One of our favourite walks is beside the lower reaches of Riberia de Odeleite also known as ‘Rio do Dragão Azul’. There maybe no blue dragons as it approaches the Guadiana but this part of the river is a delightful place to while away a few hours. Regular readers will know that usually we park in between Sapal de Baixo and Sapal de Cima before heading west on foot towards Odeleite.  Well last Monday we thought it was about time we explored the other bank. And wow! We parked in Foz de Odeleite, and within moments of getting out of the car the bird sounds and sightings brought us to a halt. It was glorious and we were transfixed. (Hover over photos or click on gallery for details)

Reminding ourselves we had had a late start and only had a few hours to explore, we dragged ourselves away from the antics of the swallows and martins headed for the banks of the Riberia de Odeleite. It wasn’t long before we were stopping again, this time because the road was closed. Well not really . . . . . . we just had to negotiate our way past  a very large flock of sheep and goats.

The views from this side of the river are superb, and when combined with the abundance of flora and fauna our walk became more of a start, stop, start, retrace steps, turn around, start, stop, start. Perfect I thought for Jo’s Monday walks!

One of the longest stops was for a drift of pigs and their litters. Fortunately the piglets decided we needed to continue our walk and scurried down the bank, or perhaps they had had enough of us.

Anyhow their disappearance enabled us to continue our walk towards one of the rivers which runs into the Odeleite – Riberia da Foupana. I have posted about the Riberia da Foupana before, when we walk along it on another walk to Odeleite. It runs through a very fertile and wide valley and in spring the flora is stunning. It is though still winter here so I wasn’t overwhelmed by the flora and fauna but there was enough for me to feel that spring is just around the corner.

By now it was time for lunch and so we found a perfect seat in the sun (a large stone at the edge of a smallholding). As well as enjoying our picnic we also had a decision to make. There is a circular track from Foz de Odeleite to Odeleite of around 10km, however given the time and the pace we were strolling at I was most uncertain if we had time. After pondering it for a while we decided that we would keep the full walk for another day and retraced our steps.

And we are so glad we did as not only did we meet the adorable piglets again but there were Ravens, Buzzards and Marsh Harriers on the return trip. What a day!

PS The piglets were so incredibly cute that the camera and I got quite carried away. I’ve shared just a few today but I’ll return with all my photographs in another post very soon