usual we end up having a few diversions along the way. Out of nowhere we come across the remains of a Moorish fortress and decide to investigate; of course, it’s marvellous. It’s the Castillo de las Aguzaderas, part of the Moorish Strip between Sevilla and Granada and unusually built on flat land around a strategic well. This is also the place where the Shadow Of The Warrior legend springs from – it’s said that the shadow of a warrior can be seen making the rounds along the parapet, eternally awaiting the return of his lost love – we didn’t stay long enough to check the veracity of this, although Dulcinea and Buzzy did find a dog stuck up a dark stairwell leading to the parapets! As we leave to re-enter the main road, there are dozens of cars racing by without even glancing at the castle – if they only knew what they missed!
Don L takes another detour and we join the northern tip of the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos. This takes us through the Sierra de Grazalema National Park, and in Spring and Summer it’s one of Spain’s most popular/busiest tourist destinations (it must be bedlam, because the roads and lanes are ridiculously narrow and winding). Los Pueblos Blancos, or White Towns of Andalusia, are world famous and an extraordinary sight to behold, as the mountains and forests are dotted with tiny towns, all with whitewashed walls and red/brown tiles. We head towards the breathtaking village of Zahara de la Sierra and stop for lunch.
It is spectacular, a picture postcard location, sitting having a sandwich mixto and bad coffee surrounded by the ubiquitous orange trees (BTW – I’ve never seen so many orange trees as in the cities and towns of Andalusia – they’re everywhere), whitewashed buildings, under a vivid blue sky and cold sun. Don L’s travel plans are in turmoil by now, but what price beauty!! Warmed by the winter sun we finally head towards Ronda, and I ponder as we pass more pueblos blancos – ‘how can I get the white paint franchise for this region’!!!
The Leeden family continue their travels through the southern coast of Spain. In his next installment, Lord L describes the beauty of Ronda.