Distance: 128 miles
Monday, 31st, August
A quick motorway blast this morning followed by some faster roads. I spotted a town not too far off the route which has two great reasons to visit. The first is that it's called 'Moron' (and that's too good a chance to miss), the second is there are some good roads en route.
When we arrive the place itself is a little down at heel, but we are only here for a photo stop. I make the most of it. Alisa skips this one.
From Moron, it was a case of nice enough riding to Coripe where we stop for a drink in this sleepy little village. We have a chat with the bar owner (we speak no Spanish, she speaks no English). We gather that Coripe is a tranquil little place and Ronda is also nice, but full of tourists.
We depart as the lunch crowd arrives and get onto small winding roads. We notice the greenery start to return as we ride into the Parque natural de la Sierra de Grazalema.
I start to have a bit too much fun on the Explorer, gunning the bike through the bends, until suddenly the back steps out, the whole bike lurches sideways and then goes into a tank slapper. Thankfully I stay on-board and manage not to throw the bike at the scenery.
It's such a weird moment that I pull over to figure out what happened...after a while I notice that I'd bottomed out one of the panniers, which must have lifted the rear wheel or at least took the load off. The only damage was about an inch of aluminium that I ground off the bottom corner of the pannier. So I decide to take it as a warning and slow down.
Rounding a corner we come across a huge lake and in the distance we see a picturesque hilltop top village with a castle on top, Zahara. We follow a tour bus up to the town and find a small gap to park the bikes before walking further.
Zahara is a picture postcard town, with whitewashed buildings clustered tightly together overlooking a lake. Typically it's pretty quiet in the early afternoon, but we find a lovely little cafe with a view over the valley and treat ourselves to the meal of the day for 9 Euros, including a small beer - this is truly holidaying.
After Zahara we hit 'windy roads' on the TomTom for the two hour ride to Ronda. We are blessed with new tarmac, flowing curves, banked corners and no cars...perfect biking roads. With my close call front of mind, I make the best of the ride without pushing and enjoy the nicest ride of the trip so far.
Our hotel for the night in the hills just outside Ronda - as we pull into the gravel drive amongst the olive groves I note that Alisa has picked somewhere rather special. The Hotel Fuente de la Higeura is based in an ancient olive mill on a quiet hillside.
Once we are settled in and the road grime is washed away we enjoy a lovely sunset meal on the terrace.
What a nice way to end a great day motorcycle touring.