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Last Sunday 10 February a group of 19 people between 6 and 72 years old from Almazora, Castellón, Meliana, Moncada, Museros, Paterna and Valencia, visited the beautiful municipality of Bejís (and also a bit of El Toro), where the village of El Molinar belongs). On this occasion we welcome the Pobles Vius group to several new participants: Inma, Paqui, Elena, Jesús, Blas; Maria Elena and Amparo with their respective families and Don Mike, from Dallas (Texas).
We started the day in the main square of Bejís, with a coffee in the Bar Tren Pita, while others loaded sausage in the more than recommended Escavia butcher shop. From there we set off towards our first destination, the villages of the Arteas, to make a beautiful route in search of the water of life. On the way we passed through the historic Aqueduct of Los Arcos, declared a National Monument, as well as the site of ignitas (traces of dinosaria, arcosaurs in this case) Triassic de la Badina. In Arteas de Abajo we could admire the architecture of the dry stone as if it were an open-air museum or a small Vilafamés. In this small village built almost entirely with the material available in the immediate surroundings, the red sandstone known as rodeno, began our search for the origin of that water that runs down the River Canales to pay tribute a few kilometers downstream in the Palancia, right on the place where the village of Ríos de Abajo sits. After passing by the hermitage of San Juan (13th-14th centuries) and the Plaza de la Era, we arrive at the fountain and the laundry room of the village, it preserves its traditional mountain typology with the roof built with reed and wooden beams. wood. The Gamellón Fountain supplies the villages of the Arteas with high quality water, very similar to the Fuente de los Cloticos. We leave the village of Arteas de Abajo on the way to the Arriba through a traditional path, following the instructions of Mr. Miguel, a true local artist.
Already in the Arteas de Arriba we were lucky to have the testimony of Josep Lluis, who brought us up-to-date with the citizen movement that has managed to stop the project of mining exploitation in the area and, who knows, if a future macrovertedero that it has been brewing for some time from the metropolitan area of Valencia and it seems to focus on the depopulated, cheap and electorally insignificant places of the interior regions. Congratulations for your struggle and long life to the Bejisano landscape.
After leaving Arteas de Arriba we went through some Navajo, a small lagoon of endorheic origin that has traditionally been used as a watering hole for cattle and that currently has a significant ecological function as a refuge for various species of amphibians. Later we saw another Navajo next to the road, but before we stopped at the Fuente-trough of the Gamellón. There we could see how the water, after filtering and accumulating through the calcareous lithology (dolomites and marls in this case), emerges upon reaching the clayey, impermeable layers. This source, along with others such as the Colmenar, Matías or la Griba, feed small ravines that flow into the Canales River to pay tribute to the Palancia on its right bank.
Just before lunch at Camping los Cloticos, we visited, almost by mistake, the precious Tobaceous formations (or maybe they are travertines, I confess here my geological illiteracy) that is on the Palancia’s bed, at the height of the Fuente de los Cloticos. To this generous source, origin of the famous Agua de Bejís, generator of a good part of the economic wealth and local employment for decades, we would return at the end of the day to fill some bottles and take a little bit this purity of the lands of the interior towards our punished coastal gardens.
After lunch we went to the nearby hamlet of El Molinar, a small hamlet of the municipality of El Toro located just on the left bank of the Palancia River. There we took time to wander around and enjoy the silence of this small corner full of charm for later, all gathered in the era that serves as the town square, sharing and taking stock of what was seen and lived during the day.
We sincerely appreciate the help of Inma Lázaro, who accompanied us as a local guide, her husband Néstor for sharing table and tablecloth and entertaining the after-dinner, Mr. Miguel for teaching us the good way in the Arteas, Josep Lluis for his contribution, the staff from the restaurant of the Los Cloticos campsite, especially Yolanda, for the good service they gave us, as well as the staff of the Escavia butchery and the Tren Pita bar that gave a good sample of the cozy Bejisian character.
I am left with the strength that comes from the flow of water and the calm that flows in me as I listen to its flow. In this outing, I highlight the presence of Juan Antonio in me, his presence in the silence, in the path traveled in silence. -Amparo-
What makes the hiking trip great is first of all the Mother Nature, revealing many of her secrets, shapes, colors enfolding in front of our -curious and hangry to see beauty- eyes. How often, in our daily life we just pass by “treasures” of nature without seeing them, be it a wild flower proudly rising its petals out of weeds, or a bigger scenery where light and shadows add new meaning and often heavenly dimensions to at first look of an unaware eye – flat, soulless landscape…. And that was what yesterday, despite of cloudy sky, we were able to discover during our Bejis’ hiking adventure.
But the second part of great hiking experience is the company of friends we share the day with. Thank you all, hoping that on attached pictures everyone will find something that will stay deeper on our memory. See you next time. -George-