Leats and mines in the Sierra Ne­vada

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Social Scene -

By Robert W Barnes LOOK­ING to ex­pand the lo­cal­i­ties for mem­bers of the Los Al­cázares Dig­i­tal Cam­era Club to ob­tain that per­fect pho­to­graph, your scribe took a re­con­nais­sance across both the Sier­ras Ne­vada and Gador, in the re­gion of An­dalu­cia, dur­ing Septem­ber.

Leats, or ditches if you will, fol­low the con­tours of the high sier­ras at over 1,400 me­ters, bring­ing snow-melt dur­ing the win­ter months and nat­u­ral spring wa­ter at other times, grad­u­ally down the moun­tains to reser­voirs, where the pre­cious wa­ter, reaches via pipework, farm houses and do­mes­tic homes.

Un­til the demise of the lead min­ing in­dus­tries, this wa­ter sup­plied boil­ers and mo­tive power to pit­head ma­chin­ery. The leats, some over 20 miles long, are known to ex­ist since the 11th cen­tury. My pho­tographs show leats as they reach lower lev­els of the sier­ras.

Two mines were vis­ited on this three-day wan­der­ing. Mina La Gran­ina, lo­cated near the vil­lage of Fondón, the other, Mina Car­men, in the valley close to El Mar­chal de An­ton López (pop­u­la­tion just 70 peo­ple).

Both sites of­fer great scope for mem­bers to ob­tain that per­fect pho­to­graph. My pho­tographs show Mina La Gran­ina pit­head struc­ture and the wind­ing drum along with associated gear­ing, all in good con­di­tion, orig­i­nally in­stalled in 1931. Mina Car­men, ex­tends up the hill­side, to adits and work­ings, driven into the hill­side. Quite a climb I can as­sure you!

All that re­mains now is to per­suade club pres­i­dent John Dorsett, to agree to an ad­ven­ture to An­dalucía. I’m work­ing on it. For in­for­ma­tion see www.los-al­cazares-cam­era.club

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