The plan for the day is to head for Parque Nacional de Donana, a wetlands reserve on the flight path from Africa to europe, and to track down some of the site pertaining to Columbus' voyage to Americas.
We decided to take advantage of the expressways, so we headed west toward Jerez, north toward Seville, then west toward Huelva. I had googled the directions to the solar tower which Spain has much publicizied, so we knew it was west of Seville north of the expressway. As we plotted out the day, we (I) suggested we skip the solar tower for after the rest of our destinations and see what time is left...the directions to the tower were quite convoluted and I didn't want to waste our time. As we drove by what should have been the location of the tower it became quite evident on the skyline. It was amazing how the tower glowed and we were liucky that an overcast of grey clouds highlights the glow of the reflected sunlight. The picture illustrates the difference between the active and inactive tower under construction. (We ultimately fully utilized the daylight and did not try to drive up to the complex,
so I got an image from the WWW.) The tower utilizes thermal solar, that is reflective heat from the sun to focus the heat at the top of the tower which is reported to be 450 degrees and is used to generate steam that in turn generated electricity...it's worth a google.
As we approached Huevla, we started seeing signs for Portugal. Mike and I were intrigued with a side trip; the ladies did not think it was a good idea. But we were driving so another executive decision. Fornunately for us there is no border crossing and we found a delightful beach front resort with a nice restaurant, so we had another relaxing meal and view of the Sea.
We drove on to Palos where Columbus was to have departed for the Americas. We walked around the la Fontanilla; the well where they drew water for there last communion and the Iglasia de San Jorge, before they left for the trip on August 3, 1492. All of the signage recognized the Pinzons, but no mention of Christopher. CC supposedly had negotiated some of the funding with Queen Isabel.
La Rabida is a very short distance, so it
took only a few minutes. Ruth and Lynn wanted to walk thru the Monasterio de La Rabida...Mike and I roamed the area. Exploring a complex down the hill we discovered the Muellle de las Carabelas. It included what looked like an abandon sports complex and a museum. The museum had full sized replicas of the three ships used y Columbus...they are amazingly small. Ruth remembered some discussion celebrating the 500 years anniversary. Looks like they had money for the facilities but not the funds for on-going opperation.
We followed the scenic roadway next the the water hoping it would lead to our destination of Palos and La Rabida. The maps were not easily descerned, so we did a little back tracking...you simply cannot get into the parque nacional so we drove the road hugging the western border where we came across El Rocio. The town is quite nice and is the site of some 13th century cult festival every year that attracts thousands of Spaniards. The attraction for us was the wildlife viewing spot of the wetlands full of flamigos and all kinds of waterfowl and shore birds.
It was getting on, so we wanted to minimize driving
after dark and headed back to Arcos. Just in time to participate in another street procession and then to bed.
Amazing day; doesn't get much better.
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