27th November 2013

Trip to Barranco del Rio,      Presa

We approached the town of El Rio from Chimiche in Carol & John's van. About one km from the town, before we reached the bridge over the barranco, we took the turning to the left which was signposted Presa. The road was rather bumpy being made of bit-mac scarifyings. We followed this track until a sharp branch turned up hill to to the left. The condition of the track now deteriorated so we parked and started our walk. A hired car followed us and tried both of the tracks but gave up and returned to the main road. It was only a short walk, partly up a track which would have only been passable in a four wheel drive vehicle with good ground clearance.

When we reached the top of this slope we could see the concrete obelisk near the dam.

An old rusty crane used in the dam construction had been abandoned

Walking further the dam came into view.

There was a good view up the barranco but no sign of any water, The floor of the barranco was covered for quite some distance back with fine sand and gravel which was level and at first glance could have been taken for water. If the embalsa was ever full it would have contained a great deal of water but now it was completely dry.  Although it is said that in its upper reaches water flows most of the time it must have been piped away before reaching the dam.


View up the barranco from the dam wall.


Where was a path to the left. There was a way to the right which went down some perilous looking concrete stairs without handrail. We ignored them. There was also some steps cut into the side of the cliff going up. The start of these appeared extremely difficult to climb. We took the path to the left.

The cliffs on this east-hand side of the barranco were popular with rock climbers. Along this path we saw four sets of climbers mostly men but there a was one German woman assisting her man. Many of the others were English.

The cliff face had some interesting features and holly was able to photograph close ups.


The path to the left left that we were walking on sloped gently downward and the floor of the barranco sloped up so that towards the end of the path there was only a short steep slope down to the bottom of the barranco at that point.


Directly opposite on the other side of the barranco a path had run parallel. However this path ended in a steep drop which it would not have been possible to scale, unless you were a rock climber with ropes.

Perhaps there was a bridge at one time across the barranco at this point joining the two paths.


We scrambled down to the bottom of the barranco and found somewhere to sit in the shade to eat our peanuts and have a drink.


View down the barranco towards the dam


We started our return journey along the path, crossed over the dam and walked along a lower path that lead to the base of the dam on what would have been the down stream side, had there been water.

There was a stone pillar built up from the bottom of the barranco which had no obvious purpose and an aquaduct covered with concrete slabs on the far side.

holly took a close-up of a pine flower here that would develop into a fir cone


We then walked back to the van. The complete walk took us just over two hours. It would be much shorter for someone walking quickly and not stopping to take lots of photographs.

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