Natural Park

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The Lake Sanabria Natural Park covers more than 5,000 hectares, is currently in the process of expansion in the municipalities of Porto and Barjacoba, with Lake epicenter, with a total area of ​​318 hectares. It is approximately 3.8 kilometers long by 1.3 half wide. It is the largest natural lake in Spain, is three times larger than the Banyoles in Girona, its origin is glacier and in some areas can reach depths of over 50 meters, recently they measured 53 meters in the place more deep. Surrounded by the mountains of Segundera, Cabrera Baja and Gamoneda, he arrive river canyons Cardenas, Segundera and Tera, the entire park is crisscrossed by many rivers form valleys and gorges created by the tongues of glacial valleys. The most abundant forests in the vicinity of Lake Sanabria are formed by the Pyrenean oak or Turkey oak. some interesting spots holly and yew are also located, while the poplars and alders are abundant on the banks of the rivers that descend from the heights or communicate with each other the different gaps inside the Natural Park.

To gain altitude, the forest is replaced by a thicket of Escobales, cambronales and heaths, trees like oak would not survive in the winter at those altitudes. Sanabria is also located in the famous endemics: sanabresa Carqueixa and Geranium bohenicum. Within the fauna we can mention the golden eagle, wolf, wild boar, roe deer, lizard Bocage, roe deer, foxes and Seoane Viper. Squirrels and weasels lately also seen in enough quantity.

The main axis of the park is the Tera River, which crosses from north to south including Lake. The Tera was born next to Peña Trevinca, the limit of Castilla y Leon and Galicia. Enters the lake 200 meters from our hostel. This river is a tributary of the River Esla, and is considered one of the most constant flow of the Duero basin. Currently on its route it has a total of six reservoirs to generate electricity or to irrigate the Vega del Tera near the town of Benavente. It has spilled over several times without danger to the public, looking spectacular images of its channel.

The Rio Tera is the most important trout river in the area along with the Trefacio River and Truchas passing Sotillo, (we must highlight the Trefacio River as the higher quality), with an abundance of other species: barbels, escallos, bream, etc. Part of the river is considered Coto Fishing, including all Lake, Lake currently is listed as "catch and release", but it also has free areas where you can fish. I can not indicate the full fishing regime that is constantly changing. At the lake you can fish all year with a special permit that you sold at tourist offices or at the offices of the Junta de Castilla y León. Especially for children it is fun and easy to fish in the lake.

The Natural Park has an average altitude from 1,000 meters to 1,700, Ribadelago is about 1,020 meters. This and the protection they provide you the northern mountains, gives the whole area a very special atmosphere. is not too cold in winter and in summer does not usually happen in the hottest days of 30-32 ° C, except for the summer 2005 has been the warmest of the last 50. The water bathing areas can be all summer between 22 to 24 ° C. This climate is ideal and has been recommended many times to recovery from respiratory problems due to the altitude and lack of moisture. In the summer of 2005 they have broken all records for high temperatures. This has favored the emergence of fire. On this point it is clear that the fires have happened outside the Lake. To a altidud of over 1650 meters.

The whole area is occupied by very scattered small villages, towns culturally rich and well preserved, all in an environment of less than 6 kilometers. It should be clarified that Sanabria is the county and all towns in the area carry that name, Example: Trefacio de Sanabria, etc .:

San Martin de Castaneda

San Martin de Castaneda, is the natural viewpoint over Lake, possibly one of the oldest population centers in the area. It is located along the road leading to the lagoon of the Fish, and the center of town a monastery of the twelfth century stands. Place to visit, it is installed in the former Centre for Interpretation of Nature Park, it is an exhibition with models of mills and typical houses, and with plenty of photos and graphics of the park. Not teach too, everything is very artificial and designed for mass tourism. Here in San Martin de Castaneda, he lived D. Miguel de Unamuno, and inspired him to write his book San Manuel, good and martyr. In this book you will find the original names Sanabria Valley. The lake at one time was known as Villachica Lake, Lake In 1836 sold to the Lords of Villachica in the amount of 20,000 reais, expropriating during the Second Republic. The first Sunday of September in San Martin celebrates its annual festival, is very traditional and possibly as few ancient festivals are held. Asked by Loyas and meet the authentic language sanabrés. The Loyas are original poems every year are composed and recited by its author to the Virgen de la Peregrina. Without being hassled by San Martin, the gentilicio of its inhabitants is chafurdios.

Vigo de Sanabria

Vigo de Sanabria, it is out of all tourist routes but you need to visit because it is a sample of the agricultural and livestock Sanabria. It is located near the eastern shore of Lake less than two kilometers, and extends along the River Forcadura. You can purchase directly bought from the farmers, natural products such as hives, beans, chickpeas, etc .. of high quality and total guarantee that are grown traditionally. On the hiking trails you have to cross entire organized and up the river canyon Forcadura. To my mind the best wheals are those of Vigo.
is a really nice town. There are some rare species that nest around Dwarfs, L'Escuela and Peña del Pato and you can find described on a website called FRS.

Galende, town hall in the area, crossed in access to Ribadelago. the village green Beaches calls itself by its bathing areas in grasslands in the river. I do not seem to have beaches.

