Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sun, Mountains and exquisite food!

It appears that November in the Iberian Peninsula is changing when it relates to weather.  Last Saturday saw a group of Blands Travel clients and staff members visit a truly iconic town of Benaojan, situated within the mountainous region of Ronda, Benaojan is famously known for its oaks, pastures rainfed by the Mediterranean and sheep industry. Its cuisine is highlighted by the sausages and other pork products and dried fruits.  For this same reason we decided to visit this wonderful town in Spain.  We left Gibraltar at early day and made our way up in our cosy 26 seater bus which comfortably accommodated our group, stopping on the way in Estepona for a well-deserved early breakfast.  As you would expect from any Spanish traditional bar, local produce made our breakfast that extra special, toasted fresh bread from the day and “Manteca Colorada” traditional Red butter from the pigs most juicy parts!


After breakfast we made the way up to town, one important fact you may ought to know is the fact that there are 192 bends along the road to Ronda!  That is astonishing, the views are spectacular and if you are into orienteering and birdwatching, this is truly a haven for these practices.  After an hour, we finally arrived into what seemed a ghost town, very picturesque and beautiful, however, none else to be seen. The name of Benaojan is of Arab origin. Some believe it means children of Oján, from the Berber tribe, and others think "home of the baker."  It is precisely to do with baking that we were enlightened to visit.  Our trip had a 11:45 visit to Charcuteria el Cerdito Andaluz, here you can buy the best cuts of meats.  We were amazed to see the sheer amount of meats at affordable prices on display, Christmas is round the corner, and for this same reason the group started to invest heavily in buying the best cuts of meat.  Just on a side note, Gibraltarians love their meat when it comes to Christmas!


A short while later, the group finished buying their traditional Spanish Ham and other meats and decided it was time for a stop at one of the bars if not the only bar in the town of Benaojan.  A nice glass of wine from Ronda was just lovely as we sat in the bars terrace, the sunshine gazing through along with a bunch of nice mates made midday the best time of day.  Soon after and with no time to spare, Lunch was booked in for 14:00 at The Muelle Restaurant, a lovely old building transformed into a exquisite restaurant.  I will just comment that the group entered the restaurant at 14:00…. And left at 17:30… that only shows that the food along with its wine were spectacular. We were greeted with entrees of Bellota Ham and Payoyo cheese followed by sirloin steaks and other cuts of beef which were devoured by the group in a matter of 15 silent minutes!  I hardly ever see service and food at this level in more touristic hotspots along the Costa del Sol.  El Muelle restaurant is a must in town and I would guarantee you will leave with a huge smile on your face and a button unloosed on your trousers.


A long day was experienced in such a short space of time, time actually flew by as we enjoyed very second of this town near Ronda.  If you would like to experience this excursion do let us know as we are planning a trip in the next few weeks.


Safe Travels.


The Weekly Traveller

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