monforte de lemos







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TV video about our Route and  fiesta (galician and spanish language)









a) Election of a trekking route

b) Importance of the water


Stop  1:  Botanical Garden  A Pinguela

a) Description

b) Introduction to the Botany

c) Use of the dichotomic key


Stop  2:  Parque de los Condes

a) Water. Description. Properties. Uses consumptive and not consumptive


Stop  3Malecón

a) Drains

b) Natural purification of water

c) Main points of consumption of the water


Stop  4:  Fluvial club

a) The hydrological cycle

b) Riverside vegetation


Stop 5:  Presa Villanueva

a) Energetic uses of water. Renewable and not renewable energy

b) Options of reception of the water:  fountain, aquifer


Stop 6:  Campo de Golf, water mills

a) Geology notions

b) Fish and other animals


Stop 7:  Ribasaltas

a) How a water mill works

b) How waters are contaminated


Stop  8Freixo

a) Irrigable

b) Autochthonous species, alócthonous and invading species



Stop  9:  Parrish A Parte

a) Union of two rivers. Recreation area. Geologic fold



Stop  10: Return to Monforte

 a) Administration of the water resources at national level


Nail dicotomic-clasification of plants





 Election of a Trekking Route


            The trekking routes are a popular activity, affordable to any person. Their main purpose is to enjoy the observation of nature. It is a popular sport that only requires a small physical effort and sense of orientation.It's objective is to foment the contact with t nature and the respect towards environment, valuing all the resources that the earth offers us.


Environmental itinerary


Route used for the realization of outdoor activities. It is the perfect resource for the environmental interpretation  and it incorporates the component of identification of the space that we follow , with special attention to the flora, the fauna, the combined landscape that we observe, and to the effects of the human being's activities in the natural means, cultural features and environmental impacts.


Through this activity you can to develop the knowledge and the use of the natural environment that surrounds us. This unit promotes among other activities, a trekking itinerary that transports us to a mean next one to the human being but that it conserve an ecological and cultural value worthy of being known and preserved. 


In the I.E.S. A Pinguela  got prepared this  unit that tries to serve as a guide for the realization of a trekking route from the Parque de los Condes, located in the center of Monforte, to the Parish of A Parte following the course of the river Cabe that takes us through parks, old mills, important samples of our architecture and patrimony... in an environment where it is still possible to enjoy the Galician autochthonous vegetation.


Design of the activity


The activity is arranged in sequence to the students of 1º of BAC, being able to adapt to students of other courses of the BAC or High School, diminishing or increasing the contents according to the level to which we go.  In the activity that is described you can contemplate:


General objectives


           - To know the main uses of water in our society.

           - To differenciate between consumptive and not consumptive use of  water.

           - To know the main sources of contamination of  water.

           - To bring the student to the natural means, making them sensitive to the environmental problems and motivating them to protect  the environment.

         - To observe the different traditional ways of energy that are obtained and their evolution through History.

         - To gain knowledge of the renewable and not renewable energy sources.

         - To identify the different autochthonous species and to differentiate them of those that are not autochthonous.

         -To value the repercussions that human activities have on the environment and to become aware  of the necessity of a sustainable development.



         Specific objectives


Conceptual  :

- Composition, structures and chemical properties of water.

- Water as an element that configures the natural landscape.

- The natural cycle of water.

- Sources and uses of water.

- Contamination of water.

- Renewable and nonrenewable energy.

- Knowledge of the botanical and faunal varieties of the area where the activity is developed.

- Evaluation of the environmental impact of  human activities in the environment.


Procedural  :

- To observe the environment to see where placesthere is water.

- To interpret words related with Botany.

- To identify the main characteristics of the trees.

- To find, from of the delivered material, the vegetable species and indicated animals.

- To learn how to manage a dichotomic key.

- To know how to work a mill.

- To manage orientation systems and to identify the most frequent codes used in the maps.     


Attitude :

- To make people aware of the importance of water in daily life and the environmental cost that it supposes.

-To consider that water is an irreplaceable resource for the human beings.

-To consider that people are part of  nature and they influence on it.

- To foment a reflexive or critic attitude on the use and yield of the renewable energy sources as alternative to those non renewable.

- To awaken curiosity torwards the environment that surrounds us.

- To forment respect for the rules settled down in the development of the activities in the natural environment.

- To cooperate and to work in groups, so that students are implied in the common objective.





