Friday, 4 March 2016

Spain 2016 - EcoMuseo, El Pintado Malinos

Mum and Dad picked up fruit and vegetables from the market while I "sussed out" the ferry to Villa Real.
On the wharf in Ayamonte. The roads along this section are cobblestone, very bumpy, and we don't often come this way through town because of the wear and tear on the car.
White caps on the river, another day of strong northerly wind.

On the way to the ferry I mailed postcards for Mum. No stamps were used just a piece of sticky paper with a bar code or some such thing to be electronically read.

The ferry ticket office is on the right hand side, opposite the ferry wharf and there was a notice that the car ferry was being repaired on the Portuguese side of the river. I got a schedule for the passenger service.

 After coffee we made our way out of town, to the East, to find a mill I had read about on the internet.
It was well marked and we drove on a dirt road out into the marshes. No cars in the parking lot so I thought it might be closed but no, someone was there, let us in and told us it was free.

The first room has big, colourful displays about the area, its geography and its economic importance now and in the past. The next room is the old mill.
Grain is poured in the bin, slides down between the two stones which rotate with the power of the tidal water and grind it into flour.

The room we stood in with displays on the milling process, the man who had owned the mill (and Casa Grande), the importance of tidal mills in Europe and the harnessing of natures energy, would have looked like this.

We watched a short movie following the miller through a typical day and walked a little outside to see the tidal mill pond and systems to control the flow of water and then went home to lunch.
We planned on eating out tonight so I decided to take the marsh walk to earn it. Dad and Mum birdwatched from the car and Mum walked about an hour too.
Sorry, the marsh walk involves some birdwatching. I realized that my birdwatching is different than most. Anyone I have birdwatched with spots a bird, gets the binoculars on them and tries to identify them, announces the identification with some pride and moves on. I see a bird, try to get a decent picture of it, upload the picture onto my computer in the evening and then with the help of a birdbook try and identify it.
Since my last time on this walk some different flowers had started to bloom. This one looked like a wild rose.
Black winged Stilt. His legs look like they bend the wrong way.
Small part of a large flock of Dunlins.
First Oyster Catchers for this trip.
Standing in the marsh looking very regal this Spoonbill, with his crest blowing in the wind. Looks like he has been banded.
As I watched, his buddy, an egret joined him.
I have been taking some abuse from some of my readers (family) about the number of bird pictures. They are worried I have been infected by the birding disease by close contact with my parents. Other readers (friends) have expressed pleasure in the bird pictures and asked for more. Birds are fascinating, as are animals, plants and human beings so there will continue to be some. But I do not derive a lot of pleasure from the search for and identification of them so do not see myself becoming an avid "birder".
That having been said, this took the bird book and the app on Dad's tablet to identify; A Grey Plover.

The day ended with dinner out at Migual Angel y Mecaela Restaurant in Punta del Moral. This time we had the tomatoe, garlic and olive oil dish and then tapas of grilled prawns, ham, sheep cheese and fired potatoes. Rounded off with a bottle of red, dessert and orange wine after. Delicious.

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