Spring is possibly the best time to experience the beautiful countryside that surrounds us here in Ayamonte.The temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. And there is always something to see whether you are interested in birds, flowers, country living or history. In this article, I will just give you a flavour of what we have on our doorstep.

earlyspring2The spring flowers are just starting to put on their annual display. The first sign of spring is the Bermuda Buttercup, patches of bright yellow in unexpected corners. The almond blossom came very early this year and is now over. But you cannot fail to notice the delicate white flowers of the cistus or rockrose, but try not to get too close to the waxy leaves. The aromatic resin from the leaves is used by the perfumery industry. Asphodels are just coming into their prime and look closer for wild irises and both purple and yellow lupins.

The summer birds are returning, and we have recently spotted swallows and avocets. The marismas (marshes) are a bird watchers paradise. Even if you don’t consider yourself a twitcher, take along a pair of binoculars to watch the sanderlings antics, scurrying along the water’s edge. For a wader, they appear not to like getting their feet wet!

Many of the country houses have kitchen gardens. In fact since’ la crisis’, there are many more in odd patches of fields and gardens. If you show an interest it is not unusual to be offered some tomatoes or oranges. And they are delicious, freshly picked. You may also notice locals gathering herbs or, recently, wild asparagus in the meadows. Soon, our neighbours will be out early each morning to collect caracoles (snails) in the nearby common land.

For the history buffs, there is evidence of wells, irrigation systems, salt pans, lime kilns, mills, and dolmens. It’s amazing to remember that some of the processes still being used today are essentially the same as those used by the Romans and Arabs.

Well, this is just a snapshot of what the surrounding area can offer as an added extra during your walk. Enjoy!