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Galicia, paradise of natural pools

Sunday, 26 August, 2012

On its way to a prolific coast in beaches and corners full of charm, the Galician rivers also draw -with the invaluable help of stone and the passage of time- numerous spots capable of dazzling both nature lovers and those who they simply look for a little water to shelter from the summer heat.

Like free spas modeled without human intervention, numerous pools and natural pools emerge in aid of bathers fleeing the bustle of the sands (even the fluvial ones). In return, those who want to enjoy many of these places must be willing to do without some amenities.

Some of these spaces remain almost virgin and within reach only of the few neighbors who live nearby and who are encouraged to walk the hiking trails that are usually their main access.

Rock, water and nature

One of the most unique is located in the Ourense town of Melón. There, to save a difference of more than a hundred meters, the river Cerves has been excavating the rock to form several pools (As Mestas, Darriba and A Estrela) that in summer become an incomparable setting from which to enjoy soaking of magnificent views of the lands of the O Ribeiro region. Although the slope and its slippery surface also invite extreme precautions to avoid accidents.

Stone, water, and a natural environment of great beauty are also combined in the pools of the river Pedras (A Pobra do Caramiñal), a place of legendary dyes that more than compensates the walker who ventures to the slopes of Mount A Curota.

In the fervenza of Nuveira, in Mazaricos, in spite of not being very far from spectacular beaches like the one of Carnota, they meet in summer families and groups of young people willing to enjoy the waters of the Arcos River, one of the tributaries of the Xallas. The latter, before reaching the sea, already in the lands of Dumbría, also offers another unparalleled space in which to cool off in a place of great beauty. Thus, although most of them are content to enjoy the views of the recovered waterfall of O Ézaro, some do not hesitate to bathe at their feet to enjoy the landscape from a point of view only available to the most intrepid.

More hidden, but with no less charm, the pools of Mougás and Loureza (in Oia) are a good alternative for the days when the fog is dropped on the Vigo estuary. Several waterfalls, natural pools and rapids give shape to two spaces as evocative as badly signposted, which helps them not to be overcrowded despite their undoubted attractions. And in the same municipality, but in the parish of Burgueira, the Pozo do Arco is also prepared to attract the attention of the visitor with several natural pools framed in a path flanked by a hundred old recovered mills.

On the outskirts of the municipality of Caldas de Reis, the bather waits for another space of great beauty, also presided over by a waterfall, that of Segade, and converted into a bathing place by neighbors and visitors. In this case, the area even has a parking lot from which the short path leads to the shore of the Umia.

Other waterfalls that offer their waters to the walker are the fervenzas da Barosa (in Barro) and do Toxa (Silleda), one of the most spectacular and well-known waterfalls in Galicia. Although the list of places suitable for bathing is also made up of places rarely visited and sometimes touched by an aura of mystery, such as the pools that form the Cobas River in Entrimo, in the Natural Park of Baixa Limia-Xurés; the Pozo das Mulas, which traces the River Lor in Folgoso do Courel; the natural pool of Augacaída that forms in river Aguianza in Pantón; the fervenza and the pools of the Barbantiño, in Punxín, and the ponds that draw the Cabanelas in Cotobade.

In short, a wide and incomplete offer, available to anyone willing to be conquered by a few places ready to offer the purity of its waters and the beauty of its natural environment.