Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Adventures in Andalucia .The Tale of Three villages!! Adventure 3 !!!

Los Molinos De Rio de Aguas.

We have been so lucky to join friends already living in Spain and they have been so generous sharing information with us.
This has resulted in us being able to visit little gems that are so tucked away that you would never find them. The Village of Mills on the River Aguas is just such a place.
Historically the Mediterranean Sea extended inland in Southern Spain, in inlets which ran between the mountain ranges near our home.
About 6 million years ago the inland waters started to evaporate.This led eventually, when the salts had concentrated into crystals, to the formation of the gypsum highlands "yesares."In these gypsum formations  extensive cave systems have been formed by underground water courses.
Rio de Aguas, the river in whose valley Los Molinos is situated, carved a gorge through  this gypsum.
In 1988 the Spanish Government officially created the Paraje Natural de Karst en Yeso de Sorbas. 
The combination of a lush river valley with its year round flow of water and the stark uplands of the yeso is extremely rare.

Running water is also very rare near our home. The bridge which leads to our village spans a very dry river bed and it is more usual to see river beds with a form of bamboo growing than water flowing.
In the valley wonderful bridges have been crafted from the cana and rope made of Esparto Grass which grows on the mountainside.

 So it is lovely to take a trip and spend some time by the river.

We were lucky enough to see this little fellow who seemed wuite happy to take a look at us too!

Valleys have formed as the force of the water cut  through the soft rock.
Massive boulders broke away from the tops of the cliffs and come to rest in a chaotic tumble on the valley floor.

Los Molinos villlage is about a kilometre north of a spring which was harnessed to both drive the mills and irrigate the terraces which sustained life.
Originally water was bought to the village in rock cut tunnels.
 On the first part of the system there are a succession of twelve semicircular openings which were designed to control the flow of the water to the system.
Today a Ram Pump makes it possible to lift water to storage containers near the houses.

In its heyday there were some fifty families,a school and 5 mills in the village. Obviously more than was required to mill the grain of Los Molinos.Milling grain from the surrounding farms must have made the village prosperous. However the village became deserted in the 1960's.
Today The Sunseed Project  has its base in the village

Sunseed exists primarily to provide visitors with an experience of low impact living in a community setting. 
They use solar power for heating and cooking and for food dryers. 
Approximately 200  people from all over the world visit each year.100's volunteer to find sustainable ways of combating desertification.
As well as living in some of the restored village houses yurts provide acomodation in the valley.

So we can adventure out to this really interesting and very beautiful village and enjoy all it has to offer.

Amazing natural sculptures!

And lush greenery.

There was another little development project on offer as we left!

But no! Too much adventuring in Andalucia to do !!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely fascinating, Linda, and so beautifully described and photographed, you really should be on television! It's lovely to hear about the history of your part of Spain, so thank you so much for a lovely post!



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