Mills in Altoaragón - harinero


Abellada definitely is a remote spot. Like so many old villages in the Guarguera.
•1) From Sabiñánigo drive south to Huesca until you reach Lanave. Turn left where Boltaña is signposted. Soon the Molino de Villobas will be indicated and a bit further on the road towards Nocito. •2) You could also from Boltaña take the road to Lanave. Cross the Río Ara and a long and winding road will bring you to the Molino de Escartín. Look out now for the Nocito branch. From the point where You'll leave the main road it is 12 km of dirt road (make sure you have enough clearance!) to Nocito where Bara is signposted. •3) There is also a metalled road from the Puerto de Monrepos over Belsué to Nocito.
From Nocito less than 4 km of good gravel road will lead you to Bentué de Nocito, the starting point of an entertaining walk through a lovely environment.

The mill is on the Barranco de Abellada which flows to the Río Guatizalema.
Pictures: 23.iii.2008

map of 1933; 1:50000, sheet 210 - circle = mill
©Instituto Geográfico Nacional de España
Drop your vehicle at the crossroads with the chain near Bentué. Walk to the village (check the fountain) and find your way to the church (you'll cross the GR 1). Continue on the path that longs the church and turns right while climbing the slope. The path isn't too difficult to trace and cairns help you over the fuzzy parts. The general direction first is North-East, but will turn North when you arrive at the barranco. From there the path is clearly defined.
From the start you're walking a former cañada. Cañadas were roads for shepherds and their live­stock. This one made the connection between the valley of the Río Ara and Huesca and ran also through Matidero.

(1) The mill with Tozal de Guara in the background
(2) Mill at the Barranco Abellada

(3) Entrance protected with crucifixes
(4) Interior

A mill at this location deserves better than dilap­idation, but alas the crucifixes failed miserably to keep the roof up and now the elements have free reign.

The entrance is protected by a porch which is built against the mill. The roof of this shelter is a bit lower though. The whole configuration is very similar to Bara. But we've seen porches at other mills also (e.g. Buetas or Letosa).

Because of the poor overall state I couldn't recognise anything but a couple of stones and a piece of the dustcover (guardapolvo). The stone has a diameter of 130 cm which is a very common measure (5).

There are very few traces of the former canal and reservoir and what's left if hidden below a dense vegetation.

(5) Stone (∅ = 130cm) with remains of guardapolvo
(6) Head of embalse? with mill behind

(7) aerial view; arrow points to waterfall
©Instituto Geográfico Nacional de España
The white arrow in (7) points to a small waterfall which probably isn't natural. It looks like the flow was dammed and the aerial view shows a green ribbon leading to the mill.

What I understand as the head of the pond is shown in (6). The mill with the stones is in the background. Pict. 2 shows the same spot from aside. It is quite possible that an open tube brought the water down to the cárcavo (8, 9).

I couldn't find any indication that water was taken from the main flow (Bco de Abellada). It is difficult to believe, though, that there wasn't.

(8) Cárcavo
(9) axle with inlet behind

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