In the inlets there was a fresh breeze funneling down the ravines and gullies but it didn't spoil quiet paddling and, if anything. made it even more pleasant by keeping the temperature down. So, all went well until emerging from the shelter of the last big inlet and finding that the wind had chosen to ignore the forecasters! It had backed round to the south-west, so it was blowing directly up the reservoir from the dam, and had freshened considerably. The open water crossing now looked tricky with closely spaced waves and deep troughs in between, and some waves were breaking. Running with the wind and waves was fine, but I didn't want to go that way, nosing into the waves was doable but wet, but I don't 'do' wet these days and in any case I didn't want to go that way either. I wanted to cross more or less at right angles - which really didn't look so feasible. The only option was to retrace my route, plugging away into the wind while hugging the shoreline, where there was a bit of shelter from that wind, in the hope that conditions at my original crossing point (which at least is one of the narrowest points of the reservoir) would be better - and my luck was in. By the time I reached the shelter of a big inlet opposite Playa de Freila, and had a leg stretch walk ashore, the wind had abated and shifted and any thoughts of spending hours trapped on the wrong side the water quickly dissolved, and the crossing back to my lunch box was just fine.
Here is a collection of photos from yesterday's paddle along what is most probably the most rugged bit of the badlands of Embalse de Negratin :-
Cliff falls are evidently common, as you can see by the pile of debris at the foot of the cliff in the above photograph. Vertical cracks further along the cliff face show where the next great chunks might break away.
|Ready to cross back to Playa de Freila - and lunch.|