On the morning of leaving Granada, having survived an interesting night of halloween festivities (or that's what I hear, I personally slept right through it), I took a look at the weather forecast and saw bad news for our morning plans: 94% chance of heavy rains in Ronda, which was our first destination. Having braved the rains yesterday, the group was in no mood to test mother nature again, so we decided to head straight up to Madrid. That meant a four hour drive through Andalusia and Castille-la Mancha (New Castille). And driving through Andalusia means driving through olive groves. Lots of olive groves. I mean, a lot. Imagine looking at the panorama and seeing rolling hills lined with trees, and knowing that every tree is an olive tree. Lots of olives. And as we drove over the Sierras, we left the rain clouds pushing south and west (right towards Ronda) behind us, and our day was brightened by the blue skies and fleeting clouds.
Upon sneaking through the pass and into Castilla- La Mancha, we entered the flatter, reddish plains of Quixote. Fighting the urge to start singing "Man of La Mancha" we made it up past Valdepeñas wine region, finally stopping for a quick bite at a restaurant along the highway, where we all ordered something unique to the region My migas were good, but Rita may have scored the success of the day with her Tiznao de Madridejos. Arriving in Madrid in the early evening we had time to check into the hotel and check out a bit of Madrid´s city center. A stroll down the Alcala Street led us to the Sant Miguel Mercado, where we had time for a drink before we headed over for dinner on Calle de Cucherillos and an early evening.
Tomorrow we explore Madrid with Richard!