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A weekend in Doñana


Well my friends, September came with its blessed climate in Doñana, where good weather, just heat and the cool summer nights are the best option to spend a weekend without the tedium of the hot August, and its legion of holidaymakers.

Yes, September, an ideal time to stroll and visit every corner of our province, and so today I intend to share my experiences during a weekend at El Rocío

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And here I am, arriving Friday evening, the village of El Rocio, a little tired, but eager to discover a different way of doing tourism in a peculiar environment as Doñana.

Who knows why, but sometimes fate, and curiosity, makes us follow or walk either way on our journey, and I am going to say, I could not settle for something at the roadside, my common sense led me to the limits of the Marshes of Doñana, face down, with the Hotel Toruño, a wonderful property located in the heart of the marshes, and gateway to our experience, in a wonderful and unforgettable weekend.

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Andrés, the director, kindly attended us on arrival, and once we settled into one of its spacious rooms overlooking the park, we detailed the plan provided for these two days.

The next morning, only the chirping of the sparrows, with its sweet melody, accompanied by our wake, that after a nice breakfast in our hotel, we prepared for our first and morning appointment.
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Matalascañas beachflamencoa ver

At 8 a.m. we were in the middle of the Acebuche visitors centre, about 10 minutes drive from El Rocío, toward Matalascañas. Andrés made the reservation in our name, and so easy it was to get place in a special bus, which made us a wonderful and extensive tour of about 4hrs for the southern area of Donana National Park, where animals, birds, a virgin beach of 30 km, and an extensive flora and fauna, are offered to us with unusual strength and colour.

The park shows us with all joy and splendour, making us to feel indispensable, in our management for a sustainable balance, and the environment. We are responsible for that balance, together with the overall sustainability of our planet, and Doñana is undoubtedly the mirror to look.

Matalascañas beachflamencoa ver

Tired but happy for the experience, I visit the beach of Matalascañas, located just few minutes from the Acebuche, where our tour ends. There I shall walk quietly through its promenade, and lunch at one of its restaurants.
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In the afternoon, at the hotel and after a successful nap, Andrés gives me free time to wander through the village of El Rocío, and visit the shrine, the local museum, and of course, take this opportunity to get lost some of its many streets, lined with shops selling clothes, typical articles or souvenirs, among others.

Night comes, and our host has reserved table in the restaurant El Toruño. A reputable establishment located next to the hotel where we stayed, and with different rooms overlooking the marshes, as well as its main outdoor terrace, the place chosen this occasion to my delight and enjoyment.

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A “Flamenco” night in a unique atmosphere, surrounded by horsemen, and under the protection of the moon, all accompanied with the best cuisine in Doñana, and wines of the county. With no doubt the perfect meal to cap a day, “unforgettable.”

My friends, what more can you ask for. The night is going on, and although Andrés offers a nightcap at one of the “rocieros” bars close by, this reporter knows to wait for a better time, because tomorrow is waiting for us, with another wonderful day, plenty of new experiences.

And so, Sunday morning came, this time without getting up early, accompanied also by the silence of the swamp, and the songs of the sparrows.

You will agree, always a good breakfast is the best start of each day, but if it also comes with time and relax, nothing can go wrong. And that is that after wake up very late, I have a delicious breakfast in El Toruño.

The morning is served, so that equipment moves me to visit a few sights that I have been recommended by Andrés : The Acebrón Palace, and La Rocina. Both in a short distance of El Rocío, so no doubt this trip worthwhile, a mixture of culture, history, and nature in Doñana.

Matalascañas beachflamencoa ver

Andrés is preparing a nice surprise for the evening, so without knowing anything, I prepare to enjoy the day, and let Doñana seizes my stress, and bring me its mind, its stillness, and a sea of sensations for my soul.

My weekend is coming to an end, and Andrés is waiting this afternoon with a group of riders, for a walk in Doñana by horse or by carriage (as I prefer). Dear friends, imagine riding in Doñana through its marshes and trails, knowing its heart, its landscapes, and its soul. Simply marvellous

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Everything regains sense, a tour around Doñana, where the man in communion with nature, really feels what is freedom, and the desire to preserve this paradise that we were given.

Our horses frolic beside the marsh, and sensations come and go with us on this wonderful trip, which is nearing its end, when the late night begins in the marshes of Doñana. Dishevelled and tired, we reached the Hotel, where we tied our horses, and enjoy a drink before the shower, then ready for the dinner, but this time will be only a salad, and a small sandwich in the hotel room. Sure you will understand it is just enough for the day

otro posible atardecer en doñana

All is silence, music, light, smell, and colour, all that and more, is the best of my recommendations for any of you, who dares to come to Doñana, to be attended by Andrés and his team of professionals. They will put at your disposal all of their knowledge and dedication, to make you feel like a real privileged.

And here ends my weekend in nature, in the heart of Doñana. Next morning I will say goodbye to Andrés, and his team.

Adíos Toruño, goodbye Andrés, bye bye Doñana, I promise to return soon ….

September 2009

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