From El Rocio to Andújar and beyond, Wednesday to Friday. Taking a rest after our last morning drive at El Rocío, we set off at midday for the three-hour drive, broadly following but sadly not aware of the Guadalquivír river, to our second hotel, the Hotel los Piños, 14 kilometres above Andújar, in the eastern Sierra Morena. But first we went backwards a little into the National Park, to have a picnic lunch at a lovely visitor centre, El Acebuche (the ‘wild olive tree’ already noted in El Rocío). The temperature was rising (from about 25°C in Seville to about 30°C at the end of the week), but as long as one was in the shade, the dry heat was very welcome. The visitor centre was informative:
The scenery changed as we drove: Our all-day outing the following day showed the dry landscape of the Sierra scattered with boulders (Pictures also snatched from moving vehicle).
The following morning, Friday, we got up very early indeed, before breakfast, in quest of our ‘prey’. It was SOOOO COLD! But beautiful. We were very glad to get back to a good breakfast.
Again we took a picnic lunch (Simon and Niki, our Naturetrek guides, did us proud each time!) and our stopping place made me nostalgic for my previous life in France. Where we ate so reminded me of lazy picnics on the banks of the Charente river – though perhaps there were no mountains in the French setting.
Interested in geology, I had been fascinated in these two days to see many extraordinary granite formations as we drove along, but I was able to get a photo of none of them. This, right by our picnic spot, is a poor representative. We ended the day where we had watched the dawn arrive hours earlier. The final three posts will be about the wildlife we saw during those five days in the National and Natural Parks…