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Help Me, Ronda

Gifted wordsmiths and artists have been inspired by the breathtaking beauty of this place. I get it, and I'm in awe, too. Yet somehow I'm irritated that we can't find a place to park the car. Ronda and I are not getting along. What I thought were GIANT hills in Porto were just the warmup for the seemingly insurmountable cliffs of Lisbon.

None of that, however, prepared us for the royal gorge of Ronda. I require a sherpa just to cross the street here.

We're staying at the Hotel Enfrente Arte, which is very comfortable and funky. It's quite a change from the corporate style of our suite at the Lisbon Doubletree. I like it a LOT. I really like the breakfast and the open beer, wine, and refreshment bar, and the guppies in the Dr Fish tank that nibble at my toes. It's off the tourist track and in a random residential neighborhood - which means we have to do quite a bit of climbing to get to the "upper town" - that's where all the restaurants, museums, and stuff we want to see are located. We've logged quite a few uphill miles in the past two days, and even David, who is determined to see every sight, decided that today was a good day to enjoy the amenities of the hotel rather than fight the uphill battle on a 90 degree day.

Tomorrow we drive (well, I'll hesitantly drive) back to Malaga to catch a late flight to Valencia. Don't get me wrong - Ronda is beautiful and magical, and if I was 20 years younger...but these middle-aged bones aren't meant for cliff climbing. Bring your goat.

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