Back in the 80’s it was popular for older couples to go off the sunnier climbs for the winter months. I used to know an old couple, Harry and Joan, now sadly both long passed. They had gone to stay on Gibraltar for January, February and March. In those days it cost little more than the heating bill would have cost to stay warm in the UK! They invited me over for a long weekend. I knew Harry through a film-making group that we were both in – known in those days as a “Cine Club”. So mostly I shot Fuji’s Single 8 Movie Film, and made a short called “Over the Border”.
I did have my stills camera with me with a few frames left so I finished off the roll. I can’t remember now what the camera was, most probably it was my OM10, – who knows, information now lost in time!
The runway cuts “the rock” off from mainland Spain, parallel with the border, so when a plane comes in to land, the border closes for a short time, then one can drive or walk across the runway again, to cross the border. An un-usual arrangement! So landed I took a cab to the complex, settled in and had a drink on the balcony with my hosts, and watched the light fade looking out over the Strait of Gibraltar.
Next morning we had booked onto a minibus trip, skirting the foothills of the National Park of Sierra de las Nieves, to Ronda in Spain. The AP-7 took us towards Marbella, then just to the east we turned north up the A-397 to get to Ronda.
The Plaza de Toros, or Bullring in Ronda is often said to be the oldest and biggest in Spain. This however needs a little explanation as it only holds about 5,000 spectators, hardly the largest but the “rueda”, (the sand bit to you and I) has a diameter of 66 meters which is the largest in the world. Likewise, the bullring in Seville was started in 1761 18 years before Ronda’s but Ronda completed theirs 1 year earlier than Seville in 1784.
The Puente Nuevo (Bridge across the gorge) is one of Spain’s most photographed locations; I took this view from it! I remember having a coffee with my friends sat under an orange tree, during which an orange fell of the tree, caught the edge of the saucer and sent the coffee flying.. I thought this was quite hilarious and the waiters not only brought me another coffee, but freshly squeezed juice from the orange! (if you look closely you can just make out another one ready to drop at top of frame!
The following day, we hired a cab for the day – the driving being called “Gary Cooper” not sure if that was his name or just one easier for the poor old English to pronounce., either way we toured the rock, me shooting movie!