I was just reading a post from a blogger friend about visiting the Grand Canyon and it made me think that maybe I ought to tell of our own canyons here in Almería, there’s certainly no shortage of them! There is a word in Spanish, “barranco” which means ravine but I have heard it being used to describe a gorge and a canyon, although it’s a bit of a small word for something as grand as a canyon (did you see what I did there?).
One of my favourite “canyons” is the lesser known Rambla de los Yesos. A rambla for those not familiar with the term is a dried up river bed, at certain times of the year there may be water flowing and during heavy rains, you should certainly keep clear of them. The best example of a rambla in Almería is in the Desierto de Tabernas (Tabernas Desert), Europe’s only true desert.
Rambla de los Yesos is a short distance outside the pueblo of Alboloduy, famous for it’s wine. To get there you have to drive alongside and across the rio Andarax and along a fairly narrow pass. It is an easy drive but I wouldn’t recommend it for those of a nervous disposition.
The path meanders along and is wet and very soft in some places (especially so in winter) but you will see some truly amazing rock formations and if you’re patient, some amazing wildlife. Technically though the next two photographs are a different but adjoining rambla, Rambla de Arquillo.
At the junction of the two ramblas is a rock formation known as Chimenea de las Hadas.
I mentioned the wildlife earlier and we were blessed to see a Griffon Vulture wandering around – there was actually a kill near the vulture and we think it may have been hanging around for this and because it was on a narrow track and vultures typically need a lot of room to take off, it wasn’t in a good position to fly away. I got to within 2.0 m of this bird but I was careful not only for myself but because it actually looked a bit scared of me! I am of course no expert but it didn’t look very old to me.
And of course, a photograph from above the rambla was a must!