Lizzy was bright as a button this morning, tail wagging non-stop on our short walk. She seems to have a thing about wearing clothes, she does a little dance at home when I put her in a towelling robe to dry off after a rainy walk. Consequently she seems positively giddy to be wearing her pink number right now and no apparent ill effects from surgery and anaesthetic yesterday.
Therefore, we were twitching to get on the road again. We have the potential to have to return to the Algarve in a week, so we opted to pop just across the border of Spain to El Rocio, another recommendation from my friend Amanda. It is somewhere which regularly appears in Motorhome Facebook posts as the centre of town in the midst of the Doñana National Park has no tarmac roads only sand and looks like something out of a cowboy film.
Therefore, what is the thing to do in a cowboy film… of course, get on a horse. Therefore, I have booked on a trail ride for tomorrow, one of the top recommended activities in the area as you get to explore the 543km2 National Park area which boasts wild horses, wild boar, deer, eagles and lynx wild cats. My other reason I have owned an Andalusian cross horse for the past 10 years and have dreamed of riding an Andalusian horse in their native home.
Temperature has reached Scorchio here now at 33 degrees, so we opted for the campsite with the swimming pool instead of the dusty free aire in town. So we had a stop off to Decathlon in Huelva and bought jodhpurs and swimming goggles. We arrived early afternoon and had a lovely salad for lunch before hitting the pool and swimming a fantastically refreshing half a mile 😁😇
As soon as the sun dipped low enough we ventured into El Rocio. It is famous for the annual pilgrimage which attracts a million people each year. It is a curious place, with the wide sandy streets and old moorish style buildings. The Ermita del Rocio is the landmark church around which the town is formed right on the edge of the Doñana National Park overlooking the Carco de la Boca. Where the sandy dusty streets of El Rocio incongruously sit alongside the large green area of wetland filled with flamingoes and wading birds and wild horses. There are horses everywhere in town with tie up posts outside all the restaurants true cowboy style.
We find a cool spot at Restaurant Aires de Doñana and grab a beer and try to reacclimatise ourselves to the Spanish late eating routine 😩😋