Mar 8, 2014

Balmes Roges

View from Puig Gili
Not only another biking article, but even another biking article to a rock shelter... this truly gets monothematic. The Balmes Roges (Red Rock Shelters) are a well known landmark in our local Natural Parc, I had never been to. Last Saturday, however, I decided to have a look at them. My trip, again, got me into the vicinity of "El Farell" first, where this time I took a left turn I'd never taken before. The path then led me by a number of "tines", which could be described as bowls, basins, or a kind of silos, which until, say one hundred years ago were either used as fermentation tanks during the production process of wine or for storage of the finished beverage. The god of wine, Baccus, by the way gave name to the district I'm living in (Bages). Apart of the "tines" I additionally was offered nice views of my favourite abandoned estate around: El Farell.
 El Farell estate and surrounding
Click here to read on
Some uphill slopes got me ever closer to the place, where my map indicated the rock shelter's location, but since my trips are about reconnoitring as well, every now and then I tried out the smaller side paths I encountered. Some of them just get worse and worse until they vanish before getting somewhere, but every now and then, one of those small paths leads to .... something, as for example a ruin of an old construction of unknown purpose.
Things to be found

Another path seemed to ascend a summit known as Puig Gili, and I decided to give it a try before finally heading to the Rock Shelter. After a while, the path got so steep, cycling became impossible, but since I already was close, I didn`t want to abandon my little summit push. I therefore left the bike behind and continued on foot. Close to the top, my path met a forest road, which had made its way up from the North.
More things to be found: a nativity scene
At the road's ending, under a bush, somebody had mounted a cute nativity scene. The top of Puig Gili itself was in a rather sad condition. It looked a little bit as if a group of Gypsies had just abandoned it after a rather long stay. The best, Puig Gili could offer, certainly was the view to be seen on the photo on top of this article. Back at the bike, I finally headed on to the Balmes Roges, which turned out to be really impressive. 
Balmes Roges
After a first ensemble of constructions, built under the rock shelter, and which consisted of one or two more "tines" and some rooms, there was a roughly 30m long wall brick that closed half of the opening of the shelter. This way, the rock shelter had been transformed into a well illuminated and well protected space to live or guard tools or lifestock in. It would do for a nice bivouac place, too!
Inside the main chamber
My return trip passed by another abandoned estate known as Casa Nova de Sant Jaume, and when I got home, I had made some 35 km of cycling against my growing belly.

No comments: