Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tapas and Tinto De Verano

We bicycled.  We ate.  And we drank.  Not a bad way to experience the Andalucian countryside in southern Spain.  The bicycle tour we booked --- a self-guided seven-day tour through the white villages of Andalucia --- began (for us) in Montecorto and ended in Ronda with stops in Olvera, Puerto Serrano, Zahara de la Sierra, and Grazalema.  The ride was categorized as intermediate (some hill-climbing most days) with most of the riding on rural country roads.  No matter though, there were plenty of tapas and tinto de veranos to fortify us along the way.
Montecorto:  the first, among many, white villages
The first of many tinto de veranos:  red wine, subtly sweet lemonade, and ice
We haven't even started riding yet...
...but we are drinking anyway.
Team Tinto de Verano?  Team Tapas?
Day 1 destination:  Olvera
You can't live on tapas and wine alone  
Rooftops of Olvera
Map of the iconic 36km Via Verde de la Sierra
Better a horse than a bull
"Lot of money and little education is the worst combination" --- not sure I want to know the target of this sign
More tinto de verano?  Yes, please!
Sunset from our hotel --- an old Moorish castle --- on the third night
When we finally rolled into Ronda --- five days and 196 kilometers (~120 miles) later  --- we gorged on (what else?) tapas.  
Tapas were cheap and plentiful
Approximately 25 miles, two-three tinto de veranos, and several tapas per day
And no trip to Andalucia is complete without the Gazpacho.  
Or the Paella.

"What am I supposed to do with all this Paella?"