Thursday, 22 January 2015

Walking around the abandoned Bedar mineral mines

If you're looking for spectacular views and an unusual walk in the
We only peered into this tunnel 
Mojacar / Bedar area of Spain, you would probably enjoy the Sendero Local 77 walking route which takes in the now abandoned Bedar mines. We spent three hours exploring there on Tuesday afternoon and were so taken with the industrial remains and the gorgeous rock colours that we are returning there with friends on Saturday - weather permitting. It's turned distinctly chilly here the last few days and I almost got blown over by the wind today!

We parked off road at the beginning of the official walk. This Wikiloc page has several maps and routes uploaded by others who have walked here. There's a narrow road off the Los Gallardos to Bedar main road with a large abandoned stone building visible from the main road. The building has a large bricked-up arch at each end and looks as though trains originally drove through it. Park by the map placard, start walking past the building and then head up the steep track to your left. All the best Spanish walks seem to start with a steep uphill!

The beginning is wide tracks passing agricultural land and this tree which we are yet to identify. It really stood out against the predominantly alond and olive trees. We saw our first almond blossom of the year too. We also saw this bizarre cut-away hill which appears to be quarried for soil. It looked even more spectacular on our return as the sun was setting and really brought out the colours.

Well, it's not almond or olive! 
This cutaway hill is a
distinctive landmark 

We mostly stuck to the SL-A 77 route with a few quick diversions to interesting viewpoints such as the Hoyo Jupiter (Jupiter Pit) which is probably the most unusual landscape I have seen since Iceland. We saw rockscapes in purples, in vivid yellows, and in a delicate cream colour. If only a pop-up geologist like on Coast could have been conveniently placed to explain to us what we were seeing. The hillsides are dotted with numerous caves and mineshafts, plus we saw the remains of a cable car tower and railway signal boxes. Part of the route is along the now dismantled railway and crosses a narrow barranco - not the greatest place for those with vertigo but there are ropes each side. We went through tunnels hewn through the hills and peered into others that had been closed off. It was a fun walk and a memorable afternoon!

It's awfully dark and gloomy in there!
This final photo was actually taken on the beach near
Sopalmo but shows the beautiful rock colours 

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