Montfrague National Park

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We stopped at Camping Montfrague, on the edge of the Montfrague national park, for a few days. Montfrague is in Extremadura, mid Spain. Half way down, on the left side, quite close to Portugal, to be precise.
The flower is a crocus variant, which sprouts up all over the place here after the first rains of Autumn, and they have just had their first rain since Spring.
We met a lovely couple here…Vivien and Robert…who had managed to fit a few weeks touring in around their large families, running marathons, triathlons, writing books and house renovation. We traded sites over a botella or two. Actually I think the data flow was all in our direction.

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This is the Salto del Gitano, a peak in the centre of the Park and popular meeting spot for the Griffon vultures which are plentiful here.

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This is the Gypsys Leap, named after a legendary gypsy who leaped over the water here, to evade the pursuing rozzers. The tide mark shows how low the water is at the moment, after months of drought.

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Victor the vulture standing guard.

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They take off and soar around looking for food once the sun heats the ground and the thermals start. Apparently they can soar with minimal energy expenditure, ideal when you may have to go 40 days or more between meals.

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This one has spotted the torpid Colin…

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Getting closer….we had to wake Colin up and move him on.

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The Cardinal bridge. Built by some apparently benevolent Cardinal in the 15th century, to link east and west Extremadura. He knew a good business opportunity and proceeded to hit all crossers with a massive toll. The two rivers which cross the national park which end up in Lisbon, were dammed 60 years or so ago, just before they crossed into Portugal, and the Cardinal bridge spends almost all it’s time underwater now, except in times of drought.

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This is me, looking a bit more camp than usual. The Missus insisted I replace my baseball cap with something more serious. Please don’t feel you have to comment.

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On the second day we climbed up to this castle, on Robert and Vivien recommendation.

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There are great views from the top.

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It is quite windy on the top. In fact the hat blew off, but Nia managed to retrieve the errant titfer.

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Looking down one of the two Rio’s from el Castillo.

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Squadron of cormorants on anti fish patrol.

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Success.

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Blue Rock Thrush (I think…feel free to enter alternative suggestions).

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Azure-Winged Magpie (Thanks Angus)….Apparently restricted to certain parts of Spain.

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Heron. Anyone know which variety?

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Sunbathing Lizard.

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The park is full of red deer.

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Sunset Montfrague.

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Rambling about Europe with the Kray Twins (Colin and Penny).

Posted in 2012 Autumn
5 comments on “Montfrague National Park
  1. Chris R says:

    I think you should have let the hat blow away. And you don’t look any more camp than you usually do.

  2. Angus Selstrom says:

    The magpie is a Azure-winged Magpie.
    Grey heron.
    They would never allow you onto that castles roof in the UK!
    A pair of Black Storks usually nest in hole in the cliffs in your first photo just above high water level.

  3. jim says:

    No wonder the top of that post is red with embarrassment – shame on you Peter

    Jim

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Places Visited
Dordogne Guide
Our Guide to Bordeaux, the Médoc and the Dordogne

Our Dordogne Guide Book is now available. See motorhomefrance.com

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