Starting point / arrival:  the route has its starting and arrival point the Parque de los Condes (Monforte de Lemos) arriving at the Parish of A Parte.


 Difficulty: Low.

 Longitude:  20 km.

 Duration:  4:30 hours.

 Time:  Any time of the year but better in Spring or Autumn.

 Signaling and maintenance:  the route is signalled with red and/or yellow marks. This signaling can consist on informative panels or signs on posts of light, walls or stones.

 Documentation:  with the explanatory pamphlet of the route a map is provided with the journey to continue and a notebook with the characteristic species of trees of the area and the games that are developed in it.

 Recommendations:  appropriate and comfortable clothes / sport footwear / notebook of notes / pamphlet - guides / water / camera


The activity consists in two phases:


1-Visit to the Botanical Garden with the explanation of the most representative species in the environment and the realization of some game related to the environment.


2 - Journey through the riverside of the river Cabe. You try to reinforce in the students the capacity of observation of the nature, that they take conscience of the importance of water in our life and its different uses,  that they know the trees, bushes and animals tipical of the area...

 On the other hand the students will see the changes and uses that the human being takes from the environment.




Stop 1:  Botanical garden of A Pinguela


-Duration of the activity :1hour


Located in the Botanical Garden of the IES Pinguela, a small description will be given of how the idea of of this garden was built, of the species that are in it, as well as some small botany terms to begin the children in the knowledge of the species and characteristic that surround us, distinguishing among the terms tree, bush, perennial leaf, deciduouss leaf, distinction between flowers and fruits, medical uses...


The Botanical Garden of the IES A Pinguela was opened in 1987 after a hard work on the stony land that there was. At the present time there are more than 200 species of trees and bushes, among  the representation of all the autochthonous species and most of the plants that we can find in gardens and private houses. Students, parents and other collaborators help us to get them.

During the course 1999-2000 with the economic contribution of the program Voice Nature material was bought to identify species and make situation panels .


-Basic terms used in Botany:


- Tree: is a woody and vivacious plants that reaches at least 5 meters high, deciduous or perennial leafs and with a main trunk that ramifies at certain distance from the floor.

- Bush:  is a woody plant of medium size, less than 5 meters high,deciduous or perennial leafs , with the shaft ramified at level of the floor and without a preponderant trunk.

- Deciduous leaf trees:  they usually lose the leaves in the season when their production is limited due to environmental factors such as  low temperatures or lack of hydro- resources. Before losing the leaves they recover most of the starch and other substances. In this way they don't invest resources on maintaining not very functional structures during a certain period, forming them again, when the environmental conditions are more favorable, starting from the energy that they obtain with the reservations of starch of branches, trunk and roots.

The plants serve like refuge for the animals, from very small insects until big mammals. The flowers, seeds, nuts and leaves wich  are produced the food sources that allow  animals to live in the forest. Plants give the humans beings  many important medicines, for example, the yew tree that before was considered as “waste wood”, contains a substance called taxol that helps in the fight of certain cancer types.

The flowers can be found in all the types of plants above although in the trees they flourish discreetly and frequently they are not observed. Many insects depend on the nectar, the same thing that many flowers depend on the insects so that the pollination take place.


The flowers that are pollinated by insects generally have brilliant colors and they are fragrant, two characteristics that warn  polinizadores about their presence. Insects are not interested in transporting the pollen from a plant to another but they are attracted by the nectar that is inside the flowers and while they feed from it  the pollen sticks to the body of the insects,  they also deposit grains of pollen from other flowers. The most common polinizadores are bees, wasps, butterflies, scarabs, moths and flies. This way the success and the diversity of the plants that flourish is partly due to insects that are much more effective polinizadores than the wind. The enormous variety in ways and colors of the flowers are the result of the competition among species to get the attention of the polinizadores.


Most of the species of trees are pollinated by the wind and their flowers are located in the hight and frequently they do not even look like them, because they form long structures pending called catkins. The plants pollinated by the wind have separate masculine and feminine flowers.


The seeds, nuts and fruits are the main food source for many animals (rodents, for example, store big quantities of seeds every autumn).

In most of the species  plants have developed a variety of ways to distribute their seeds, some simply fall to the floor, others are taken by the wind due to their small and delicate "wings", others they move on  water, and others are locked in fruits and they have to survive the trip through the digestive system of the animal before they can germinate.

