Lo Pas D'Arán. Next to the restaurant is a smaller car park were also waste containers are stored. Walk to the end of this space and then left onto the gravel track. Follow the track past the warehouse and to the end at about 1200 m. Now make your way for about 400 m to the West. You should now be in close proximity to the buildings. The oil mill is situated a few steps to the North of the nucleus.
The construction is in a very bad shape. The roof came down and caused the press to collapse. The part of the front around the entrance (5) did also fell in and shrubs are claiming back their space.
One had to make concessions: at the end of the press a large rock protrudes (3). It would have been impossible to remove.
At first I wondered why not a bit more of the hillside was dug out: a bit deeper and a trifle wider. Why hadn't they built an entire front wall a couple of meters more away from the hill? That would have meant more floor space and therefore much easier walking around between the equipment. But then, after looking around a bit more, I realized that cost may have been an issue.
First the very compact setup due to the limited floor space.
Second the build of the cantilever beam (11 – 13).
The cantilever of this type of press,
prensa de viga y quintal, is necessarily composed of
several distinct beams (see f.e. Puy de Cinca, Formigales,
Here, in, the situation is entirely different: almost raw trunks were used. The logs have undergone only a minimal debarking (12) and are only edged and trimmed were really necessary.
In order to make it all fit nicely together into a decent composed beam additional pieces of wood and metal were applied (11, 12 left).
tuerca(15) which holds the screw which moves the press up and down. The iron rods which hold this tuerca in place on the cantilever beam are far too long for the thickness of the tuerca. Several pieces of wood were needed (15) in order to make a solid connection. The rods, perhaps even the tuerca, may have been used elsewhere firstly.
Finally, the edge stone must have had a bad spot, or developed a fissure, and the stone was carefully repaired (17). At no other place have I ever seen an edge stone which was repaired.
marranowhich brings the pressure of the press to the stack of olive paste.
Pila: vessel in which the oil was captured.
Standing at the entrance we see the head of press (14, 15) straight in front of us. Looking to the left we have the view of (6) with from left to right the reception area with the algorines (vessels) for the newly arrived olives (7), then the press, and then a stone vessel (4) for hot water used in the extraction process.
From the entrance looking to the right we see the torno (16) with the edge stone, where the olives were crushed into an oily mass.
marrano(9), one more container (10) can be found between the vegetation. It is a
pilameant to receive the freshly extracted mixture of oil and water. Several pilas in a row are working together during the decantation step of the extraction process.
guiadera, a guiding beam with slit, about half way of the cantilever beam.
tuercawhich holds the screw.
torno, the edge stone in its bed.
balsa del torno, the grinding area, has a diameter of 120 cm. The edge stone (17, from conglomerate) has a diameter of 105 cm.
Notice that the grinding area is bordered with nicely cut, flat, natural stone (17). In many oil mills the area is delimited by a row of flat bricks lying on their side (e.g. Abizanda).
In a shed, next to the mill, a length of the
caracol, (19) was found.
This is the screw which fits in the
tuerca (15) and is turned in order to move the arm of the press
up or down (see f.e. the mills mentioned earlier on this page).
caracol, of the press.