Our valley was mostly grey and rather uninspiring again today. We’d spent our best spell of sunshine waiting in various queues inside Dénia hospital. Once again, however, the skies looked as though they might be brighter towards the coast so, having used Calpe as an escape route already, today we elected to try our luck at Moraira. A large patch of blue sky grew larger in our windscreen as we approached along the twisting Spanish local roads, which seem to be a collection of hairpin bends strung together by, well, less severe bends.
Sure enough, Moraira was bathed in sunshine and basking in a temperature close to 20°C. I think it’s a bit of a Brit stronghold. We sat outside a bar with a cup of coffee and another pair of Brits at the table next to ours were enjoying a bottle of rosado between them. Soon, they were enjoying a second bottle of rosado. 😉
Moraira has a very different feel to Calpe. Off season, Moraira is very quiet. I’d characterize it as a typical seaside town, typical for this part of the world, that is, busy in summer but quiet at other times. Many of the shops and other trading establishments are closed and shuttered, presumably because there isn’t enough trade to give them all a viable business at this time of year. Calpe, on the other hand, seems more like a town that happens to be on the coast, if you see my distinction. Yes, a lot of Calpe’s business may be in the form of summer sun-worshippers toasting on its beaches but there is a also a reasonably vibrant community living and shopping there off season. that’s just my impression, for what it’s worth.
There’s a small pond/lake spilling out across the beach into the sea at Moraira. It is a much smaller water body than Las Salinas, the lagoon at Calpe, and, other than birds, I am yet to find any critters of my kind there. I think it’s fresh water, though, so it had to be worth a quick look. We started wandering around the perimeter. About half way around, I spotted movement as something appeared to rise from the top rail of the surrounding fence. Sure enough a dragonfly settled a little further along the rail behind me. As coastal as this location is, if I was expecting to find anything, it would have been a Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) but this character was quite clearly a Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum). As far as I could see, it was all alone, too.
There was one other critter worthy of note. We’ve seen quite a few butterflies since arriving – there are still flowers around for nectar feeders – and I spotted a white butterfly flitting about. Normally, white butterflies cause a bit of a yawn but this character was a bit different, showing an interesting pattern on the underside of its hind-wings. I’d seen something like this before in France and suspected I recognized it as a Bath White (Pontia daplidice). I can’t really confirm that until I get back to by books, though.
When grey, escape to the coast. 🙂