6.5k Day Hike

6.5k Day Hike

Navalagamella, Spain – December 4, 2010

My good friend, Ron, and I went on a hike today. I had researched a trail near the small town of Navalagamella. It is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of where we live. The hike itself was about 6.5 kilometers (4 miles).

I selected the route because it had “ruins” along the route.  One of the ruins at the farthest north point of the trail was a medieval bridge.  We never did find that one.

One of the first things we saw as we hiked was a peculiar sign.  It denotes a cattle route.

A sign denoting a cattle route near Navalagamella, Spain.

There was one high point very near the western edge of the town of Navalagamella from which the view was spectacular. We could see some of the snow-covered mountains that are north and west of Madrid.  There was not any snow where we were, but it was cold.

Snowcapped mountains to the north.
A stone fence.
More mountains visible from the trail.
A sign describing the various birds one may encounter.

We arrived at the trailhead at about 10:00 in the morning. According to the thermometer in my 4Runner it was -4C (24F). So, it was very cold.  The good news is it was a nice, sunny day with beautiful blue skies.

About halfway through the hike, we came upon a small stream.  We discovered later that it was the Rio Perales.  It was very picturesque. The sound of the stream was also very soothing. We walked downstream along the trail. In doing so we came upon a ruin. It was the remnants of an old flour mill. What was there was an old water trough leading to a circular tube. All of what was remaining was made out of stone and some brick.  The circular tube was about 25 feet tall.  The trough was probably about 25 feet long.

Ron on the trail!
Rio Perales along the trail.
Water plants in the Rio Perales.
More water plants in the Rio Perales.
The water flowing over some rocks.
The abandoned grain mill. The sign at the left reads, “no trespassing, danger of falling.”
The bridge carried a water trough to the abandoned grain mill.
Ron on the trail.
Another portion of the abandoned grain mill.
A broken millstone.

The trail was on the side of a fairly steep slope, so the trough ended up being about 25 feet above the ground. So as the trough transited that space it was supported by a large stone and brick arch. The mill operated off of this hydro-power. The water flowed into the tube.  The tube’s diameter narrowed as it neared the bottom.  That combination increased the pressure which was used to operate the mill wheel.  It was interesting to see just how that technology worked.

As we continued downstream we saw a second ruin. The only thing left was the stone water tube. When we got back to the 4Runner it was only about 4C (40F).  That was at 13:30.

Detail of the water trough bridge.
A wider portion of Rio Perales close to the abandoned grain mill.

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