Category Archives: Ronda News

Furniture Interpretation Centre building to be Repurposed

The furniture building on Calle del Guadaquivir, originally intended to be a furniture interpretation centre, which has been empty since shortly after construction has finally found a use, as offices for three of Ronda’s town hall departments.

Costing 1,200,000€ at construction in 2006, the building was intended to be a space for local furniture makers and artisans to display their goods, and for a period of several months this indeed was it’s function, however the interpretation centre never received the number of visitors envisaged, and closed months after opening. It has since been all but abandoned.

Toward the end of 2009 speculation in Ronda suggested the building might be converted into a public borrowing library and reference library, in addition to office space for the education department of the town council, but the idea was abandoned as impractical due to its location in the industrial area and cost of renovating to the standard required.

Today, Ronda’s mayor Antonio Marin Lara announced the building will receive a 120,000€ upgrade to install air conditioning, office partitions for the Parks and Gardens, Education, and Fiestas departments of the town hall.

Renovations are expected to commence next week and be completed by March 2010.

Upto 2400 Sheep and Goats Stolen over Christmas

Several local farmers have complained to the Agrupacion de Defensa Sanitaria Ganadera (ADSG), a local farmers body, about a con man active in the Serranía de Ronda over the Christmas holidays who is alleged to have fraudulently obtained up to 2,400 sheep and goats for slaughter.

Accompanied by a livestock broker, the man is reported to have offered as much as 48€ per head, with ten farmers affected. Promissory notes were offered as payment to the farmers and livestock loaded onto trucks shortly after contracts had been signed. Sadly the notes have no backing, with some farmers now facing losses, in some cases as much as 15,000€.

The Christmas holiday period is one of the major sources of income to local farmers, many of them sell as much as 70% of their stock in this period as abattoirs and butchers gear up for the holiday buying season.

The fraudster is believed to have signed notes totaling 115,000€ and then offered the livestock to black market slaughterhouses since no record of the animals registration has been found in any of the legal slaughterhouse records.

In Ronda the Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional are investigating, and leads are being pursued. This is the first time a fraud of this nature is believed to have been carried out in the Serranía since the days of the mountain bandits in the 19th century.

From Rain to Snow in the Serranía

After the unexpected holiday season rain that caused chaos in the lower reaches of the Guardiaro and Guadalcobacin rivers, Ronda today awakes to a light dusting of snow on the mountains surrounding the city of the Tajo.

Rain yesterday threatened to cause more flooding as more than 40 litres per square metre fell, particularly in LLano de la Cruz and La Indiana where river cleanup hasn’t been completed by Egmasa, and where the Guadalcobacin has already broken its banks on four of the last ten days, the 24th and 25th of December, and the 4th and 5th of January.

Several million Euros of damage has been caused, including as much as 3 million Euros damage to public infrastructure. The fire service in Ronda has handled over 130 flood related callouts, with a similar number handled by the police and Civil Defence volunteers.

If your property or crops were damaged by the floods, report your losses to the Oficina de Atención al Ciudadano on Calle Molino by the 23rd January 2010 to be considered for compensation. You should still contact your insurance provider to make a claim as well.

Last night’s snow is only a light dusting, not much more than a couple of centimetres but is already causing concern. The extreme weather experienced in the Serranía means the roads were already wet and there is a real danger of ice on mountain roads. The Guardia Civil have announced extra patrols on the main roads to Ronda.

Work crews were last night active on all main roads depositing salt crystals along the highways, and will today assess the need for further action on secondary roads. Snow chains are not yet needed however representatives of MAPFRE, one of Spain’s largest automotive insurance company’s is today advising travellers to keep chains in the car.

Weather in Ronda over the coming weekend is expected to be fine with light rain returning on Sunday, so it’s possible snow and ice on most roads will melt, but take extra care in sections of roads that don’t receive the winter sun.

Holiday Season Rain Worst Since 1947

The last two weeks of 2009 saw a deluge of rain falling on the Serranía de Ronda, and a Yellow Alert declaration in Ronda. Rainfall in the week prior to Christmas was described as the worst since 1947 when 12 people lost their lives from drowning or lightning strikes. Flood damage is expected to cost many millions of Euros in insurance claims.

Rainfall on certain days exceeded 80 litres per square metre, whilst winds of 70km per hour were common, gusting in exposed places. Over the entire two week period an estimated 450-500 litres fell depending on location, though most days saw only moderate rain which unfortunately kept the river levels up resulting in further damage as rainfall became heavier.

