Mills in Altoaragón - harinero


Alavés is situated south from Sabiñanigo in the valley of the Río Guarga.
From Sabiñanigo drive southwards toward Huesca. Past Lanave turn left for Boltaña. After less than 2 km you'll reach the branch for Belarra.
From Boltaña cross the Río Ara and take the road towards Lanave. After about 20 km you'll pass the road for Matidero and after again about as many kms the mill of Escartín, then Villobas and eventually the spot where Belarra is signposted.

The sand and gravel road first crosses the river Guarga (you need enough clearance for this) and then slowly climbs the slope. The track takes a sharp turn to the right and then descends into the valley of a tributary. Find a place for the car where the road splits.

Pictures: 27.VI.2007

(1) The canal longs the field.
(2) Arrow indicates the hiding spot of the mill.

(3) West side of the pond; the mill is left.
(4) The pond; the mill is hidden in the back.

The best way to find the mill is to step into the field next to the sand road (1). In doing this you'll step over the remains of the water supply channel. Walking the border of the field you'll first reach a huge storage building in traditional style. Notice how the channel nicely rounds the construction and then continues for another long stretch. Try to recognise the tree of the blue arrow (2). That's where the pond is (3, 4).
The pond (embalse) is rather shallow and despite its dimensions couldn't probably hold enough water to keep this mill moving for a long time.

The pond is located entirely above the mill which is hidden between the trees (3). You can in fact from the pond look down into the workroom through the holes in the roof (6).

(5) The cubo (pressure pit).
(6) Mill seen from the pond.

The most curious feature of this mill of Alavés certainly is the cubo. A cubo is needed where the water is too scarce to deliver enough energy to move the stones. The water column in the cubo builds the necessary pressure.
This cubo (5) is really peculiar: wide and deep and dug out of the sandstone forming the bottom of the pond. Other interesting cubos can be found in f.e. Nueno and Las Bellostas.

(7) The entrance.
(8) Datestamp over the entrance.

(9) The drain of the cárcavo.
The door (8) was meticulously shut close, but won't last long anymore. A peek through the slit reveals that the workspace is empty.

The door post says C año de 1898 S (†). I wonder where the first and last character stand for.

It is possible to walk down against the left wall and descend into the channel carrying the water back into the river. There is a nice and solid arch (9) giving entrance to a wide an empty cárcavo (10).

(10) The cárcavo is empty.
(11) Drawing chalk to be chosen with care.

: There is of course only one brand of white chalk suitable to emphasize the engravings in the stone: Craie Le Moulin or The Mill chalk (11).

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