How to have the perfect holiday

How to have a perfect holiday Book a cheap flight to Malaga, hire a car and head for the hills. Book only one or two nights accommodation in advance. Once there buy a detailed map with guide to the area and take it from there. We had two nights in Ronda, two nights in Zahara and three nights in Grazalema because we found a fantastic hostel there. Climb as many high mountains as you can, see as many sights as you can fit in but still make time for siestas and reading – I still read two books.

This is part of the Abode of the Moorish King which sits above the Mira Stairway,
365 steps leading into a mine and gorge.
In the 14th Century slaves were used to
carry water up the stairs for the villager
 – their life expectancy in the mine was eight weeks.
Things I love about Andalucia: Every premises has energy saving bulbs. They have different shapes and sizes for every fitting. Everyone speaks to you, young and old – greetings of hola, buenos dias, buenas tardes, buenas noches are universal and a delight. Hardly any English speaking tourists.
The houses are painted sparkling white with fabulous tiles. Clean streets, no litter, no dogs or cats. The chickens, dogs and vegetable gardens are situated on the village fringes. I took great pleasure in seeking them out.

Just painted – 

the house painters of Zahara are a band of women 

who will never be out of work.

A well tended vegetable patch in Grazalema.

The villages seem to be self sufficient. There are hens, bread making, oranges, cheese making and large communal vegetable gardens.

Where the dogs and chickens live in Zahara.

 All the streets are beautifully cobbled and there are no potholes! Shops are unobtrusive. They look like houses, no advertising or Tescos or other big supermarkets. No boy racers, no neds. There are loads of old men, as well as old women; not something we see so much of in Scotland. And most walked everywhere with the use of only a stick. I saw no zimmers or tri walkers. It must be all that olive oil. Real chips made from real potatoes.  Small beers not whopping great pints. Fabulous vino de casa at an average price of €8. 

A tattie plot in Rhonda.  

Cactus graffiti in Zahara.

Things I didn’t like about Andalusia: The mountain roads are narrow with super high verges that could seriously damage the hire car. TV Channel Toro. Ronda is the home of bull fighting and this channel was on in every bar. It is horrible to see but also compulsive to watch.

The view from Sierra de Grazalema’s highest mountain – El Torreon (1654mtrs)

After the hill walk

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