We met our friends at the villa in Ronda, and stayed for a week, driving, thanks to Alan’s skill on mountain roads, to several pueblos blancos(white villages) and to the Roman ruins at Acinipo, only a few kilometres and two centuries from Ronda, the rubble of a Roman town, established, it is said, for retired soldiers, with a population of 5000. Today it is a windswept hillside, dotted with what we called “stone boats”, the remains of houses, the rubble collected and piled up by farmers reclaiming pasture land, dominated by a wall of memorial, and behind it, the amphitheater. The walk goes up and up to a low stone wall, with views, from 1000 m of the Serrania de Ronda. There is a lonely farm on the site, the fields crisscrossed with goat and donkey paths.

The four of us shared Acinipo with only two other travellers, and the ghosts, that day.