It is important that the seeds are spread far from the plant that gave them their origin it is almost impossible that a new seedling can grow under an established old plant. If in a place a great quantity of seeds falls instead of being spread, there is a bigger probability of attracting  "predator of seeds", mammals that consume the whole seed avoiding their germination.

All the seeds are an important food source for animals. In many trees and bushes, they remain inside fleshy fruits and they usually have bright colors so they are highly visible for the mammals and  birds. The purpose is to attract animals that eat up the fruit and then they disperse its seeds. Plants don't need  that their immature fruits are consumed, because of their seeds are still immature and, therefore, unable to germinate and to form new plants. There are usually a succession of signs that indicates, with variations in the color and the scent, the state of maturity of the fruit. For example, most of the berries have a dark green colour that then gradually get dark until ending up being red or purple.

In the tropical rainy forests, the availabitily of fruits is relatively constant during the whole year. The fruits end up constituting until more than 50% of the diet of a great proportion of birds, mammals, reptiles and tropical insects, and even of some fish. As the birds have the senses of smell and taste relatively not very developed , the fruits don't have to develop a sweet flavor or scent to attract them.

All the coniferous ones have two classes of cones:  the seed cones (feminine) and the cones of pollen (masculine). The seed cones are much more common to see and they provide seeds that it is an important source of foods for squirrels and birds. The cones of pollen are much smaller, and they dry off in the spring as soon as they liberate their pollen. All these cones liberate so much pollen that you can frequently observe like a yellow cloud or a layer in the surface of the lagoons. These clouds are composed by millions of microscopic grains of pollen, and it is possible to determine the plant species the grain of pollen comes from.






Trees that we will find in the route “The Mills”


This is a DICHOTOMIC KEY, that means that in each observation two ways are given to choose, however, in some of them three or more can arise. It is a work that tries to facilitate the identification of the arboreal species living in our community.


To begin with the point 1. You will have to choose the way that presents the biggest coincidences with the tree that you are observing and to continue until ending up identifying it. The terms that appear underlined are in the glossary that appears in the final part of the key, with the purpose of helping as much as possible in the understanding of the terms appearing.



IN ENGLISH THE NAME APPEARS IN CAPITALS LETTERS , in italic the scientific name and in normal typeface the Galician name



 1 – You observe the leaves and notice the width:

1.a - leaves in  needle or  scale form (narrow limbo of less than 5 mm of width). Go to the (2).

1.b - leaves of wide and flat limbo, always much bigger than the 5 mm. Go to the (3).


2.- Notice if the needles or flakes are wrapped by a sheath in the base:

            2.a.- needles in groups of 2 united by a sheath in the base. ... MARINE, REDDISH, RESIN OR GALICIAN PINE. Pinus pinaster, marine Pinus. Brave Piñeiro.

            2.b.- of 3 in 3 needles for sheath... PINE DE MONTERREY. Pinus radiata. Famous Piñeiro or American Piñeiro.   


3.- You investigate if the leaf is simple or compound, for that you have to realize if it has asylum yolk in the base of the foliolo:

            3.a.- it doesn't have asylum yolk in the base of the foliolo;  leaf composed by several foliolos. Go to the (4)

            3.b.- it has asylum yolk in the base of each petiole;  single leaves. Go to the (6)


4.- You observe the border of the foliolos and the size of the terminal:

            4.a.-of 5 to 9 foliolos of whole borders, the terminal with more size that the other ones... WALNUT. Regal Juglans. Nogueira ou noceda.

            4.b.- foliolos prepared in fan.... INDIAN CHESTNUT TREE . Aesculus hippocastanum. Castiñeiro de Indias.


5.- You observe if the petioles of the follicles are sessiles (seated) or peciolados:

            5.a.-peciolados, sawed border of 5 to 11 foliolos, the leaves to flatten them have a strong scent... ELDER. Sambucus nigra. Sabugueiro or bieteiro.

            5.b.- sessiles (seated) and from 13 to 15 jagged foliolos in the whole border, blackish yolks. Fruit formed by a sámara..... ASH-TREE. Fraxinus angustifolia. Freixo, freixa.


6.- You observe the border of the leaves:

            6.a.- lobe leaves .... OAKS. Genus Quercus. Go to the (19).

            6.b.- leaves without lobes or cracked leaves. Go to the (7).


