When Anya and I flew to Malaga, Spain in April 2022, the world was just emerging from the Covid pandemic and taking steps towards returning to normal. For the previous two years we had suddenly been quarantined in our own countries and Anya and I, permanently grounded in Australia. With the arrival of vaccines, the situation changed. Europe was the first areas of the planet to open up to international travel and Asia the last (even in November the mandatory wearing of masks was commonplace). And within Europe itself, the Northern nations dropped all restrictions earlier than the Southern. When we arrived in Andalucía in April, 2002, it was mandatory to wear a mask in public transport and shops. By the time we left, a month later, these restrictions had been eased.
From Malaga, we took the bus east to the town of Ronda. We based ourselves in the following towns whilst going on long day walks in the nearby countryside:
Ronda; Grazilema; Benamahoma; El Burgo; Tolox.
These towns are located in the Parque Natural Sierra de Grazilema and Parque Nacional Sierra de la Nieves.
Before departing The Netherlands, we bought two maps of Andalucía. We travelled mainly on local buses, though two occasions we opted for taking a taxi, when there was no buses running. Actually the rates for those taxis was quite good. Getting information about bus departures is daunting in the southern European nations and Spain is no exception. We rented apartments and bought our food at local supermarkets; the apartments were consistently very good and reasonably priced (Spain is the cheapest country in Europe).
We had fine weather during our months in Andalucía and indeed in the last week it was unseasonably warm. Unbeknownst to us then, the summer in Europe was set to become one of the warmest on record. We had emerged from the Covid to find ourselves confronted by the brutal reality of climate change. Whilst Europe was set to swelter, Australia was being inundated by rains the likes of which had never been seen before and led to catastrophic flooding.
Benamahoma is a very small town with steep streets. There is some great walking in the area. Remarkable is its church with very evident signs of Adalucia’s Islamic history.