The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Monday, April 25, 2016

From Antequera in Andalusia, Spain

After leaving Gibraltar I started riding the roads that twisted up through the mountains of Andalusia in the far south of Spain The roads are highlighted in green on the map, meaning they are scenic drives, and indeed they are absolutely beautiful.

There are numerous small villages hugging the cliffs.

The villages are a delight. I was riding on a Saturday, and people were out driving about and enjoying their weekend. There were many motorcycle riders on the road and in the towns, and when it came time to park for the evening I felt entirely safe leaving Odysseus in the motorcycle parking area out on the street.

I found myself a beautiful hotel for the evening. It had clean rooms and a friendly staff, and the price was less than I paid for the terrible hostel I stayed in at Gibraltar. The town I stayed in was Ronda. It was split in two by a deep gorge, and it had several bridges crossing the gorge, each older than the one immediately above it, and all built at the same place. So, in essence, there is actually only one bridge now, high up over the gorge that splits the town.

I joined the tourists in wandering to the bottom of the gorge, and all over the town.

The town was a photographers delight. There were nice things to see around each corner. Not being much of a photographer myself, I do not pretend to do justice to the scenery.

My hotel was just outside the Plaza de Toros; the bullfighting ring. The next day, as I was loading up, preparing to leave, there was a club displaying their antique cars in the Plaza.

I am in love with this old Aston Martin. I want one like it, but I guess that is something I will never own.

I left Ronda and headed toward the slightly larger town of Antequera, choosing it only because it was on a green road on the map.

As I was getting close to Antequera I passed a small sign that said there was a wolf sanctuary just off the road. I couldn't resist; the biologist in me just had to go visit the animals. This wolf is Alaskan, and there is a lot of hope that she is going to have a litter soon.

I didn't know this: there are around 2,000 wild wolves left in the Iberian Peninsula. Here is one of them, although I guess it is not truly wild living in a sanctuary.

Besides the wolves, there were some other animals there as well. Mostly, these other animals are pets. Here is a pig (yes, they have wild pigs in Spain, but this guy is actually a Vietnamese pig that some people had in an apartment somewhere in Spain. If you are like me, you think that a pig is not a very good pet for apartment people..

Look at this old goat. I love his beard.

It turns out the town I was headed to for the night was a fortunate choice. It has about 45,000 people, and lots of scenic places to see. This church is directly across from my hotel.

This fountain is in the square where my hotel is located.

High up over the town is a fortress. Back in 1410 a leader named Fernando, along with his army of course, laid siege to the fortress. At that time, the fortress was built and occupied my the Moors. Fernando, being Christian, was eager to take it away from the infidels.

Of course, I had to walk up to see the fortress. There are some beautiful views back over the town from up there.

Oops. I jumped into the picture and ruined it. You might like this next one better.

I  discovered this gateway on my way up to the fortress.

I really liked exploring the fortress. I found some old Roman baths there which were built about a thousand years before the fortress. The place had a nice garden as well.

Here is one final view of the town of Antequera.

I liked this town well enough that I have stayed here two days. That is kind of a record for me. Tomorrow I plan on following some more of those green-highlighted roads. I don't know for sure where I am going, but I guess I will be there when I finish for the day. Now though, it is coming on eight at night. They keep ringing the bells of the church across the courtyard. It is either a fire or time to eat. They do enjoy eating late here. In fact, cafes quit serving at 4 p.m. so that people can build their appetites, and the restaurants do not open until 8 p.m. So, time for this adventurer to go eat.

Adios, muchachos.

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