Sunday, 21 May 2017

A Blue-Sky Morning on Embalse de Negratin.

   Friday May 19th.  A beautiful morning, not a cloud inn the sky and hardly a breath of wind.  Launched from Playa de Freila at about 10:15 am with the intention of being back ashore before the day got too hot to be messing around on the water. The target this time was to reach the dam, paddling straight to it and then delving into any inlets, not delved into on previous visits, on my way back.

   I nearly got sidetracked when I spotted a tower on a headland.  The presence of a noticeboard indicated that it could be something of historical interest and worth a closer look - but I passed on, for now.

Looks interesting.
     Nearly got sidetracked again when passing a nice clean looking, gently shelving, little bit of a beach.  Was thinking about a stretch legs stop - then wondered what sort of big critters might live in those holes!  So, gave it a miss and passed on again.

Holes for big critters?
As I rounded another headland the dam came into view in the distance :-

Still a long way to go - the clarity of the air makes distances deceiving.
Getting closer.
   The little white building to the right of the dam is a pleasant bar/restaurant.  Some years back Susan and I stopped there for a drink and tapas.

And close enough.

   If that slipway to the right of the bar/restaurant is for public use, then I might just have found another good launching place.

Those badlands again.
   Delving deep into one of the larger inlets on my way back, I could see a humble looking little property.  In that location, and with some imagination, it has the potential to become a des res :-

Nice spot for a des res.
That potential des res again.
Parked up for a run ashore.
   I parked here to scramble and push my way through brush and undergrowth up to that tower I had seen on a headland earlier.  Emerging near the tower I saw numerous spent shotgun cartridges scattered around on the ground.  This is obviously a popular spot for hunters.  Note to self:  In future, in such wild areas, make a lot of noise (whistle or sing, maybe) and wear some high viz. clothing when pushing through scrubland.  Could be a hunter in a hide somewhere, just waiting for something to move!  Wouldn't like to be mistaken for a wild boar!

Torre del Maruq.
Torre del Maruq
   According to the nearby noticeboard, the tower is known as Torre de Maruq and it is a watchtower of Arab origin.  Little else seems to be known about it.  Anyone on the tower, back in the days of the occupation by the Moors, would have been able to keep a watch on much of the river valley which became the reservoir after the building of the dam in 1984.  These are the present views from alongside the tower :-

View to the left.
View further round to the left.

View to the right,.
   The adjacent headland, seen in this last photograph, is the one where I landed on my last trip to have lunch in the shade.  I have since discovered that it is called Playa de Majuelos.  However, I can't imagine that this beach gets much use by the public, as access, via a dirt track from the main road, is tricky - as I discovered when I tried it that afternoon.  The track was fine for our trusty little Citroën C15 van, but anything with less ground clearance might just get into trouble.

   It was just getting uncomfortably warm on the water when I got back to the beach at Playa de Freila around 1:45 pm (and still not a cloud in the sky) after an enjoyable morning of quiet paddling.