The Barranco de la Mina crosses the island of Gran Canaria to the northeast to flow into the capital of the island (Vegueta). La Mina has a small water flow thanks to the transfer that, for centuries, has been carried out from the Tejeda Basin to the Guiniguada through a gallery that crosses the mountain and, therefore, was baptized as La Mina.
A Water Mine
The route proposed this month corresponds to one that is quite well known and very easy to do for someone who is just starting out in hiking. Always with due caution to go out into a rather slippery and unstable environment.
The water that runs freely through the riverbed, the waterfalls and the exuberant vegetation are a gift we give ourselves when we decide to visit this hidden place. Enjoying a day in the wild nature is a satisfaction that fills us with energy and dynamism, and that is a true gift that we give to our body.
The Barranco de la Mina is formed by one of the oldest and most historic water inheritance of Gran Canaria, since it was back in the year 1500, when the Cabildo asked the Catholic Monarchs to grant them the waters of the “Sierra de Texeda”, something that happens the following year, becoming one of the first transfers in Spain.
At the head of the ravine you can see the Molino de Arriba, which still grinds grain and dates back to 1871, with a daily production of 400 kilos of gofio.
The route begins at an altitude of 1,540 meters above sea level. Precisely, at the point known as Degollada de Los Molinos. This point is reached from Cruz de Tejeda (lines nº 18 and 305 of Global). The Barranco de la Mina belongs to the municipality of San Mateo.
The name of the Degollada is given because in the entire ravine there were a total of about eight mills, which shows the important flow of water that it had in the past. As I said before, a huge gallery was opened to transfer the water, which initially went to Tejeda, to go to Guiniguada and above all to supply Real de Las Palmas and irrigate the agricultural plains in the middle. All this in the years 1501-1526, which according to some historians, was one of the first transfers of water in Spain
Then, those waters that furiously descended the slopes of the ravine were channeled towards the mills. The first was built around 1871 at the head of the ravine. This mill continues to grind grain, with a daily production of 400 kilos of gofio. It was called the Molino de Arriba. The following names were the “Molino de Abajo del Túnel”, the Puente Mill, the Cho Gutiérrez Mill, the Quintito Mill, the La Yedra Mill and the Fallen Mill. All of them can be seen along the nine kilometers of the La Mina ravine.
To find out more about the mills and the history of the Mine, you can document it in the book by Don Juan Díaz Rodríguez, entitled “Molinos de Agua de Gran Canaria”, a 1988 work financed by La Caja de Canarias.
We start walking along the top, along a dirt track that goes into the shade of several pine trees. The track takes us to the first Mill and from there, our path appears, next to the tubes that take the water directly to the bed of the ravine, the path is not lost. It continues well, until some ruins, some old houses of dry stone. It is a flat place, very comfortable for a picnic.
This place was formerly used for camping, but it should be noted that it is not possible to spend the night at this point, since it is not an area prepared for it and the ravine is very protected.
We continue down a wide path, and we hear the sound of the two waterfalls on our left. Note that in recent years the water at certain times is channeled towards the Cueva Grande reservoir, and therefore, the water that circulates through the channel is minimal without forming the waterfalls that we mentioned.
If the water is abundant, you can access the waterfalls very carefully to see them, and even take a dip. But we cannot delay, as we still have many kilometers to go. We continue down through the depth of the willows and cross the creek at the bottom of the ravine.
Then we come out onto the main road that connects Tejeda with San Mateo and we follow the riverbed now on the left side towards the town of El Calvario along a dirt and cement track. Further on we arrive at the place known as La Solana, and pass in front of a stately home with an oven in its garden.
Further on we descend to the Los Sauces ravine, very close to La Yedra and Utiaca, where the ravine joins the Antona ravine, to become the Alonso ravine.
At this final point of the route, we come out onto the main road that connects Teror with San Mateo, where the Global Line No. 214 runs.
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