Don Feidner

Last Update:   4 April 2013

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2009 Spain

Click HERE to skip to Portugal.

My first night on the Rio Guadalquivir. I landed in Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain with the intention of traveling down the coast to Portugal. It’s not possible. You have to first head toward Sevilla, go around the huge wilderness area - a national park - then go back to the coast eventually arriving in Matalascanas. So that’s what I did. The first night, there were no campsites anywhere, so I found a spot on the Guadalquivir River - a beautiful place to spend the night.

After passing a Spanish villa and a few churches, I headed for the river crossing to the northeast.

Unfortunately, I discovered that some of the residents in the area I passed through were illiterate - at least they didn’t seem to be able to read the sign below that says they would pay a high fine if they dump their trash by the roadside.

Road along the Rio Guadalquivir


A Sight to Behold - A Field Full of Storks

After reaching the top of the national forest, I crossed the river by ferry at Coria del Rio, then headed southwest through another forest area. As it began to get dark, I found a place high in a forest full of Pinas Canadas, no, not Pina Coladas, although I would have welcomed one after riding uphill so long. These trees had an eirie effect as the sun was beginning to set. It was a peaceful night.

Pinas Canadas

Now there’s a sign I’ve never seen before. A warning sign that there are wildcats in the area.

Reminds me of the Kokomo Wildcats, a basketball team back in Indiana.

Sure enough! This one scared the begypsy out of me. But I had my long distance pepper spray with me. Don’t ask how to take a picture and use pepper spray at the same time. 

What I really hated were the scorpions, the spiders, and the snakes. They were everywhere.

Now this is worth visiting. Built in 1961 by Luis Espinos Fontdevila, who loved to fish and hunt, as a private residence. Today it is a free visitor center for the national park, known as the Palacio de Acebrón, that explains the life of the people in the surrounding area -- how they farm the land, strip bark from the cork tree, and generally how they live. It is also at the start of the Charco de Acebrón Path, a 1 1/2 kilometer wooden walkway through the forest with signs to explain the plants and wildlife along the way. Excellent!

It is near the village of El Rocio, a wild west village with no pavement on the streets, just wooden hitching posts for the horses. See my previous entry about this interesting town.

Eucalyptus Blossom

Even Germany and Holland has nothing like this dream cycling trail.

Resting under a tall Eucalyptus Tree

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this bike path in Huelva. I rode past here 21 months ago, and there was nothing but a terribly busy highway.

Next stop -- Portugal -- after riding 350 kilometers. That was a very quick 5 days.

Click HERE to continue the trip in Portugal.

Church in Ayamonte, Spain, on the border to Portugal.

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