7.- It revises the trunk and the branches to see if it has thorns:

7.a.- tree with thorns. Go to the (8)

7.b.- tree without thorns. Go to the (9)


8.- You look at the leaves:

            8.a.- deeply cracked leaves... HAWTHORN, WHITE THORN.  Crataegus monogyma. Espiño branco (estripeiro).

            8.b.- leaves without fissures.... BLACKTHORN. Prunus spinosa.  Escambrón.


9.- You flattena a leaf with the hand and smell it:

            9.a.- aromatic leaves. Go to the (10).

            9.b.- non aromatic leaves. Go to the (11).


10.- You try to identify the scent:

            10.a.- to laurel.... LAUREL. Laurus nobilis.  Loureiro.

            10.b.- it doesn't have these characteristics. The tree may not figure in this guide or some observation was incorrect.


11.- Notice the border and the longitude of the leaf:

            11.a.- jagged and big leaves of around 20 cm, of bright green colour (hairless) for the sheaf... CHESTNUT TREE. Castanea sativa. Castiñeiro.

            11.b.- jagged leaves of about 10 cm long, brilliant green right face. CHERRY TREE. Prunus avium. Cerdeira.

            11.c. - jagged leaves of less than 10 cm long, dark green right face. CHERRY TREE OF CLUSTER. Prunus padus. Cireixón.


12.- You observe the shell of the tree:

            12.a.- white shell. Go to the (13).

            12.b.- non white shell. Go to the (14).


13.- Notice if in the trunk there are lenticelas:

            13.a.- with lenticelas, sawed rhomboid leaves...... POPLAR, WHITE POPLAR. Populus dawn. Chopo or alamo branco.

            13.b.- without lenticelas in the trunk, the shell comes out in horizontal ribbons, doubly sawed leaves... BIRCH. Betula dawn. Biduerio.

            13.c. - without lenticelas in the trunk, without furrows or showy fissures...... ALMEZ.  Celtis australis.


14.- Notice if the leaves are alternating or opposed:

            14.a.- opposed leaves.... MAPLE, MAPLE WHITE, FALSE BANANA. Acer pseudoplatanus. Pradairo.  

            14.b.- alternating leaves.... BANANA DE LONDON. HYBRID PLATANUS, Platanus vulgaris, Platanus occidentalis, Platanus acerifolia. Shade banana or of walk.


15.- You observe the border of the leaves:

            15.a.- jagged and sawed embroider. Go to the (16).

            15.b.- neither jagged neither sawed embroider. Go to the (18).


16.- Notice in if the border is sawed or doubly sawed and according with the station you try to locate some fruit:

            16.a.- round, doubly sawed leaves, with a tip in the apex, the fruit is a hazelnut.... HAZEL TREE. Corylus countersinks. Abeleira ou abelaira.

            16.b.- heart-shaped leaf that finishes in a tip in the apex, the border of the leaf is sawed, the fruits are kind of pellets.... LINDEN. Tilia sp. Tilia cordata. Tilleira.


17.- You press a leaf between two fingers:

            17.a.- rounded and doubly jagged leaves, a little sticky, it has kind of  pineapples that are hung from one year to other... ALDER TREE. Glutinous Alnus. Ameneiro ou amieiro.

17.b.- oval, jagged leaves, make rough to the tact and bark of the cracked tree forming ribs. ELM TREE, NEGRILLO. Ulmus minor. Elm tree


18.- Notice the back of the leaf:

            18.a.- lengthen-lanceoladas leaves and whitish for the back.... SALLOW, Salix sp. Salix caprea. Salgueiro.

            18.b.- it doesn't have these characteristics. The tree doesn't figure in this guide or some observation was incorrect.


19.- Gender Quercus. You observe the peduncle of the acorn:

            19.a.- hanging peduncle. Trees up to 40 meters. Yellowish Flores... OAK. Quercus robur. Quercus pedunculata. Carballo.

            19.b.- rigid and tomentoso peduncle. It prefers the mountain.... REBOLLO, MELOJO, OAK NEGRAL. Quercus pyrenaica. Cerquiño.



Trees that appear in the route and they are named in the key.


Acer pseudoplatanus.- (Maple, Pradairo)


Aspect.-  Big tree, it can be up to 30 m., it has the very open and faced branches, with the flat and grizzly bark, and wide top. The branches when becoming old the same as the trunk (grey) become cracked and scaly, coming off in badges.

