We left the obscure reality of Alcaidesia, hungry. There was another resort offering breakfast, but it was all so bizarre and constructed, that we opted out of it in preference for the first bakery we saw on the way. Matisse shot this plan to pieces when she fell asleep in the back seat. Having been deprived of a decent nap in Gibralter, I wasn't about to prioritise our breakfast over this precious 'zzz' time. So we did a drive by on a servo, Karl barely slowing as I army rolled out the car. That's how it played out in my mind, but the reality was a little more awkward. Fresh out of luck, the servo didn't even have fresh bread. What kind of Spanish enterprise was this...? I was ravenous, and caffeine deprived do I grabbed these horrendous commercialised excuses for a drink to get us through to the next village.
We pulled into the next town, and executed a much smoother drive by... On a supermarket. In broad daylight! I know. Mad. Dogs. There were two extremely dodgy types hanging out the front. The man pounced on me the second I cartwheeled from the moving car. He was rambling on in Spanish, getting up in my face with his bad breath and missing tooth. I could tell he wanted money, but he was speaking in such fast Spanish I could genuinely look confused and plea ignorance. He wasn't having a bar of it. "Un Euro. Euro. Euro.' Great, a universal term that was impossible to not recognise. There was no way I was opening my little coin purse, and myself up, for a broad daylight robbery. I was meant to the one pulling the drive by. So I gestured with my hands, wrinkled forehead and polite smile that I didn't know and walked inside. I got my goods, paid and walked out... Just as Karl passed by, doing his long blockies. Great. Now I had to stand within 3m of the lunatic whilst I waited for Karl to return. He did, and I didn't get robbed. So much suspense for nothing. You're telling me. The amazing part is that Matisse slept through all this.
The croissants I had bought were fresh, but they weren't warm, so I stuffed them with Spanish goodness and put them on the dashboard to heat up. Genius. I know.
The morning route had traced the coastline in search of breakfast. Now that we were satisfied, we headed inland, weaving through mountains until the altitude was high enough to prevent trees from growing. We were finally in... Canyon country. When we were in Barcelona, we caught up with Chad, seven year resident of Spain who had just returned from Ronda and sold us on its charms. We weren't naive enough to ignore his local wisdom.
Ronda is magic, plain and simple. You genuinely feel like you have been planted into a fairy tale, without domestic slaves and nannies. This gorgeous village drips across both sides of the canyon, joined by two castle stone arch bridges. Complete with cliffs, cobblestoned roads, incredible boutique shops and restaurants, I could live here permanently. One night became two, and now three. Our apartment is perched on the edge of the gorge, in the heart of the town and looking over the bridges. It's divine. I also couldn't help but feel at home when I noticed these newspaper headlines. Some competition for the NT News...?!
When we checked into our apartment, it seemed bigger end more extravagant than the one we booked, including a second bedroom. We rang the host to confirm and he had, in fact, confused us with some other guests. So we got demoted down two levels, but the place has an unrivalled view. The second bedroom was more than compensated for by the washing machine, which we desperately needed. Both apartments don't have wifi, but this lower one is within radius of the restaurant below. So we went on a covert operation for a cheesecake and coffee, secured the password and have been stealing the internet ever since.