Help me Ronda!

There’s a Beach Boys song you may remember from the 1960’s (assuming you’re as ‘experienced’ as me) called “Help me Rhonda” and this has become our theme song for this particular day trip to … you guessed it … Ronda. Not just because of the name but also because of the lyrics that go ” Help me Rhonda, yeah, get her out of my heart”. That’s right, sing along if you know the words šŸ™‚ .These lyrics apply directly to the bus trip itself and the … hmmmm … tour guide.

Google had reliably informed us that the medieval hilltop town of Ronda was about 90 minutes from Malaga by car so we were a little surprised that we were told to be at the assembly point at 7.10 am, an hour unseen by most sensible Spaniards.

As we trundled through the deserted streets just after dawn to meet up with our surprisingly small group of fellow adventurers, we hungrily planned breakfast at our destination. Oh, how foolishly deluded we were!

The bus duly arrived shortly after the appointed time and a very grumpy, elderly man hurried us on board. It then proceeded to stop at every cheek by jowl holiday resort along the Costa del Sol from Torremolinos to Marbella collecting more and more gullible participants along the way. All the while, the grumpy old man, who had finally introduced himself as Paco our tour guide, tried to convince us at regular intervals and in four different languages that we were in fact lucky, as there were usually many more pickups. The one thing I have learned from bitter experience is that the harder someone tries to convince you something is so, the less likely it is to be the truth!

Finally, four hours after our departure from Malaga, we finally arrived in Ronda and traipsed slowly around the streets behind our slow moving guide who seemed bent on wasting as much time as possible.

Puerte Nuevo
Puerte Nuevo

We followed him across the magnificent Puente Nuevo, the very impressive so-called ‘new’ bridge that was completed in 1793 after 40 years of construction and on to the historic centre of the old town for a scheduled wine tasting that proved to be a lifesaver … wine on tap … as much as you wanted in the time allowed. Blissful and amazingly heady on an extremely empty stomach!!!!

Wine on tap!!!
Wine on tap!!!

After a quick visit to the oldest bullring in Spain, we were given a couple of hours to have a delicious mixed tapas lunch and explore alone.

The oldest bullring in Spain
The oldest bullring in Spain

Then it was onto the bus again for the return journey which fortunately only took three and a half hours. Apparently, people disembark from buses more quickly than they get on them. The final nail in the coffin for this particular tour was when the bus driver stopped along the route and the tour guide speedily left the bus, presumably to go home, without a goodbye or even a backward glance and let the remaining passengers to the mercies of the fortunately excellent bus driver. It was a truly bizarre experience.

Ronda is a wonderful medieval village and is well worth a visit, but from my experience, take care not to book a trip through Julia Travels! It may have created a memory we will dine out on for years, but not for the right reasons.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Suzanne says:

    The more read the more I envy you. I have always wanted to visit Barcelona. Hope it is one of your stop overs.

    1. Hi Suzanne. Yes we are! We’re off tomorrow to Valencia for 3 nights and then Barcelona for 5 nights. I’m a bit behind on my blogging but keep reading and I promise lots of pics when we’re there. Love to you both. Xxxx

  2. Emma says:

    Ohhh dear, hopefully the ‘wine on tap’ at least dulled the pain. The bridge looks incredible I have to say. You do look remarkably sober ha ha. Keep the blogs coming.

  3. The coach tour didn’t sound great. We just took the train from Malaga and arrived with ease, inexpensive and a comfortable train. Sadly, we didn’t find the wine on tap though!!

  4. No, it wasn’t great. It sounds like you had the right idea using the train. The wine on tap was great though šŸ™‚

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