Leaves.- Deciduous leaf . Big (8-15 cm.), simple and faced with opposed disposition, they are clapped with 3-5 lobes put until half of the leaf, the borders are jagged and unequal, they have a long reddish petiole 5-15 cm., long and they don't have “estípulas”. The face is dark green and the back it is clearer with pubescence in the very marked nerves.

Flowers.- hermaphrodites or unisexual regular flowers, of yellow-greenish color in hanging clusters, they leave at the same time or a little after the leaves, they have a long end and a wrapped up one floral double, 5 free petals and 5 free sepals that alternate with the petals and have 8 stamens. It flourishes in April and May.

Habitat and applications.- It lives in humid and deep places, in the north of Spain and Portugal and we can find it above the 1000 m.  of altitude, it doesn't form forest. The wood is easy to work. The leaves, fruits and bark of the root has astringent properties.






Alnus glutinosa ( Aliso, Amieiro)


  Aspect:  Deciduous leaf tree, that can reach until the 20 meters. The trunk, when it is the small tree,  is grizzly-green and flat, then when it is mature it is dark green. The young branches are sticky. The roots live associated with bacterias of the floor and they fix the nitrogen of the air and later on it is in the floor like fertilizer.

 Leaves:  Alternating, simple, oval, dark doubly jagged, green margin for the face and clearer for the back where they have some cowlicks of short hair in the base of the armpit of some prominent right nerves. The leaves have 4-10 cm. long and 4-7 cm. wide and they are sticky when they are young.

 Fruit:  The feminine flowers, when they are mature, are woody similar to a pineapple, initially they are green then they become dark brown, they have about 30 millimeters long, they are similar to an egg and they contain multitude of small pulled seeds that they persist in the winter.     

  Flowers.- they are monoics, the feminine ones are in inflorescences separated from the masculine ones;  the masculine ones are long, cylindrical and straits catkins. Often contained in the terminal buds, they are of dark purple in autumn and winter, dark green in spring and they have 6-12 cm long, in clusters with 3-5 flowers. The feminine flowers are woody, in short groups of 1-6,  but later extended or pendulums and woody. 

Applications:  The wood is elastic and slight, white and easy to work. The bark has tannins that are used as astringent and to harden skins, it is also used to lower the fever.

Habitat:  Botanical garden:  Botanical garden of  APinguela, Galicia, where it is abundant. It lives in riversides of rivers, streams and very fresh places, because it needs a floor with a lot of humidity, it doesn't resist the drought of the summer well. It can live in very poor lands because their roots fix nitrogen of the air.









Castanea sativa (Chestnut tree, Castiñeiro)


Type:  Deciduous leaf tree 

-Leaf:  Simple, alternating, big and “lanceoladas” (10-25 cm. long, being able to reach 7 cm. wide), with a petiole of up to 3 cm., the borders are sawed with teeth “mucronados”.  They are something leathery, glabrous green for the face and clearer for the back and with yellow flakes and 20-24 couples of almost parallel nerves.

-Flower and Fruit:  They are born of the axila of the leaves, they are narrow, erect and yellowish spikes. Almost the whole spike is made up of masculine flowers placed in groups that are born in the axila of an oval “bráctea”. In the base of the spike they are the contained feminine flowers from 1 to 5 in an common involve. Chalice with 5-8 lobes and 7-9 pistils. It flourishes from May to June and the insects help in their pollination. The fruit is the chestnuts that are protected inside a spherical and hard dome (the hedgehog of 2-5 cm. of diameter), yellowish green covered with piercing thorns, opens up in 2-4 valves and in their inside there are 1-3 chestnuts, with reddish, lustrous brown leathery skin on the outside and shaggy on the inside. The chestnuts have shaggy apex  and the base of clearer color.

Medical uses:  The chestnut tree has astringent properties (it contracts the fabrics and it diminishes the secretion of the mucous ones) that make it useful in cases of diarrhea and affections of the mouth and the throat. It is also calms the cough and the irritation of the pharynx.

It is used the bark and the leaves, although some authors also include the catkins (flowers).

The consumption of chestnuts is specially suitable for people with arthritis and in diets for hypertension and sick heart.

Industrial use:  The chestnut tree firewood is not a good fuel, it removes a lot of smoke and little heat. It has been used in basketwork cut in fine ribbons, to manufacture barrels and to make sleeper of railroad. It has also been used as cellulose source and of tannins to harden.