In Ronda the worst affected area was the Llano de la Cruz and La Indiana districts with several homeowners reporting flooding inside the home and water damaged furniture and white goods. The through road in the Hoya del Tajo (the valley situated below Ronda), is still closed to traffic due to a bridge spanning the rio Guadalevin being submerged. Another road in Ronda, the Camino de los Tejares was closed twice as a nearby stream flooded a depression in the road, requiring a bulldozer to clear silt and mud.

Recent work by La Empresa de Gestión Medioambiental (Egmasa) in cleaning up clogged and overgrown streams and rivers in the Ronda district was credited by Remedios Martel, the councillor for the Environment in the Málaga Province, with preventing widespread flooding in low lying areas of Ronda. A further consequence of cleaning the rivers in Ronda was that flooding was felt downstream in other parishes where cleanup efforts hadn’t been as extensive.

In the Guardiaro valley massive flooding and extensive damage to trees, roads and houses was reported along the banks of the rio Guadiaro amid reports that rising river levels and high winds had caused chaos in low lying areas and on mountain roads. Some homeowners reported flood waters of upto one metre in their homes, whilst in Jimera de Libar at least two cars were submerged by rising water.

The Atajate-Jimera de Libar road was closed for two days whilst workers cleared fallen rocks and mud. On the A-366 Ronda-El Burgo road a small section of the road had to be closed for repairs when a rockslide damaged the edge of one lane. The A-373 between Cortes de la Frontera and Berrueca was also closed for a few hours as high winds knocked over a tree.

In the first week of January 2010 many of Ronda’s car parks remain closed due to the risk of landslides or falling trees, they being El Castillo, Alameda del Tajo, San Rafael, and San Lorenzo. None of Ronda’s underground carparks were affected by flooding.

Older residents of Ronda remember flooding in 197 that breached the lowest of Ronda’s bridges, the Puente Arabe near the Arab Baths, and the terrible loss of 9 lives between Montejaque and Benaojan in the same year when 9 people were drowned. Closer to Ronda 3 people were killed when a small cabin they were sheltering in was struck by lightning. We can be thankful the rains of December 2009 weren’t as destructive.

Plaza de España Works Progressing

In October 2009 work started on refurbishing the iconic Plaza de España between Calle Armiñan and Virgen de la Paz in Ronda’s Mercadillo district. The project is scheduled to be completed in February 2010 and includes a new traffic roundabout to ease congestion and remove the need for Policia Local to control the intersection.

Costing 1,070,563€, this is one of the most significant projects undertaken in Ronda as part of the Zapatero government’s economic stimulus package. Work in Plaza de España sees the old broken paving stones replaced with thick granite that should stand the test of heavy foot traffic.

In addition the statue of Antonio de los Ríos Rosas, a prominent Ronedeño politician of the 19th century, has been relocated about five metres into the centre of an oval shaped roundabout, and will be surrounded by small shrubs and flowers.

Ronda Tourism Awards 2009

Ronda held it’s annual Tourism Awards Evening last week at the Santo Domingo Convent, followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the patio terrace.

Tourism in Spain accounts for 12% of GDP, and in Ronda is a huge industry drawing millions of visitors every year. Excellence within the tourism industry is therefore encouraged locally, and in recent years has seen a huge increase in support from both the Ayuntamiento and APYMER.

The event was well attended, and an air of excitement prevailed, although I’m sure the award winners must have been feeling quite nervous as they waited for the call to the stage to collect their trophies.<!–more–>The mayor of Ronda Antonio María Marín Lara, the councillor for tourism María Isabel Morales Oballe, and APYMER Tourism Representative Teresa Montero Verdú officiated.

Winners in 2009 for tourism were;
Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda for their immeasurable efforts in promoting cultural, tourist, educational, and heritage activities.

CIT (Centre for Rural Tourism) for their long years of promoting tourism in the Serranía.

Restaurant Jerez, for excellence in gastronomy, service, and a long history of actively supporting tourism in Ronda.

Juan Manuel Medina, for tourism innovation, in particular for donating his time in producing a guide to Ronda and the monuments in Braille for blind people.

This year’s award winners are well deserved, and it is believed they will all be positive role models for other tourism providers in Ronda, with the additional hope that 2010 will be tough to decide winners.

A final surprise of the evening saw Bartolomé Nieto González awarded a framed certificate acknowledging his tireless work to promote Ronda.