The archway from the flume by the river


Along side our river Hozgaranta is a ‘flume’, or canal as I have been calling it. It was constructed to carry water for the ‘fábrica de bombas’, the bomb factory, where cannon balls were made for the Spanish navy in the 18th century.  This archway is right next to a dam across the river, where the flume seems to end. The dam was constructed in order to provide water for the waterwheel, which in turn powered the furnace. I have shamelessly lifted this information out of the wonderful Francis Cherry’s book entitled ‘A short guide to Jimena de la Frontera’. Francis knows so much about Jimena and chats effortlessly to all the locals in fluent Spanish and it quite puts me to shame.

I struggled with this sketch as it was so dark AND light down there, and to be honest I couldn’t see well with or without glasses…so I finished it using some photos. Anyway, that’s what it is!


The castle from the riverside

Lazy, hot afternoons can be pleasantly spent down by the river in Jimena. Not completely dry yet, there are still swimmable bits.  My sketch is the view of the castle looking up from the riverside. This week we saw some amazing dragonflies, purple, bright orange-red and blue (the blue ones were flying around locked together, not sure what they were doing *ahem* ).  Also saw a couple of bright turquoise kingfishers, too fast to photograph. There were teeny-tiny frogs on the rocks hopping in the water when they saw you coming. We are so lucky to have this river so close to our town.

Man in river author’s own….he is actually swimming, not drowning 🙂

Bridge over the river Hozgarganta


Our river in Jimena is the Hozgarganta, which flows at various levels throughout the year and this is the much used bridge over it. There is a ford further down which is not passable when the river is high. The Hozgarganta is meant to be one of the most ‘virgin’ rivers in Andalucia; how true that is I am not sure, however I do have a friend who swims in it 3/4 of the year and she certainly looks well on it! I took a photo to work on a week ago and when I was back down there 2 days ago the level had already dropped right down from how I had drawn it.