From almost any part of Periana and the surrounding hills you look down on the spectacular scene of Lake Viñuela a man-made reservoir containing 170 million cubic meters of water and covering 700 hectares of land. Obviously the content varies with rainfall and since the very low levels of 2009 the reservoir has built up much better reserves. An interesting graph of current and past levels can be seen here.
Lake Vinuela seen from the Restaurant Terrace at Cantueso in Periana
The reservoir was originally muted in the 19th century but only became a viable scheme in the 1980’s and was achieved by damming the River Guaro. This river and its many tributaries fill the reservoir and it provides potable water and irrigation for many hectares of arable land around the lake. Fortunately before the flooding of the valley, excavations of various Neolithic and old Roman sites were undertaken and many of the artefacts found can be seen in Málaga museum.
The lake takes its name from the nearby village of La Viñuela which overlooks the valley. It was originally a sleepy hamlet on one of the many routes up from the coast heading towards Granada, and provided a watering stop for the thirsty muleteers. The old bar is still open and nowadays serves local workers and tourists.
A very pleasant trip can be made driving around the lake, noting as you go the eagles that soar above the lake and the many small birds along the shore. There are many interesting detours and refreshment stops to be made at the villages en route. These include: Canillas de Aceituno, Alcaucin, Periana, Riogordo, Comares, and Benamorgosa. At the Southern end of the lake there is a very attractive picnic spot with tables and barbecues for public use. A similar picnic area is also to be found below Periana where the River Guaro enters the lake.
The animal stories at Cantueso do sometimes have a happy ending and you may remember we were looking for a home for “Ginge” a marmalade cat who had taken up residence.
Ginge waiting for his breakfast. Photo from visitor to Cantueso Cottages
At Cantueso we have 10 self catering cottages as well as a restaurant and Ginge had made many friends from all over the world, but sadly none packed him in their cases. He was so friendly and popular that he was in danger of becoming overweight. And after being “sorted out” by the vet one customer at the restaurant offered to take him and give him a new home in Caleta some 35 k away, but Ginge was back in Periana just over 24 hours later! Motorways and rivers it would seem could be taken in his stride. After this and another attempt at re-homing we reluctantly paid a rescue centre PAD in Mijas to take him.
Now a year on and they have just told us he has at last found a home in Germany. We don’t think he will walk back from there! Well done PAD. This follows a previous cooperation with PAD when we had to re-home the last of a litter of seven pups raised at Cantueso by a stray dog. One puppy also went to Germany and another to Finland. We still get a Christmas card from that one 🙂
Some of you may also have read about the floods in December which swept through the kennels and cattery and sadly some animals were drowned. A link is given here so that any animal lovers out there who might like to support the excellent work they do can get more details.
Newly renovated Banos de Vilo
On one of those days with a few hours to spare you might consider visiting the old Moorish sulphur baths at Baños de Vilo (Baths of Vilo) which are about three kilometres outside Periana.
The baths are sometimes described as Arab, Moorish or Roman and no-one knows for sure how old they are. Certainly they were in use during the latter half of the 18th century and fulfilled the Koranic obligations for Muslims which obliges them to wash before prayer. I n the 18th and 19th centuries visitors were the nobility and high society from all over Spain.
The Thermal Pool has a year round temperature of 21 degrees C
The medicinal properties of the spring water also attracted many people with skin problems and the brave can still bathe in the water which is a constant 21 degrees centigrade all year round. This temperature is about four degrees above the average for the area and means the baths can be classified as thermal. The underground supply constantly refreshes the pool and its sulphurous smell can be observed from quite a distance. Recent studies have shown the waters to contain: sulphites, chloride, calcium, sodium and magnesium and has a flow rate of .3l/sec.
Fast Flowing Stream alongside the Baths
The baths and associated buildings fell into disrepair in the last century and it was only after the purchase of the property by the Periana Council, about twenty years ago that repairs were undertaken.