Friday, 15 April 2016

Finding the salinas

Mist had rolled in from the sea when we woke up this morning, giving the day a chilly start. We walked into town this morning, and visited the Palmeria - a park blessed with many very tall palm trees, and the well preserved remnants of walls and mosaic pavements of a Roman villa. There was a trading port hereabouts five centuries before Christ due to the Phoenicians, and the Romans took over and developed what others began.

We had a splendid tapas lunch at La Senia restaurant next to the park, then while Clare and Ann headed for home, I walked on, along the shore of Gran Playa as far as the start of the nature reserve, where salt works with huge storage heaps of salt dominate an otherwise flat landscape. Their shape reminded me of coal slag heaps of my childhood, despite the total colour contrast. I had walked this way, trying to piece together my patchy memory of the area geography from previous visits. I wanted to locate the Salt Museum in relation to the nature reserve and the salinas ponds, and realised that the points of access to the best birdwatching area were easier to reach than I remembered.

I ended the afternoon in a birdwatchers hide in between two salt ponds, watching flamingos grazing and several terns swooping and diving aerobatically to snatch tiny prey from the water. I took photos but wished I'd carried my DSLR with me to have a camera with a viewfinder to look through on zoom settings. Point and shoot with a screen can be difficult when focusing on birds in flight.

Altogether it was a long walk there and back, the best part of eight miles, but very rewarding, given the birds I saw. It's such a treat to see flamingos in such great numbers.

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