Walked from: Berducedo
Walked to: Albergue Juvenil, Castro
When: 16 October 2019
In a run of luck I know can’t last, but which I am nonetheless grateful for, I yet again got to my hostel this afternoon just as the weather turned. I’m writing this snug on the top bunk of my rather lovely albergue in the Asturian hamlet of Castro, listening to the wind and rain do a climatic tango with one another on the other side of the window. The jury is out on which one is winning, but they both seem to be doing well.
Today’s walk was really all about one location – the reservoir at Salime (Embalse de Salime) which I spent much of the morning descending towards, and a couple of hours walking away from. It’s a haunted-looking location – the abandoned buildings that line the hillside above the dam have a sadness about them, and I spent a lot of time thinking about the community that would have lived there, where they went and how they felt about having their valley flooded in the name of progress. Wikipedia tells me that over 100 workers died during the dam and reservoir’s construction, which eventually opened in 1954 after the UK broke a UN embargo against Franco’s Spain by supplying the turbines and generators it needed.
The reservoir itself looks beautiful from a distance, appearing just as the light was perfect and the surrounding hillsides at their most impressive. Pine woods and chestnut trees fill the local landscape, the forest paths frequented by fat, black slugs, almost as big as bananas (but, you know, less yellow…), making their slow, slithering journeys from goodness knows where to who know what.