LAVENDER SUNSET OVER EL ROCIO, SPAIN
December 7th and 8th, 1999 Arrived at the Parque Nacional de Donana wildlife reserve and settled into the Hotel Puente del Rey in El Rocio, a very interesting small town on the edge of the Parque on the shore of a vast lagoon, wild horses on the edge of the water, thousands of flamingos feeding and flying about, the far shoreline covered with the stately ’umbrella’ type pine trees; a warm red cobbled walkway with ornate, iron lamp-posts and iron benches alongside the lagoon. Almost all of the buildings are the startling white we’ve seen in most of this part of Spain, including a large, very pretty old church with an enormous “shell” entry over the huge iron entry doors, several bell towers and a brilliant gold altar – this church’s saint is the Virgin of the Dew - a pilgrimage each year draws nearly a million people to this small community. A wedding was in progress, the party all in traditional, provincial dress. Except for the cobbled promenade by the lagoon there is NO PAVEMENT in the whole town, everyone walking or driving the sand streets in cars or horse-drawn carts, covered walkways along the buildings, many outdoor cafes under awnings, eucalyptus trees, open areas like squares but no signals, stop-signs, sidewalks or asphalt anywhere. Had a dinner of mouth-watering ‘tapas’ and a local white wine. We plan to rise early enough to catch one of the beautiful soft red sunrises that certainly rival the brilliant lavender sunsets we’ve seen lately in which the very air you breathe seems to be infused with color.
(Notes: In the next couple of weeks we moved to other locations but returned three times to this irresistible town to spend just a little more time here.)
Lavender Sunset at El Rocio near Parque Naturale de Dona Anaspainlavendersunsetrocio