Day 3: Water Channel

by andrewwelch

Posted from Lorca, Region of Murcia, Spain.

When I reached the dam there were people visiting the lake for leisure. A man in a building near to the dam gave me some (very chlorinated) water and drove me to an outbuilding with shade where I rested and charged my devices.


A great flood destroyed the first dam completed on 5 August of 1648. A second dam was built but on On April 30 of the year 1802 due to the rains and floods, and the faulty construction of the dam, it ruptured and caused 608 deaths. There still seems to be some controversy over the strength of the existing dam according to reports available online.

Water appeared to be partly transported away from the dam by a concrete channel and pipes which followed the road towards Lorca. Further along I saw aqueducts. Presumably this channel was to service agriculture and houses along the road and further down the valley.


Walking this section was hot and arduous. I was walking mainly on gravel, small rocks and the tarmac of the road. The water channel was no where to be seen in the rambla however there was plenty of vegetation growth by way of reeds. Perhaps the flow had disappeared underground.

I saw a castle in the distance, which I presumed indicated that I was getting near to Lorca. As I walked a smell of manure was noticeable in the air.


It looked as if the vegetation in the ramblas was being affected by agricultural residual. Its difficult to say exactly why this was. The growth appeared monocultural, overabundant in some areas and dead in others. Animals had been grazed there. There was the presence of a variety of farm waste products such as bags and barrels for fertiliser.

There were piles of litter, large houses with big gardens or small farm holdings. The watercourse appeared on occasion from concrete channelisations forming pools, which were occupied by gurgling toads.

On the way into Lorca there were a couple of industrial facilities including what was presumably a pig farm that was responsive for the smell.

There was also evidence of large scale excavations and mining of materials which were piled up forming manufactured landscapes where the banks of the ramblas would otherwise have been.

People on mountain, dirt and quad bikes and a dust buggy were taking advantage of the varied terrain free of cars and people – an obvious ‘liminal’ space where people don’t usually go (other than shepherds and their animals).


Throughout the afternoon I had found my mouth dry and the water that I drank did not quench my thirst. I presumed that I had a spot of sunstroke. My right foot also had a persistent dull pain.