Habitat:  Botanical garden of A pinguela, Galicia...., abundant (In Galicia it is cultivated for their fruits and for their wood, the fruits were feeding base in Galicia during a lot of time, serving as food for people and animals.





Juglans regia. (Walnut, Concheiro, Carroleiro, Noceiro)


Aspect.- Deciduous tree. It can reach  25 meters high, the trunk is grizzly (whitish), flat, it can have a great thickness. The old species have the bark with vertical cracks. It has many branches, very open of the same colour as the trunk.

Leaves.-  Made up with 5-9 “foliolos”, the terminal “foliolo” is bigger than the other ones, the “foliolos” are “lanceolados” or some oval and with the whole border. When they are born they are reddish brown colour, they lose soon this colour and they are dark green for the two faces.

Flowers.- The feminine flowers are in solitary or small groups of 1-4, they come out in the branches the same year forming a spike at the end of the branch. The masculine flowers in greenish, hanging catkins, with a great number of flowers, can appear isolated or in groups of three in 2 year-old branches. The flowers come out at the same time as the leaves.

Fruit.- It is an oval drupe up to 5 cm. long, it has a greenish, flat cover and covered with whitish glands. This cover has an liquid (nogalina) that causes stains difficult to take out. In the inside we find a very resistant, woody and very rough cover with two valves. Inside there is a single seed. The fruits mature at the end of the summer.

Habitat and applications.- we can find it in most of cultivated Spain by its fruits, we can see it in Galicia near rivers or in humid places, if we plant it in dry places the growth is minor, it wants deep and humid lands. The wood is hard and homogeneous, it is very appreciated for joinery. The leaves are used abundantly in popular medicine:  for white flows or diarrheas for their astringent qualities and to lower the quantity of sugar. Leaves and fruits are used  to tint brown dark. The fruits constitutes a very good food, very nutritious.







Pinus sylvestris (Pine, Piñeiro)


Type:  evergreen coniferous  of about 30 m. high although sometimes reaches the 40 m. At the beginning its top has a rounded form and then it is more smoothed and with umbrella form.

Trunk:  It begins exactly under the top and it is often curved.

Bark:  It is red or orange;  the lower part of the trunk is divided in big and dark grizzly brown badges with deep blackish grooves.

Leaves (Needles): they measure from 3 to 8cm. long and they are of grizzly or blue green color; they   are sometimes some volute. They are not very pointed and with lightly jagged margin. There are two for each fascicle and most remain from two to three years in the branches.

Flowers:  The masculine ones bright are of a clear yellow , concentrate next to another in cones;  the feminine flower cones  go from red to the purple;  there are usually two in the superior end of the “macroblasto”. The monoic flowering flourishes at the middle of spring.

Pineapples:  They measure up to 5cm. of wide and 8cm of long;  when they are unripe they are of greenish color and, after two years of maturation, they becomr dark brown and they open up giving in back their half-open flakes.

Habitat:  They live preferably in slight and dry, calcareous, oozy or sandy floors. In Galicia in mountain areas like repopulation pines. In the botanical Garden of the IES "A Pinguela."










Populus alba (white Poplar, Chopo, Choupo)



Characteristics:  Decidius stout tree, heigh up to 30m, in general something bent, grey white top and leaves with the pure white back.

Trunk:  Flat, whitish bark, with blackish scars of old branches. Young branches and tomentosos buds.

Leaves:  Alternating, webbed or jagged leaves of green color in the sheaf and almost white in the back.  They are “tomentosas” in the two faces and in the petiole. When maturing they are green dark in the face and “tomentosas”white  in the back. Bigger leaves usually webbed-lobuladas, heart-shaped base. Spray leaves  rounded or oval, lobe little, with less “tomento”.  In autumn the coloration is brown or yellowish.

Fruit:  It is adry capsule that opens up liberating seeds with a feather of hair to be dispersed by the wind (the children like of playing with them because they look like cotton pieces).

Distribution:  In areas of fluvial valleys of the center and the south of Europe, but planted as ornamental in many other places and also in parks. It resists well  the drought whenever there is humidity in the floor;  it can support minimum of -15ºC and maximum 40 ºC .

Habitat:  Botanical garden of the I.E.S. A Pinguela, it prefers humid floors that are flooded periodically, deep sandy lands. It is very abundant in Galicia.











