Taking an afternoon stroll along the Thyme Track, so called because in the summer it is lined with fragrant wild thyme, we come across two old wooden posts. A third lays flat on the ground. The wood is old, seasoned. The rich colour is such that people in London would pay a high price for rustic wooden flooring of this precise shade.
It is easy to forget that the valley has seen countless generations of occupants. This area has an ancient tradition of occupation and agriculture. Near Ronda are the Roman ruins of Acinipo, plus the paleolithic cave paintings at Cueva de la Pilata. Andalucía has a history of bandits and vagabonds who roamed the mountains. During the Spanish Civil War, Republican fighters evaded capture by Nationalist forces by living in the remote mountain caves of the Serranía de Ronda.
On the hillside around the wooden posts there is not just wild scrub but also abandoned olive trees. Their gnarled trunks are proof that they are hundreds of years old, un-cropped and un-pruned for decades. Were they abandoned because of their inaccessibility?
5 to remember
de madera – wooden
el poste – post
viejo/a – old
curado/a – seasoned
el color – colour