Day 8 - Ronda - The Old Town
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Shhh! It's early and all I can hear is s gentle breeze blowing through the gorge below. I sneak out of bed, grab my camera and start shooting. The town is quiet at 6am with just a few workers making deliveries. I breath in the crisp clean air and just soak in the view. The water below provides a rhythmic calming sound and it lulls me back to sleep.
Ronda is a small village with a slower pace. After a week of busy cities this is a welcome stop. Tomorrow is our big trip into the countryside to visit an organic olive oil farm. Today we are walking the city and searching for goods for the shop.
After a delightful breakfast on the terrace overlooking the bridge, we head out into the old town. The old town of Ronda is quite charming with cobbled narrow streets that open up to small gathering spaces. Many have tiny play yards for the nino's to play.
Along the way we dart in and out of shops finding pottery and linens for the shop. We make our way to
Entrelenguas where we will be enjoying an olive oil farm experience tomorrow. The staff is welcoming and enthusiastic and give us a great list of local bars that support the slow food movement.
Slow food refers to those who grow, raise or use ingredients from the local area. We walk down the hill to Bodega San Francisco which is a locals favorite bar and enjoy a casual lunch. The outdoor seating quickly fills us with a line forming. We try the tuna salad, a variety of skewered meats and finish with some garlic shrimp. All of the dishes are simple and made with fresh ingredients. Perfect for a hot day.
As we make our way back to the hotel we stop to listen to local musicians strumming their guitars in the plaza and share a bowl of white chocolate custard with orange sorbet, cool and sweet at the same time. Getting on local time has given way to enjoying the afternoon siesta. We rest, work on the blog and ready ourselves for dinner.
Tonight we are visiting Number 4 on Entresleguas Slow Food pamphlet. The bar is El Convento. According to Google it will be a 15 min walk. We take 25 minutes .
As we walk the barrio transitions from shops and bars to rows of white-washed houses. By the looks of things we are headed in the wrong direction. We consult Google maps and a few residents chatting on the corner and are reassured the bar is up ahead. We round the corner and there it is, a tiny five table family run treasure.
The bar is run by Carmela and the chef appears to be her husband. The third staff is a nice young man, possibly a son or relative? I use my broken Spanish to ask Carmela what she would recommend as house specialties and she quickly marks them for us.
We start with the Roman artichokes and a tomato salad. The artichokes are lightly dressed in olive oil and vinegar with a dusting of smoked flaked salt, yummy!
The tomato salad has the same dressings with fresh heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives and cheese.
Bright fresh flavors all around.
Stuffed mushrooms with langostino come next and what a treat they are. The mushrooms are filled with an olive oil and parsley sauce and topped with garlic shrimp, ah yeah these were amazing!
Through out the meal Carmela is bringing out vermut for Michael to try and pairing wine with the various courses. Later we find out this place has a reputation for serving excellent local wines.
At this point you could roll us out the door, but wait there's more! Yes, no meal is complete in Spain without pork, in this case it's a pork loin topped with sweet onions and served with fried potatoes, roasted corn and mild local peppers. The loin was huge, tender and full of flavor.
The Chef pokes his head out of the kitchen and we applaud with great enthusiasm. Alas... we must go and with our bill comes two glasses of muscatel and a plate of freshly baked almond cookies.
What a treat, we ask if they can ring a cab for us so we don't get lost in the dark. While we wait, more muscatel and another plate of cookies.
Such a warm and inviting environment with a truly local experience.
Be sure to get here by 8:00pm right when they open or you probably won't get a seat. This is a very popular locals bar and we can see why.
When our taxi arrives Camille instructs the driver where to take us and says to treat us like family. Hugs all around and we're off. One of our most favorite meals yet!