After driving ca 1.5 hrs, we reached the area we wanted to enter the park. Parque Natural Los Alcornocales with its 1700 sq km reaches from close to Gibraltar some 75 km and much of it is covered in the country's most extensive cork-oak woodlands. Alcornocales. We saw countless cork-oak trees, all shaved, almost all of their trunks naked. Like pudels after the dog-coiffeur. Some areas showed rather recently cut stems, in other places, probably half of their 9 year regrowing period that has to be kept between shavings, was over. This looks like a massive and labor intensive job, no tree was left out (except the younger ones). Not only does every tree need to be reached for cutting, but all the bark needs to get transported out of the woods... Fun to see the origin of the wine corks!
We saw lots of storks taking care of their nests, one tree was home to at least 10 of them! Some other birds and few flowers were to be seen as well. And sheep, goats, bulls and cows. No pigs. They are in other regions, the black Iberian kind that live freely under the oak trees
only to end up as pata negra.
The very best ham is jamon iberico Jabugo from the Huelva province. The best of that ham comes from pigs that ate nothing else but acorn, it is marked with jjjjj, my lonely planet guide book says...
After a cork day, we have uncorked a Sauvignon from Rueda - very fresh, crisp acidity, nice gooseberry. Goosebumps from chilly wind coming up, I better finish here for today.
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