10th July 2022: Reservoirs (Buendía & Entrepeñas, Spain)

I tried going for a hike because I was feeling cooped up, and tried to make the most out of the draught Spain is going through. The centre of Spain is sprinkled with large reservoirs, a lot of them built during Franco’s dictatorship as part of the efforts to get the country to recover from the war. The reservoir Embalse de Buendía is fed by the river Guadiela and it was finished in the year 1958. Before that, there used to be a bathing complex used by the royals, along with a village there. I have wanted to get there for a while, but it is tricky because the trail is reported to be in bad condition. So I decided to walk down the trail Camino de La Isabela to gauge whether my small city car would make it. Thus, think about this as a recognisance mission.

I parked the car at the beginning of the trail around 8:10 in the morning and started walking. I saw a small lizard which had shed off its tail, and some footprints – birds, canid, and I’m pretty sure a deer.

Close-up of a brown lizard which is growing its tail back.

Collage of animal footprints: paws, tallons and hooves

The temperature was nice at that time and I walked for about an hour until I got to the shore of the reservoir, then another 20 minutes or so until I got to see the derelict settlement. The water was still too high so I decided not to walk there.

A view of the reservoir. The sun is shining and there are some green / yellow plants ashore.

The reservoir. On one of the inlets you can guess the ruins, along with some columns that peek over the water.

I just hung out at the shore and found a bunch of dragonflies (I think Sympetrum fonscolombii red-veined darters (female and male)). Then I started walking back, because the temperature was rising fast.

A yellow and a red dragonfly.

I made it back to the car around 11:00 and drove off towards a second reservoir in the area, Embalse de Entrepeñas. I have driven by more than a few times, and I would always be drawn to a little side road that seemed to overlook the reservoir. It is actually the beginning of a hiking trail, but it was already too hot to keep going. Instead, I peered around the actual dam and hydroelectric station.

A white-grey dam closes the reservoir. There are trees in the foregrond and the water looks almost turquoise.

The electricity power-plant that is fed by the water behind the dam. There are a lot of wires coming out at different heights.

It was too hot to do anything, the beginning of the heat wave, so I just drove off and made a stop to see some friends on the way. I’ll keep an eye on the water level of the reservoir Embalse de Buendía in case I can come back to the area, now that I’ve figured out how far I can reach with the car.

Walking distance: 16846 steps / 11.76 km