Since I last wrote an article, we have had our Annual Christmas Walk to the top of Castellar, near Bullas, then a very short walk on New Year’s Eve from Mula to Puebla de Mula to enjoy delicious tapas at Bar de Juanjo.
In January we had a new leader, Daniel, who led us around San Pedro del Pinatar on a gorgeous day with stunning blue skies.
The SWARMERs enjoyed a walk in Moratalla taking in the sights of the Roman Bridge.
Each of these would be worthy of a mention all on their own, but this month I want to focus on the walk we did on 14th January.
Jan, Sue and Allen are three of our walk leaders who work together to find new routes and on Saturday 14th January we explored the abandoned mining town of Gilico. We were 36 in total and although it was a bit chilly at the start, we were blessed with beautiful weather again.
The history of Gilico is fascinating and I am indebted to the walk leaders for some of the background. Iron had been extracted there since Roman times, but the most important era of mining began in the 19th Century and lasted until 1985, when iron extraction was abandoned as it was cheaper to import.
The ‘cable’ (air train with wagons) transported the mineral from the Cehegín Mining Reserve and the Gilico District to Calasparra Station. It started in 1908 with the Roll system; 15 km long and moved by electrical energy from the Salto de Cañaverosa. The ‘cable’ was dismantled in 1954, transported and reused in the mines of Leon.
The remains of the mining town are a ‘must see’; basically ruins, they show the life of the people who lived there and worked in the mine, in harsh conditions.
We were able to see where the ‘cable’ used to start and the telegram station, then the communal ovens, (where they probably made the bread), rising to the canteen, house of the school master and the priest’s house. There was a cave-like stable where the cows and donkeys were kept, also an aljibe and the ruins of the school and church. We then climbed up to view point and past the administration buildings and up again to the open mine shaft, which is quite magical and a must see. The final treasure was the Mina Maria, which is now a big open lake, where you get an amazing view. There were deposits of magnetite with 70% iron and magnetic properties, taken from the María mine (underground and open pit) in the valley. The hole corresponding to the large mine is 500mt long, 400mt wide and 119m deep. It was an amazing walk and hidden treasures of Murcia’s industrial past.
- 4th February Ricote
- 11th February Casas Nuevas
- 15th February Bullas
- 16th February Barranco de Hondares
- 25th February Cehegín
- 4th March Bullas
- 8th March Calasparra
To join our mailing list please contact warm2005 @gmail.com