Europe

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge in Ronda, Spain

Since we spent a lot less time at the Plaza de Toros than I had estimated we would, we found ourselves with a good deal of extra time on our hands before we needed to be back at Ronda’s bus station to catch our ride to Málaga. We thought about attempting to hike to the bottom of El Tajo Gorge again since we had accidentally taken a small detour the first time we tried it, and so we headed back to the area in the Old Town where all the gorge hikes begin, but by the time we got there, we’d scrapped that plan and decided to hike the other direction instead. This particular trail would lead us down the gorge, beneath Puente Nuevo bridge, and spit us out on the other side. And this time, we didn’t get lost!

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

This hike was much, much easier than our hike through the gorge the previous day. I actually stayed upright the whole time, which is always a success. The majority of the trail was just a wide, dirt path lining the side of the cliff wall. We didn’t even need proper footwear – you can see I’m sporting the very best in hiking attire. Cheap, Walmart flip-flops for the win! However, even though the path was easy to walk down, we still had to be careful since the other side of this path away from the cliff wall was just a sharp drop-off into the gorge. Yikes.

While this hike was certainly easier, and I appreciated not tripping every few feet, it was also a lot less scenic. We’d catch glimpses of the countryside through the trees as we hiked down, but mostly we were just staring at the rocky walls of the gorge as we made our way to Puente Nuevo bridge. It was definitely a unique hike, but I prefer the mountain views.

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

As we got closer to the bridge, our nice dirt path disappeared and in its place was a narrow stone beam stretching around the side of the cliff and dropping straight off on both sides into the rocky stream below. A fence offered protection on one side, but the other was completely open. Pieces of the stone path had broken off in sections as well, making the path even more narrow. It didn’t feel entirely safe, but we were careful and slowly made our way underneath Puente Nuevo bridge and out on the other side.

So what’s on the other side? Not a whole lot, actually. Just pools of water that look entirely unappealing for swimming and a stream running through the cliff walls that feeds into the waterfall beneath Puente Nuevo bridge. This trail sort of brought us up even with the waterfall, but didn’t get us close enough that we could actually reach it, so we could only hear it. On our way back, I tried to find places where we could get closer to the waterfall, but if there is a trail that leads that way, we couldn’t get on it from where we were.

This hike was far from disappointing, though. Just like yesterday, even though the path we took didn’t turn out like we expected, it was still a lot of fun. And I felt pretty brave for not freaking out on the scary narrow beams. Traveling has done wonders for some of my irrational fears, particularly heights. A year ago I would have turned around and headed right back up the cliff when I saw that narrow little path, but I totally nailed it this time. (Now if I could just get over that fear of looking into the bathroom mirror when the lights are off. Bloody Mary, ya’ll.)

Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

On our way back up, we passed a man offering to take “free” photos of people with Puente Nuevo bridge in the background. We decided to take him up on his offer because we hadn’t yet gotten a photo of all three of us together on our trip. (When you see people offering this for free in Spain, if you let them take your photo, always tip them or buy something they’re selling – otherwise you’ll look like a total jerk.) Anyway – I don’t normally hand my camera off to just anybody, but I’d seen this guy using a DSLR on another couple, so I figured he’d be able to take our photo without me needing to explain much. Wrong. He started asking me something in Spanish and since I have zero knowledge of photography words in any language other than English, I was completely lost. I kept just trying to show him that all he needed to do was look through the viewfinder and press the button, but he kept repeating the same phrase again and again. It took me awhile to figure out that he was asking how to turn on the flash since we were beneath the shade, but my camera has no built-in flash on it, so then we were both confused. He took the photo and then apologized in English for taking a bad photo. I assured him it was fine, and with a little editing later, I don’t think it turned out too bad. But I never asked a single other person to take our family photo for the rest of the trip – that was a stressful conversation!

When we got back to the top of the gorge, we grabbed some ice cream for lunch and then walked back to our hotel to grab our bags and get to the bus station. The first half of our Spain trip had been full of activity and exercise, but now we were headed to the Costa del Sol for two days of chilling on the beach – we were more than ready to prop our feet up and rest for awhile! More on our first stop along the coast, Málaga, on Friday!