Pedrazales, is one of the smaller towns, but perhaps that is being rehabilitated based on respect for the old, the typical buildings of the area. It is very sunny and in ancient times was home to a hospital for respiratory diseases. Ideal to buy a house in the country. Upon reaching Pedrazales from the old fish farm you can rent horses for routes. They have traced the road from the Za-104 to Trefacio by the middle of town and is almost impassable.

Old Ribadelago

Ribadelago Viejo, located at the confluence of the Rivers Cárdena and Segundera with Tera, with close to 1,000 meters altitude, is in a landscape of great value, which dominates the presence of the lake. The valley, large in size, is dominated by large rocky masses that limit on three sides, which acquires an amphitheater and only extends to the east, by the impressive canyon of Tera. It is located 1.2 kilometers from our hostel. In the year 1,959 was devastated by a waterspout due to breakage of the old dam of Vega de Tera, producing more than 140 dead. This tragedy has dramatically marked the lives of many families in this village. It is one of the most special and spectacular landscape environments Sanabria. If visitors do not forget your camera or video. Almost at the entrance of the village you can see the monument to the dead of the year 59, all their names and the statue and the "Woman with child" Zamorano commissioned to sculptor Ricardo Flecha.

Mención aparte merece TREFACIO, como uno de los pueblos más bonitos de la zona, esto es verdad pero además es el pueblo donde he yo he nacido. Está a seis kilómetros del lago, y se asienta en un valle muy interesante cruzado por el Río Trefacio. Este río es uno de los más cotizados de la Comunidad Autónoma  por sus truchas. Hay pescadores que esperan dos años para conseguir un día de pesca en este río.  TREFACIO tiene el único frontón de la comarca donde puedes practicar pelota vasca o frontenis. Desde el puente que cruza el río puedes observar truchas desde muy cerca en libertad. Si visitas Trefacio deja el coche date un paseo por el pueblo, te gustará. Si quieres ver un arco de una posada de peregrinos pregunta por la casa antigua de D. Moisés (el cura) y allí se conserva un arco con conchas y estrellas de peregrinos del camino de Santiago. En la carretera a San Ciprián a Trefacio, está el molino de Pepe (QPD). Antaño antes de fallecer   el molinero te enseñaba como funciona un Molino sobre el río, es totalmente automático y no tiene energía eléctrica, todo un prodigio de ingenio.  Es tan ingenioso, como que era  capaz de ponerlo enfuncionamiento desde la cama. Por cierto desde octubre a abril no vive nadie allí, por tanto el Molino es visitable desde Abril a Septiembre. (Nota: Lamentablemente Pepe ha fallecido en el   2006, aún así y como homenaje a Él, quiero mantener el texto anterior, descanse en paz, un hombre especial)

A los de Trefacio nos llaman burreiros, ¿porque será?

Un poco mas lejos a unos 70 kilómetros puedes ir a pasar el día a Porto,  es el último pueblo de Castilla lindando con Galicia. Es un pueblo muy especial, su aislamiento geográfico lo convierten en un pueblo que en muchos aspectos esta anclado en el pasado. Es especialmente ganadero y su medio de vida es la cría de ganado autóctono, vacas de razasanabresa.

Incluso los vascos visitan este pueblo en su feria del 26 de agosto para comprar toros para el deporte tradicional vasco de arrastre de piedras. El único problema son los accesos pero con un poco de paciencia puedes llegar. Solo el recorrido merece la pena. Es obligatorio visitarlo, no te arrepentirás porque Porto es algo que no verás en otras zonas. Para ir a Porto desde Ribadelago, debes tomar la Za-104 en dirección a Puebla de Sanabria, tomar la autovía A-52 en dirección a Galicia, hasta el Km 110 (ya estamos en la Comunidad Autónoma de Galicia)y allí tomar la carretera de Porto, hay por delante 29 kilómetros infernales, pasarás por estos pueblos: Villanueva, Pías (son tres barrios separados),  Pradoramisquedo (pertenece a Orense y queda a la izquierda de la carretera) y por fin Porto. Pero merece la pena tomárselo con calma y llegar a Porto.  

Hay otras zonas de Sanabria que puedes conocer, pregunta en nuestro Hostal y te indicamos zonas que no están en las rutas turísticas. Incluso puedes acercarte a Portugal en menos de 30 minutos, aunque no hay mucho que ver y la carretera es infernal. Hay otras zonas de Sanabria que puedes conocer, pregunta en nuestro Hostal y te indicamos zonas que no están en las rutas turísticas. Incluso puedes acercarte a Portugal en menos de 30 minutos, aunque no hay mucho que ver y la carretera es infernal  

En la foto siguiente y a modo de curiosidad puedes ver la riada que se produjo con motivo de las fuertes lluvias, fue el 8 de diciembre del 2.000. No es peligroso pero si espectacular. En ese puente de la Inmaculada estuvimos aislados durante cuatro días. La mancha blanca en el medio de la foto es el pueblo, el resto es el Lago un poquito crecido. 

Un lugar que recomiendo siempre sobre todo en otoño-invierno es visitar la Ermita  de La Alcobilla, si te fijas en el mapa de otras secciones de esta página, esta cerca del molino que te he hablado antes. Es un recinto con más de doscientos castaños datado con más de 900 años y hasta 1200. En el centro está la ermita y un cruceiro de piedra. Los castaños tienen formas curiosas que en invierno con un poco de imaginación te hacer ver cosas raras.