Boats vs Wild Swimming
On our list of essential items to buy before our move is an inflatable kayak.
To most people, that may not be considered to be an essential item, but as we have come to explore our immediate locality, it has become evident that there are too very large expanses of water that need to be used!
Andrew and I love water. I love boats of any kind, and Andrew loves wild swimming. The valley has a huge reservoir called Lake Beznar, and a short walk from one of our neighbouring villages leads you down to a beach area from where it will be easy to launch a kayak and then while away a few hours drifting around in the splendid tranquillity of mountain and lake scenery.
On our visit in April, one of the tasks we set ourselves was to go out in the car and explore a few places that we had not yet seen. Prior to our week away, we had been to the launch of a new book entitled Wild Swimming in Spain - a guide to the best places across Spain to swim in lakes or rivers - and at the launch, one of the authors had mentioned the Embalse de los Bermejales and I knew that this was within easy driving distance.
I am not going to regale you with tales of the actual drive, as that proved to be an adventure in itself, and not one that we wanted to repeat on the return leg. Suffice to say, when we reached the lake, the sight was breathtaking. The lake itself appeared as a turquoise, shimmering ribbon cutting through a landscape coloured khaki and green. At one end, the cobbled road runs over the dam and provides a spectacular viewpoint right down the lake, and down into the clear water, where large carp can be seen swimming.
The sense of peace is almost overwhelming. We managed to find a track that led right down the water's edge, and where the banks were shaded by pine trees. Scrubby grass filtered out to become sand the closer to the water we went, and we were able to settle down in the middle of this utterly serene setting feeling as though we were the only people on the earth.
The first wild swim was not quite so peaceful, as Andrew took the plunge to find that he was most definitely NOT alone in the water.
That is why I prefer boats to wild swimming.