We left the damp and soggy mountainside behind and headed north, spurred on by the thought of paella at the Visitor Centre in Fuente Piedra. We'd visited this inland, salty lake once before, and on checking this post about it, I am gobsmacked to discover that it's almost four years ago...how time flies! Then, just one month later in the year, it was a very hot day and we really enjoyed the place, the sights and the centre.
As we got nearer, the cloud definitely lifted but the rain continued. Our little group entered the centre full of smiles and jollity...only to discover that the paella had all gone. This was a blow. We were a bit on the chilly side by now and the thought of a nice hot, paella was definitely inviting. Ho hum.
|Still broody, but rather beautiful|
There was a number of stalls set out, including one that was a charity supporting cancer victims, 'manned' by three white-haired, women in their identical t-shirts. I knew at once that they were from the UK...unmistakable in any setting...but was most impressed by one of them, who was chatting away in really excellent Spanish. This is very unusual and I had to find out how she could speak so well. Turns out she came to Madrid for three years in her youth and had become fluent during this time, which has served her really well when she returned twelve years ago to live in the local area. They were great fun and doing a fantastic job to link the English and Spanish communities together with their charity work.
And then! The sun came out!! Yes, really out and shining. So out we trooped to get a closer look at the lovely wildlife.
And whilst the clouds soon closed in again, Mateo and I had a beautiful walk around the lake and across a bridge for a good half an hour. It was lovely to just chat together about all sorts and for me to see that his enthusiasm about the place hadn't dimmed at all.
We were so busy talking that we didn't manage to get many photos of the birds - many of the most impressive were flying around, rather then feeding - but I rather like this one I took of some trees and their reflections.
And as once more the rain started to fall, we decided to call it a day and head off home. It was only 4.30pm but we felt as though we'd had a pretty full day.
At 4.36, I noted that the bus was unusually silent. Looking around, I saw that practically everyone on board had fallen asleep. And not much later, I too took a well-earned siesta.
We arrived back in Alcala la Real around 6pm and noted with satisfaction that clearly a lot of rain had fallen there too whilst we'd been away. We thanked our guide, Juan Carlos, and all decided that it had been a good day. We would definitely do it again - come rain or shine.