The Tablas de Daimiel. Stopover and rest place
Thousands of migratory birds from around Europe make a stop in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park. Whoever waits for their arrival is certain not to regret seeing one of the most beautiful natural shows in Europe.
Amongst the best known are the purple heron, the grey heron, the black-crowned night heron, the American bittern, the red-crested pochard, the northern shoveller and the Eurasian widgeon or the northern pintail on their way to the African continent in search of good weather. If this is your case, be sure that you will see them in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park, making a break on their trip to freshen up and rest before going on.
The image we have been left of La Mancha by its most illustrious inhabitant, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, is that of a dusty plain with mills turned by the wind. However, this image changes completely if we go to the province of Ciudad Real, to the place where the Guadiana and Cigüela rivers meet. The sum of the two water flows on particularly flat lands causes overflowing. The usual way to get around the park is on the so-called route of the Isla del Pan, walking on wooden walkways between the islands and admiring the spectacular tayares, ghostly trees looking like they had come out of a tale by Edgar Allan Poe.
Hardly three years ago, nobody thought that the Tablas would be the green lands that they are today, seeing how they were being killed by the illegal exploitation of their aquifers and a fire in the subsoil. However, the heavy rainfall has restored their splendour and traditional greenness, which led them to be made a National Park in 1973, the smallest of the fourteen there are in Spain. Las Tablas have once more become a kind of luxury spa for migratory birds and also a five-star location for all nature lovers and particularly birdwatchers.
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