La Bolera Reservoir

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La Bolera Reservoir

The Bolera Reservoir calms the crystal-clear waters of the River Guadalentin, forming a 6-kilometre-long artificial lake. In summer, it is an ideal place to enjoy a refreshing swim. There is a special area for bathers on the left bank of the reservoir, near the restaurant, which forms a balcony and viewpoint overlooking the dam. You can also go canoeing on the reservoir’s calm waters. There are several companies in the area that organise water sports activities. The abundance of fish-eating birds is the result of the variety and quantity of fish found in these waters today, which include brown trout, rainbow trout, carp, barbel, chub, gudgeon and loach. This enticing food source also attracts otters, which can often be seen entering and leaving the water on the banks of the reservoir.


Since the 19th century there has been a small dam situated near the Guadalentín spring, where the water is channelled along the Iturralde canal to irrigate the fields in Pozo Alcón. This right to use a public water source for irrigation was only the second of its kind to be granted in Andalusia, and as a result is the region’s second most ancient water-usage right. Despite this privilege, the weir which was in use at the time was insufficient to channel the water for irrigation, so the main objective for the area became the construction of a large dam which could hold enough water to meet the demands of the residents of Pozo Alcón and the neighbouring municipalities of Cuevas del Campo and Hinojares.

The persistent political efforts of the municipal governors finally paid off during the first half of the 20th century, and work on the dam was completed by the 1960s. Since then, the reservoir has accumulated and stored unpolluted water, as no waste enters this catchment area: this encourages the presence of an important and varied range of aquatic fauna. Noteworthy birds include the great crested grebe, the mallard, the grey heron, the great cormorant and the yellow-legged gull. Ospreys sometimes also frequent the reservoir in winter.

Interestingly, the main source of the water from the Guadalentín which flows into the reservoir does not originate from the channel which empties into the lower end of La Bolera via the Cerrada de la Herradura gorge, nor does it originate with the River Guazalamanco, which joins it further down; in fact it is the water from the spectacular Fuente Valentín spring, traditionally considered to be the source of the Guadalentín, which is only visible at times of extreme drought when water levels in the reservoir sink to alarmingly low levels.

 

LOCATION

The reservoir dam lies 15 kilometres from Hinojares and 7 kilometres from Pozo Alcón. To visit Hinojares, first travel to Pozo Alcón along the A-315 (7 kilometres away). From Pozo Alcón take the A-326 along the Avenida Bolera towards Castril. After passing the Bolera camping site, where the road passes through the town next to the reservoir, take the left turn-off (signposted) to the dam. If you want to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the reservoir, you can also travel to the Peña de Quesada viewing point. To do so, take the A-326, heading towards Castril. Approximately 3 kilometres from the reservoir, turn off to the left on to the dirt track and roughly 600 metres further on you will come to the Peña de Quesada Forest House, where you can park your vehicle. The viewing point lies beyond the Forest House, next to the forest-fire lookout hut.



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