DISTANCE: 19,1 km.
DEPARTURE POINT: parking along the cattle route that leads to the Puente Alta Reservoir in Revenga..
ARRIVAL POINT: besides the Aqueduct , in Artillería Square, Segovia.
HOW TO ARRIVE
Option A:Road AP-6 to La Coruña. Exit 61, AP-61 to Segovia (both toll roads). Exit 74 through road N-603, to Segovia, up to Revenga. Follow the signals to Puente Alta Reservoir.
Option B: Road N-607 to Colmenar Viejo; then take M-601 up to km 58 (Navacerrada Port) . Continue to CL-601 to La Granja and Segovia. Go through La Granja, and after a 1,5 km, inmediatly after a bridge over Pontón Alto Resevoir do the roundabout to the left and take road to Riofrío Palace. Go on 6,5 km up the crossroad with N-603 road. Turn left through Revenga and follow the signals to Puente Alta Reservoir.
La Sepulvedana Bus service. Exits from Príncipe Pío Transport Interchange. Pº de la Florida s/n (Metro Príncipe Pío). (www.lasepulvedana.es)
Exit to Madrid by N-603 road. Follow signals to Puente Alta Reservoir
La Sepulvedana bus service. Exits from Segovia Bus Station.Pº Ezequiel González s/n. (www.lasepulvedana.es)
APPROXIMATE DURATION: 1h - 45 minutes, plus the time spent watching the spots we pass through.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: easy/average.
ALTITUDE: DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL: 1169m. – 985m.
ALTITUDE: MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM: 985 -1261m.
SLOPE: MAXIMUM: 15.6%
DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE: Embalse Puente Alta (Revenga) (Puente Alta reservoir) – the Aqueduct weir – Segovia (Plaza Azoguejo).
Both the route and road signs are the same as Route Naturcleta Nº4 as far as signaling point nº 10, where our path diverges. Route Naturcleta 4º turns back to Revenga, whereas Route nº5 continues along Cañada Real Soriana Occidental.The description of the first part of the journey corresponds to Route nº 4 until we reach this point:
The route takes us from Pantano de Revenga (Revenga Reservoir) along an asphalt path as far as the tail end of the reservoir. Here we take a narrow path on our left towards the Montes de Valsaín that leads us to the Aqueduct water intake, (points 1,2,3). Then we start our way back and see an area where the Aqueduct runs through an open-air stone water pipe (point 4).
We then get to a crossroads from the reservoir (point 5) and follow the signal that leads us to Arroyo Valdeconejos (point 6). After crossing it we continue the path towards Arroyo de las Charcas (point 7), where there is a big curved manhole. Then we ride around a hillock full of Holm oaks, gum rockrose and broom. We will reach point 8 that indicates the way back of another circuit. We continue our ride and after a short time along Camino de Carrera Blanca (point 9), we go across the Cañada Real Soriana Occidental up to point 10 of the route.
From this point onwards and after crossing the gate placed at the signaling point nº10 we abandon the signals of the track of the Aqueduct and continue riding for about 3 km along the Cañada Real. At this point, next to the ruins of Caserío de Santillana, we leave the Cañada Real and for Segovia through Cordel de Santillana, where we get back to the signals of the track of the Aqueduct (these signals vary a bit because they correspond to the Camino de Santiago as well). Riding on to Segovia, we cross over the bridge above the AVE train tracks, close to the entrance of the Guadarrama tunnels and we reach Segovia after leaving behind the Cacera de Navalcaz. After a short urban riding that leads us to the first arches of the Aqueduct, we keep on down the road as far as Plaza del Azoguejo, where our route ends.
As indicated previously in Route Naturcleta nº4, the journey is actually easy; we must only take precautions in our urban riding and obey the traffic signs at all times. Bicycles are allowed to be ridden on sidewalks, keeping the same speed as pedestrians; don’t forget that they have the priority. In the last part of the route downhill we recommend to get off the bike and walk as far as Plaza del Azoguejo (for about 100 meters), because it is a no-entry road.
The route goes around pine forests and melojo oaks. The oaks spread up to the valleys watered by Arroyo de Valdeconejos and Arroyo las Charcas with a colorful mixture of Holm oaks and gum rockrose. As we reach the way Carrera Blanca we find lots of Holm oaks again and the rich pasture land of Cañada Real Soriana Occidental. As we head into the plateau we find large areas of prairies with dispersed holm oaks. Further on, enjoy the lush vegetation of Cacera de Navalcaz that is so typical on wetlands.
Aqueduct weir, Aqueduct water intake, Decanter
The Aqueduct takes in water from the left bank of Río Frío, located on the site known as Pinar de la Acebeda. The word “azud” (weir), originating from the Arab world, means “barrier” and it is a type of dam used to rise the level of the river in order to divert its course to an intake diversion structure that sends the water to the decanter (a labyrinth structure that purifies the water by means of gravity using several regulating gates). The transportation of the water of the Aqueduct starts right here. Next to this structure we find a prairie by the river, where we can take a short break.
Take a look at the stretch of the Aqueduct that runs through an open-air stone waterpipe.
Pasos del Arroyo, Valdeconejos and Arroyo de las Charcas: with the melting of the spring snow the streams that flow down from the mountains recover their strength. It is time to relax and listen to the murmur of the water.
Viewpoints from Camino de Carrera Blanca: Enjoy the spectacular views of Sierra de la Mujer Muerta, Pinar de la Acebeda and Embalse Puente Alta (the reservoir in Revenga).
Riding by the arches of the Aqueduct is probably the most interesting part of the journey, from the first low arches as far as Plaza del Azoguejo. It is worth mounting up the stairs to the Alto del Postigo and enjoy the magnificent view of the central part of the Aqueduct.
Some historical information: The Aqueduct is 776 meters long; the maximum height is 28 meters. There are 20,000 granite pieces and 167 arches in all. The construction of the Aqueduct dates back to the end of the first century AD.
Legend has it that a little girl, tired of carrying water from the river to the upper part of the town, sold her soul to the devil, provided that the devil would build an Aqueduct to carry the water to her home before the rooster crowed the next morning. But the girl regretted selling her soul to Satan and started praying. In the meantime the devil continued building the aqueduct. Suddenly there was a severe storm and some time later the rooster crowed; the devil could not finish his job (only one stone was missing). After that, the girl confessed her sin to the citizens of Segovia who accepted the aqueduct readily. And in order to avoid the trail of sulphur, they sprinkled the stones with holy water. It is also said that the holes in the stones are traces of the devil’s hooves.
A few suggestions will help you enjoy your journey: Bring along some water and food (dried fruit, chocolate, cereal bars). Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. And don´t forget your sunscreen lotion, above all at the central hours of the day. The sun and the air from the mountains may burn your skin. Eat your snack on the prairie of The AZUD or in Los Pasos del Arroyo de Valdeconejos and Las Charcas. Life will change for the better.
In the asphalt path next to the dam, you can visit the trenches, a stone witness of the Spanish Civil war.
As you get to the crossroads at the confluence of Cañada Real Soriana and Cordel de Santillana, which links with Camino de Santiago, and before heading for Segovia, follow the Cordel in the opposite direction for about 300 meters and visit the ruins of the old Caserío de Santillana or Iturbieta, which was the most famous place for the shearing of live animals in Segovia. It dates back to 1745 and over 40,000 sheep were shorn every year and about 300 people were in charge of the shearing. Watch how everything was arranged to facilitate the job of the shearers.