The Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata is so large that there are many parts which we have yet to explore, and some places we have never heard of. This morning we went to the village of El Argamasón, of which we knew nothing until we saw in a guide book that there was an interesting circular walk that included the Rio Alías. According to the book, this is the most important river in the natural park and usually has water throughout the year.
El Argamasón is a tiny village located up a minor road inland from Carboneras. We parked in the square and followed a path which took us through the usual scrubby landscape and above the barranco through which the river flowed.
Eventually, the path dropped down to the river bed and the walk became much more interesting.
We followed the river bed for about 3km but the only signs of water were a few isolated puddles.
The vegetation was very lush in places and because the area is sheltered, spring had already arrived and many plants were in flower, including a wild clematis, known as mountain jasmine because of its sweet scent.
Sedimentary deposits produced by volcanic activity have been worn into fantastic shapes, and tower dramatically above the river bed.
There are many interesting birds in the dense cover provided by the reeds, grasses and shrubs. With a pair of binoculars and some patience, a birdwatcher would be able to identify all the little warblers that flit in and out of the reeds. These were so overgrown that we had to battle our way through in places.
Eventually, we reached a path led us up to the road back to the village.