Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Another Quiet Paddle in the Sun.

   Yesterday I went for another exploratory paddle on Embalse de Negratin.  I launched again at Playa de Friela and did a direct line open water crossing from the concrete slipway, turned left at the other side of the reservoir and headed towards the dam, paddling between islands that aren't obvious when looking across from the Friela side.

Playa de Friela (a picture from a previous visit).
  The smaller islands probably wouldn't exist if the reservoir was full (it's now at about 50% capacity) but the two big islands will always be there.

   Both islands have been colonised by seagulls, which seems a bit odd when the nearest coast is about 90 kilometres away, as the crow (or in this case seagull) flies.

   Looking back to Playa de Friela, with the Sierra de Baza in the background:-

That's one of the islands on the right hand side.
   Until I crossed Negratin I didn't know that the Sierra Nevada is visible from the water.  And there is still snow on the tops:-

Snow on the distant Sierra Nevada.
     One of Granada's claims to fame is that it's possible, at certain times of the year. to ski on the mountains in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon - or vice versa.

   The shoreline on this side of Negratin is extremely desolate, very rugged and steep sided - and there are very few places where it is easy to land.  It's an area to be treated with respect, especially if solo paddling.  I did make the mistake of going ashore once, only to step out into sticky mud and shingle which was impossible to shake out of my sandals when I re-boarded.  I didn't land again until I was back on the other side of the reservoir!

Any sort of civilization is way up over that ridge.
   Wind and rain has eroded and sculptured cliff faces into dramatic shapes:-

   By lunchtime it was getting uncomfortably warm on the water, so I re-crossed Negratin to look for a shady spot to go ashore:-

Looked a promising place ...........
............  with a shady lunch spot ..........
............  with a nice view while eating a pack-up.
   Note to self:  try and keep pack-up in the shade while paddling, or use an insulated container.  The slices of cold pizza just weren't cold anymore, and the muesli bars were droopy!

   From there it was an easy straight line paddle, past inlets I've previously explored, back to Playa de Friela.  I hadn't expected to get as far as the dam on this trip. I thought there would be too many distractions on the far side, but I did see it in the distance and I should get to it next time.  I need another day of very light winds - I've never been on Negratin on a windy day but I can well imagine that it could be tricky with gusts funneling down canyons and valleys around the sides.

So ended another enjoyable day of quiet paddling.