Even for experienced travelers, sometimes logistics, time, and energy expended for getting to a place is just not worth it. Doñana National Park in southern Spain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its biodiversity and strategic location in Europe. Birdlife is abundant, particularly during spring and fall migrations. We spent months trying to plan a 5-day trip to Doñana National Park in Spain and in the end, when it became clear this trip just wasn’t going to happen, we gave up. It was depressing.
Since we had slotted 5 days in our itinerary for the park visit between our stays in Lagos, Portugal and Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, we had to decide where else should we go for those days? We looked at the map for a mid-way point, did a little research, and chose the scenic and charming town of Tavira, Portugal. That was settled, and we didn’t think much about Tavira till a few days before we were to arrive. It was then that we discovered the proximity of Tavira to Ria Formosa Natural Park, a important birding area.
Again, we became caught up with trying to figure out how and where to birdwatch. A helpful guide, Peter Dedicoat, sent us an email with the advice “you are already in the Ria Formosa and some worthwhile birding can be had within walking distance of the town. For instance, try the saltpans between Tavira and Santa Luzia, preferably at high tide.”
Off we went – headed for the saltpans just outside Tavira. Not the way most people spend their time on holiday, we know, but we were pretty excited.
We should have learned by now that when one plan doesn’t work, sometimes the replacement plan is just as good, if not better.