Adventures In Andalucía

Well after a whirlwind exit from Melbourne and with everything I own either sold, in storage or in the suitcase I’m now travelling with, I find myself in gorgeous Granada. It’s been a few weeks of good living here as my great friend Paula and I have made the most of everything that’s so wonderful about Spain – tapas, vino tinto, picture-postcard scenery, fascinating history, and the quintessentially Iberian laid-back approach to life.

Cadiz, city of intrigue

Cadiz, city of intrigue

I’m missing my motorbike, of course – but happily we’ve got a car for a bit and have been doing some great road-trips to some of Andalucía’s most beautiful areas. We drove via Gibraltar and Tarifa to Cádiz in the west of the province – a magical city where the cobbled lamp-lit alleyways and fading centuries-old buildings reek of sailor’s stories and shenanigans from times gone by.

Following a tip-off from a friend, we then headed north to El Puerto de Santa Maria to seek out the Bodegas Obregón and sample their extraordinary sherries – fino, amontillado, and my favourite, the “Oloroso.

Mmmm, sherry....

Mmmm, sherry….

Warmed by a few tipples – and with a case in the boot! – we then drove the incredible Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) route, along precarious twisty roads climbing up through steep mountain passes leading to gorgeous whitewashed villages like Grazalema and Ronda.

The road to Grazalema

The road to Grazalema

After getting hopelessly lost as darkness descended, we arrived late to friends with a villa in La Viñuela, a tiny village somewhere north-east of Málaga and shared sherry, cheese and stories from the road with them until the small hours. Next morning, we woke to the sound of birds and the sight of more green rolling hills generously dotted with little white cottages. Bliss.

So as you can probably tell, it’s all good here in Spain! It’s still winter here, with chilly temperatures and a lot of rain, so I’ve already made a conscious decision to hold off getting a bike until the weather improves a bit. I also need to do more research into whether I’ll hire or buy and the places I want to explore, both here in Spain and further afield. I’ve seen a few Suzuki Van Vans but, having had a preview of the kinds of roads that are out there, I’m already starting to wonder if one would be cut out for Europe, North Africa and beyond.

Still, plenty of time to figure all that out. First, another fino and a generous helping of tapas, I think… 🙂

4 thoughts on “Adventures In Andalucía

  1. Gary France

    I have a house in Sotogrande, so I know the country well. When you get a bike there, you will love riding, especially in the mountains. Don’t wait too long, as riding in the full heat of the summer can be uncomfortable! Enjoy Spain!

  2. Mike Werner

    My advice would be go for a BMW 650GS. It’ll take you anywhere you want, not over-powered and reliable. Depending on your height, it’s the GS is too tall, go for the 650CS.

    1. Jeanie Davison Post author

      Hi Mike, great to hear from you!

      The 650GS is certainly available all over Spain, it seems. I’m a short-arse so the lowered-seat option would definitely be the way to go for me – just worried about the weight of a Beemer, as I’ve only ever ridden relatively light bikes! Also I’m really looking for something with a bit of character, which is why the Van Van really appealed… 🙂

      Ah, so many choices…


      1. g2-a92549409ebcbf01f205ad9ae85ad092

        Yeah, but you can’t really go anywhere over 150 kms in Europe on a VanVan. And the 650 is pretty light.

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