Pesqueria del Tambre - Santa Maria de Roo
I decided to slot this amazing place in to the Noia and Galicia towns section because it isn't a town and the district it is in, "Santa Maria de Roo", has no other real attractions. In any event, if you visit "Pesqueria del Tambre" you will probably be based in or around the Muros-Noia bay.
I am going to start by telling you how we first found out about this place and then I will give you a virtual tour.
In 2004 we picked up a leaflet about Noia which depicted, amongst other things, a really impressive looking building, but on translating the description, it appeared to be nothing more than part of a hydro electric generating plant. In actual fact that is exactly what it is, but the building and more to the point the place itself, are nothing short of awe inspiring - at least we think so.
About the Pesqueria del Tambre
The Pesqueria del Tambre is a hydro electric generating plant located in a valley which acts as a natural collection point for water running off the surrounding mountains and feeding in to the Tambre river. The photo to the right depicts the main building that holds the machinery used for this purpose, although there is no outward indication that it is anything other than a large and impressive structure.
In order to reach the Pesqueria del Tambre you head both inland and upwards and at one point get a brief, but stunning, high level view of what awaits you below. The road, which meanders and winds, has little in the way of confirming sign posts and I am sure that some potential visitors turn back, concluding that they are on a road to no where - fortunately we did not.
A first view
When you reach destinations end there is a small car park (used primarily by anglers) and part of a small and very tranquilly located hotel (more info on this in a link below).
Initially we left the car and looked around the building before exploring the immediate area. The central focus of this starting point is a beautiful natural lake, whose depth is regulated by the hydro plant. The lake is also stocked with salmon every year and anyone wishing to fish it (at appropriate times) can buy a pass. The shot above left shows the lake at low water level.
Once you have had a good look around the base, you have a couple of options. The first is to cross the river on a wobbly suspension bridge (which I was not prepared to do). The second is to follow a path that leads you on a little trek running parallel with the Tambre river. This path can get a bit rough at times, but the reward, in terms of spectacular views, makes it well worth it. We walked, at a slow pace, for about an hour and some of the views we experienced are shown in the two photos that appear below. I should point out that neither photo does the actual scenery any real justice since the colours, vistas and especially the noise of the river, are lost in two dimensions. We were also told that the river was very low at the time when we visited it and that during periods following high rainfall there are significant rapids.
The path that runs along the Tambre
The path that we followed took us upwards, against the rivers natural flow, and although periodically shrouded in trees, afforded many great views of the river below and to our left. At some points you skirt around a low cliff like slope via a man-made board walk, but the path is generally pretty good and not overly challenging. You also have the benefit of knowing that the return journey is down hill all the way. I would however suggest that you take some refreshment with you if it is a hot and sunny day. In the shot below you can just about make out a wooden hand rail (at the bottom right corner) and this was part of one of the board walks mentioned above.
This conservation park really does represent untouched and unspoilt Galicia and to reinforce this point I can tell you that we did not see, or pass, another single visitor during our two hour walk along the rivers bank. The only feature that gave away the fact that we were not the first ever visitors to this visual treat was the presence of the path itself.
So how long can you stay and what else can you do there?
Well first of all this park is free and you can visit for as long as you wish. If it is a hot day, then I would suggest you arrive before the sun reaches its peak and set off on the walk mid morning. We did not follow the path to its conclusion, so I do not know how long it actually is, but do bear in mind that, spectacular though the views are, you will get a repeat performance of each and every one of them on the return trek back to base. There are also two excellent and well located picnic areas, both overlooking the lake/lagoon.
Food, drink and accommodation
Also located at the parks point of origin is a small hotel and you can wonder in to the reception and order drinks, snacks or a full meal. These will then be served to you (formally but cheaply) at one of two picnic areas close to the main building and car park. This hotel also has a restaurant and several small annexes (which hold the guest rooms) scattered around the area of the tambre and its hydro center. We were so impressed with what they had to offer that I am actually going to give them a link at the bottom of this page f.o.c. I would also suggest that if you want to visit Galicia, but stay in an idyllic location away from civilisation, that this hotel might be worth taking a look at.
One final thing. There is also a large dam forming part of this complex, but we wanted to go to the beach in the late afternoon and consequently did not visit it on this particular occasion - life is so tough!