Surely there are a lifetime’s worth of more things to still feast on here in Seville. But there is also enough time for randomness built into this trip to allow for some spontaneity. Page 689 of the Lonely Planet Spain suggested a rather unique way of getting from where we were in Seville to where we were heading in Ronda: “Driving Tour White Towns.” A straight-line heads out from Arcos de Frontera on their map and squiggles about after you get into the green coloring of the sierra and the Parque National Los Alcornocales, and though the whole trip would be longer than we’d have time for we could jump off the path half way at Grazalema and make our way straight down to Ronda and Mijas where we were to spend the night.
Before we left Seville our Airbnb host had left instructions for us to make sure we took out the garbage with instructions on how to do so. I told the kids they had an hour before we needed to leave and schlepped down the four flights of stairs when the elevator wouldn’t come and found a trash bin immediately outside which I decided would do just fine. Up the street, towards the Cathedral, I’d noticed a wine shop and bought myself a bottle of my new favorite Tio Pepe and some whites from Galicia from a nice lady who ran the place.
The elevator wouldn’t come when I returned either and as I plodded painfully up the steps, I stuck my head in the third floor apartment where it appeared they had commandeered the elevator, explaining that I’d be needing it soon to lug bags down. “Ahh but you see its broken” he explained. They guy’d be here to fix it in an hour. My kids and the one fifty-pound bag they have between them were ready and I commenced the lug. The workman below gallantly offered to help but I could manage. On the drive out of town I felt obliged to play “The Barber of Seville” and considered that I would alas, never be able to listen to this without considering Bugs and Elmer.
El Bosque and Ubrique were both beautiful, but though I tried I couldn’t find anywhere to park and made them both drive by’s. The ride up and hour of Brique was lovely, with hard granite rock cliffs, sparse greenery and traffic signs that warned we should be careful in snow. In Grazalemus I vowed to park somewhere found a public lot just above the idyllic town square. All along the walk down to the outdoor café I identified one after another new plants, some of which, like the Marvel of Peru and the Peruvian Peppertree spoke to the seeds that must have been brought back home from elsewhere in the former empire.
The descent to the sea was dramatic. Coste Del Sol was all rather built up , looking like an aspirational Shenzhen. We were late when we arrived in Mijas but were fortunate to have a rather gracious, if loquacious host who booked us a reservation for dinner at a place down, not far on the beach. Later, when we were seated he and his family walked by, to make sure we were all set.