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Caves...and driving

Ronda Travel Blog

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From the top of the hill into the caves

This was a full travel day for us.  Getting our of Ronda was pretty easy.  While maps are a little difficult to read sometimes, and the signs in Spain are lacking, Kim was able to direct us out sucessfully.  She got us on the road to the Pileta Cave (Cueva de la Pileta) easy.  We were there by 1045am and made the first tour of the day.

The Pileta Cave was discovered many years ago, but remains under the operation of a small family and is not something tourist companies have really been attracted too yet.  We parked in the dirt lot, and walked up the steep, stair stepped, cliff face to the cave entrance.  For only 8€ we got an hour tour by lanturn of the cave.  Our guide (all tourists are guided) spoke very little english.

Kim in the ´lobby´ of the cave. They wouldn´t let us take more pictures inside.
  While Kim and I can understand Spanish most of the time it was helpful that another of the visitors took the initiative of translating for everyone.  Three of the visitors were from French speaking Canada.  One of them spoke English.  We ended with a situation where the guide spoke in Spanish, a tourist translated to English, and another tourist translated from English to French.  It was funny.

There were only 8 of us in the group.  Myself and another man each held gas powered lanturns (like the old kerosene camping lanturns) as well as the guide.  We walked up slippery stairs the had cut out, squeezed through narrow openings and watched as bats flew overhead.  On the walls we could see the markings of ancient cave dwellers including drawings, bones, and utensils.
Our place for lunch at Arcos
 

This was all very interesting and well worth our time.  Getting down the cliff face was actually easier then we had imagined it.  Kim pointed us in the right direction and we were able to drive through a national park on the way back to Seville.  Initially we were going to stop in a few cities on the way there, but instead drove a slower route through the park instead of backtracking.  This burned some extra time we hadn´t anticipated so instead we had lunch on the outskirts of Arcos de la Frontera, and then took the toll-way back to Seville. 

Our entrance into Seville was uneventful.  Despite the lack of a detailed Seville map we were able to find a gas station, fill up, and drop the car with only 15 minutes to spare.  Perfect timing.  The car rental, gas, parking etc, ended up costing us about $260US.  While that comes out to about $80/day it was worth the freedom it gave us. 

We weren´t able to get on the first two trains back to Madrid, and ended up having to wait two hours for our train.  We might should have tried to order our tickets in advance, or at Ronda, but then we would have been a bit more time constricted then we wanted to be.  The wait wasn´t all that long and it gave us time to relax a bit.  The train trip was fast.  We were getting off almost as soon as we had gotten on.  We read, Kim watched the movie they provided, and we had some sandwiches.  Finding our hotel in Madrid went really quick as well. 

That night was walked the neighborhood around our hotel a bit and then slept well. 

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From the top of the hill into the …
From the top of the hill into the…
Kim in the ´lobby´ of the cave. …
Kim in the ´lobby´ of the cave.…
Our place for lunch at Arcos
Our place for lunch at Arcos
Ronda
photo by: Pearl510