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Hiking Beneath Puente Nuevo Bridge In Ronda, Spain

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  • Jessica Wills
    April 22, 2019 at 2:57 AM

    Absolutely beautiful family you got there! Really like the pictures, it’s great. What a great read, gave some ideas for the next trip with my husband. Glad i found your blog!
    Best,
    Jess

  • Zooey Barnett
    March 3, 2019 at 1:11 PM

    I’m so happy I’ve found your blog! It’s a perfect mix of useful information and BEAUTIFUL pictures and it’s so nice to read! :)
    I’ve just went through all your posts about Ronda – me and my husband are going there to celebrate our 5th anniversary and after reading all your posts I’m even more excited!
    We love hiking and we love beautiful sunset spots so Ronda seems to be just perfect for us. Hopefully we will also get such a wonderful sunset as a gift, as you did! :)
    I have just one question – do you remember where this trail starts? If I understand correctly, it is on the opposite site than the trail you did on the first day?
    I’m saving your posts for the future! Thanks!

    • Sarah Shumate
      March 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM

      Thank you so much for the kind compliments on my blog! And happy 5th anniversary! Ronda is a perfect romantic spot to celebrate. :)

      Actually, both trails start from the exact same place, but split and lead in opposite directions a little further down. To find the starting point, you’ll need to be on the Old Town side of the Puente Nuevo bridge. Follow Calle Tenorio until you reach the Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora. You’ll see a pretty fountain here, pass that and the entrance to the trails is just a little further down on your right. Where the trails split, if you want to walk beneath the bridge, follow the path that hugs the cliffside. Take the other trail if you want to hike into the gorge for a wider view of the bridge.

      I hope that helps! Enjoy your trip!

      • Zooey Barnett
        March 5, 2019 at 4:06 AM

        Thank you so much!
        Your tips are very helpful. I think I found both paths you’re referring to on Google Maps photos :) We will definitely try both trails. I have a fear of heights (and I’m a hiking lover!) but the views seem to be so worth it! :) Can’t wait! :)

  • Jessi @2feet1world
    November 18, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Wow I love that first shot! Looks stunning :)

  • Mandy Southgate
    November 5, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    I loved taking this hike with you! Not as scenic, for sure, but I love how you can measure your progress against the position of the bridge.

  • rorybore
    November 3, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    I was going to ask if you were wearing those flip flops for the hike! ha
    But I still think all of the country is just spectacular. even this hike is amazing in it’s natural, rough beauty, and the man-made stone bridge accenting it. But yeah – not giving my camera to anyone either. nope. not gonna. (maybe if I had the money to replace should something happen, I wouldn’t get stressed at the thought.)

    • Sarah Shumate
      November 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      Even though we have two DSLRs now, I’m still very wary of handing my camera off to people. I just try to assess the situation – like, do they look they’re going to run off with my camera? Or, can I catch them if they do? :) Also, when I hand my camera off, I always just turn the setting to Auto. It means sometimes I get a crappier picture than usual, but it’s just so much easier for the person operating it if I do it that way!

  • Miwa
    November 1, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Your photos are gorgeous, as always! And you’re really brave to have walked across narrow beams! I don’t know if I’d be able to do that… (And oh gosh, Bloody Mary in front of a mirror in the dark…! Kind of relieved to hear that I’m not the only one still spooked about that years and years after hearing about it at some slumber party. Yup, still creepy.)

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    October 31, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    That bridge is just amazing!! Yep, nope still don’t think I could do a narrow beam!

  • Sammy @ Days Like This
    October 30, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    That first photo – WOW. I love the last photo. You all look great. Random Spanish man did a great job ;)

  • T. Lennie
    October 29, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    I have a hard enough time explaining my camera in English! In Spanish… no gracias!

  • Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi
    October 29, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Beautiful! You’re one up on me as I wouldn’t have even walked onto those narrow paths…
    (Bloody mary)

  • Katrin
    October 29, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Haha, that conversation clearly sounds stressful! I would have been totally lost! Strangers never asked me to take my picture, that’s interesting! Your pictures are great as usual, I really love the area!

  • Rachel G
    October 29, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Oh, it would definitely be stressful trying to communicate about cameras/photo-taking in another language without having the right words! That does look like a pretty cool hike, though! I love the view of the bridge!