Sunday October 29th. and I reached Playa del Freila, at Embalse de Negratin, at 8:30 am. It would have been 9:30 am if Summer Time hadn't come to an end much earlier that morning. The water level in the reservoir is still going steadily down, so Playa del Freila is the only place where access to the water is still reasonably easy. Now the water doesn't reach the other two places towards the top end of the reservoir, where the Castril and Guardal rivers flow in (when they aren't dry). On 25/10/23 it was recorded that the reservoir was down to 19.26% of capacity. Fortunately, even at that capacity, there is still a more than adequate area of water a good morning of quiet paddling.
This time I thought I'd meander down the Freila side of the reservoir to the dam. Hadn't been as far as that since May 2017. Hardly a breath of wind when I got on the water but a fresh wind, from the direction of the dam, was forecast for later in the morning: a wind which would be behind me on my return journey.
Approaching the dam.
Near enough for me. Getting too close to a dam makes me nervous!
A few facts about the Embalse del Negratin. The dam was constructed in 1984 and opened by the previous king of Spain (King Juan Carlos) in 1985. The max. surface area of the reservoir behind the dam is 2170 hectares and the maximum capacity is 567 cubic hectometres (which, if converted to litres or gallons gives a mind boggling figure). It is the fourth largest reservoir in Andalucia and the largest in the province of Granada. According to tourist information the length of the reservoir is 22 km, but on our maps it scales 16 km. Maybe the 22 km. includes the length of a very long, large inlet at the upper end of the reservoir. Since late 2016 I've paddled the entire perimeter of Negratin – some stretches of shoreline several times.
Nearly back to Playa del Freila. Autumn colours are starting to appear among the vegetation. That's the Jabalcón mountain in the background – and reflected in the water. The fresher wind that was forecast never did amount to anything, so it was a good morning for reflections, and a nice morning for another quiet paddle.