Category Archives: Andalucia News

Marbella Attempts to Get AVE Before Ronda

The Ayuntamiento of Ronda is up in arms over a proposal from Marbella to do everything in their power to ensure the Spanish AVE high speed train reaches Marbella before work can be started for the AVE passing through Ronda.

Currently there is no railway line servicing Marbella although many years ago a local branch line did connect the city with Fuengirola and Malaga. Plans by the province of Malaga and national government call for an AVE connection to reach Marbella from Malaga, but this hasn’t been finalised.

In contrast, Ronda is the main hub on the line from Antequera to Algeciras, Spain’s busiest port, in addition Ronda is Andalucía’s third most visited tourist destination.

Ronda’s mayor Antonio Marín Lara is furious that Marbella would attempt to derail Ronda’s efforts to obtain the AVE and has demanded the Partido Popular (PP) led council in Marbella give up their motion and stop playing politics with an issue that is central to the long term economic life blood of inland Andalucía.

At the same time, Marín Lara and PSOE head Francisco Cañestro have stated their intention to send a letter to every political party in Marbella explaining why the AVE must go ahead for Ronda, and have demanded Ronda’s PP back Ronda by denouncing the Marbella initiative.

The existing line to Algeciras is currently closed for tunnel upgrades and track replacement in anticipation of upgrades to the line to make it compatible with the AVE high speed trains, although this will also necessitate construction of new segments from Bobadilla to Setenil before joining the existing line at La Indiana where Ronda’s AVE terminal is expected to be built.

Málaga Provincial Gov Approves Road Improvements

A series of road in the Genal Valley will get a much needed boost in investment over the coming months with the approval today of extra funding from the provincial highway authority.

The MA-7306 road from Cartajima to the A-397, and the MA-7303 Cartajima to Júzcar will receive a total of 150,000€ each for improvements and resurfacing.

100,000€ each will also be spent on the MA-8302, MA-7400, and MA-8307, with specific projects being improvements to the MA-8302 to Ma-8301 road at Genalguacil.

In addition, 100,000€ will see the Arriate MA-700 to Ronda road resurfaced with new tar, and problem areas where potholes are a perennial problem fixed.

In tourism news, Benarrabá will get a new birdwatching area, described as the best in Andalucía, and 103,000€ will be spent creating a new museum in Gaucín at the castle, with a special exhibit honouring Spain’s War of Independence from France in 1812.

Andalucían Alpacas in the Snow

Nigel and Ginny Cobb, a local couple who pioneered Alpaca breeding in Andalucía sent us this photo of their Alpacas sitting under a tree when the first snow arrived in Ronda a few days ago.

Their fibre keeps them warm and so long as they can get food (Nigel and Ginny go round with avena every day) they are quite happy.

Alpacas are originally found in South America but seem to thrive in Spanish conditions and their hair makes an excellent wool. Apart from Nigel and Ginny Cobb between Arriate and Setenil, there are also other breeders near Arriate and two breeders near Gaucín.

Nigel and Ginny are quite happy to meet people who might be interested in seeing their Alpacas, meetings can be arranged on their property near Ronda, and they often exhibit their Alpacas at local agricultural shows.

Too learn more, visit the Andalucían Alpaca website.

The Phonebox Experiment in Spain

Known only as Rob, the Serranía de Ronda is playing host to a Londoner who is camping next to a campo phonebox taking phone calls from all around the world, and getting little else done as the phone rings, and rings, and rings.

Rob, aka ‘Wilderness Man’, a 27 year old Mexican German lad who lives in London, arrived in Spain at the end of November and his website www.phoneboxexperiment.com went live on Monday 30th November, and has already received phone calls from the UK, Spain, Sweden, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Australia, South Africa, Thailand, Rumania, and many more nations.

The project is simply known as “The Phone Box Experiment” and sees Rob, an actor from London as the focus of a Big Brother type experiment that is using social networking to generate huge publicity for Rob’s experiment. You can call Rob on +34 951 055 675, although using Skype might be a cheaper alternative.

Rob plans to stay in the campo as long as he can, surrounded by campo dogs and wild boar, though he’s decorated his little campsite with plants scrounged from the area, and a string of Christmas lights to make his campsite more homely.

Rob’s exact location is a tightly guarded secret, though of course anyone who knows the mountains of the Serranía might be able to guess. Ronda Today isn’t able to tell you, but why not comment below and give us your best guess.

This experiment follows on the successful visit to Ronda of the crazy Norwegian, Bjorn Heidenstrom who is cycling from Norway to South Africa proving the Serranía de Ronda attracts a lot of adventurous types.