The Place of the Dammed

The Contreras Dam at Minglanilla

We drove south west from Cuenca to the province of Albacete, an area of rivers and lakes, popular with canoeists and white water rafters. A dam had been constructed on the river Cabriel in 1974 creating a reservoir. We stayed underneath the dam (on the dry side) on a steep tree-covered slope with the dam towering above us.

We had fellow campers parked above and below us – we could hear them but they were mostly out of sight. The folk on the pitch next to us turned out to live in Hayling Island, not far from where we lived. As fellow travellers we found we had a lot in common and had an enjoyable Sunday lunch together in the site restaurant. Fidel, the owner of the site told us that the building had been a 17th century coaching inn before the dam was built.

The overnight temperature in the mountains dropped to 7° and it felt very chilly first thing in the morning but it was warm enough to sit outside when the sun shone. When it was cloudy it was perfect weather for walking down the steep stony paths to the river bed, always bearing in mind it was a long way back up again.

20 minutes to get down and 40 minutes to climb up again