I´ll let you in on a little secret. One of the most beautiful places I have seen recently is where the Río Verde joins Concepción Reservoir near the town of Istán. It is not easy to reach and if you get there, chances are you will have the place to yourself.

Last weekend I paddled my float tube about a kilometer to reach it and it was well worth the effort. The river was crystal clear and flowed through a beautiful rock pool before making its way into the reservoir.

The river, born in the Sierra de las Nieves a few kilometers north, is noticeably cooler than the reservoir. If you can imagine a place that we have left unspoiled and that is brimming with life, you are thinking about a place like this one. It could be anywhere remote. It is a little bit of wilderness within a stone´s throw of busy coastal fringe. A few kilometres away, people are waiting for a red man to change into green man so they can cross a busy road and the sounds are the sounds of road traffic. On the Río Verde the traffic is bees and the sounds are the screeches of cicada reverberating from the surrounding rock faces.

If it´s fish you´re after you will find them here. The ones I saw last weekend generally weighed only about a pound or two, which is modest enough, and there were carp and gypsy barbel in approximately equal numbers. There are, almost certainly, larger barbel and carp nearby. I have seen them in the past.

I have visited the point where the river meets the reservoir on several occasions. The  mouth of the river is not always the same place. A couple of years ago or so it was a good 2 kilometers from where it is now, as the water levels fell and the skinny river pushed through a groove in the mud floor that it had carved over the preceding months. This is where Mark McCann got stuck in the mud and your correspondent heroically rescued him.

Here are a few photographs I took which give some idea about the place. It is a little oasis that is rarely visited. Long may that continue.


The reservoir is fed by the Río Verde. Before the dam wall was built the river would have continued down to the Meditetrranean.


There´s plenty of room to park.


Looking upstream on the Río Verde.


Here is the river flowing towards the northernmost part of Concepción.