Populus nigra (Chopo, Choupo)


Characteristic:  showy tree of about 30m of height, with the high, convexed and generally roomy top, that particularly in the old copies it has irregular and party aspect.

Trunk:  generally of strong development, with enough bulkinesses and fissures, habitually some bowed or gnarled, with scarce but strong and leafy upward branches already from scarce height of the floor.

Young branches and quite soft buds, of clear brown color. Leaves bud are dense and brown clear.

Leaves of the long sprays of about 5-9 cm long, at the end of long petioles, of triangular profile, with the thin and lengthened tip, with small teeth in the margin directed towards. The leaves of the short shafts are generally smaller. All the leaves when they appear they are reddish green, acquiring a brilliant dark green tonality soon.

Distribution:  In the nature, we can find them in the big fluvial valleys of the center and the south of Europe, but planted in many other places and also in parks.

Habitat:  Botanical garden of the I.E.S. A Pinguela, it prefers humid floors that are flooded periodically, deep sandy lands . It is very abundant in Galicia.








Prunus avium (Cherry tree, Cirdeira)


Type:  Decidius tree of the family of the rosy ones of until 20 m of high. Trunk of reddish brown color whose bark comes undone in bands.

Leaves:  they appear after the flowers, oblong or oval with the jagged border, brilliant green and glabrous face;  pubescent back in the angles of the rib, flowers of up to 3 cm. prepared in faces of 2 -6 on long peduncles. 

Fruits:  Fruits in drupe, of strong reddish color.  They appear in natural state as wild tree in many European forests of medium mountain and in the north of África and Asia. It flourishes between the months of April and May.

Medicinal uses:  therapeutic uses, bronchitis, diarrhea, diuretic, sedative, hepatic dysfunctions, integral of the slimming infusions.

Other uses and properties: the mature cherries are used to improve the flavor of syrups and other remedies. It is used in the industry for the conservation of the pickles..

The part that is used is mature and dry peduncles, leaves, fruits.

Industrial uses:  The cherry tree wood is hard and appreciated in engraving and joinery. If it is used for the fire, its smoke produces a very characteristic aroma.

Habitat:  Botanical garden of the IES A Pinguela . In Galicia it is very abundant.






Quercus pyrenaica (Oak, Rebollo, Rebolo)


Aspect:  Oak (Rebollo) not very high that rarely surpasses the 20 meters high, Its top is irregular . It can break out again abundantly from the root, for what sometimes forms extensive surrounded trees with numerous sprouts. It has right or irregular trunk  with grizziy-brown bark of little thickness, cracked lengthwise in the old copies. It usually ramifies in abundance from little height.

Leaves:  They are simple, alternating, with short petiole, cracked in deep and regular lobes that often arrive near the half nerve. They are of 6-16 centimeters long, when beginning to develop they are covered for both faces of a dense starry hair. They are of a green color in the face.

Flowers:  The masculine flowers are small with wrapped up divided in 5-8 “lacinias”and a variable number of stamens. They are contained in lengthened and slack catkins that hang in variable number of the branches. It flourishes in May at the beginning of June.

Fruits:  They are some acorns that are born solitary or contained in 2 or 3 on very short small tails that measure on 2 centimeters. They have hemispheric dome in thimble form, with numerous flakes, not very prominent. The pulp of the acorn is of bitter flavor. Their fruits mature for October or November.

Habitat:  Botanical garden A Pinguela, Galicia and in general in Spain. It is scarce in the dry climates and it is raised in the hillsides and skirts of the siliceous mountains. It prefers sandy texture soils and it adapts very well to continental climates, supporting icy due to their short period of vegetative development.

Utilities:  Their wood is of little quality and it is used for posts of railroad and to substitute to the oaks where they lack these.







      Quercus robur L;  Quercus Pedunculata (Oak, Carballo)


Aspect.- It can overcome 45 m high and it has a big, rounded top. Its trunk is right, grizzly with white tonalities and the bark presents furrows.

Flowers.- Masculine flowers in hanging, green-yellowish and solitary catkins or in group that leave in the branches of the previous year. Feminine flowers in groups of 2-3 in the apex of a long peduncle, surrounded of a reddish brown scaly cover. It flourishes in April-May. The flowers are separate but in the same tree.

Fruit.- They mature in September and they fall in October-November. You not mistake the acorns for the galls that are balls of the size of a nut with picks or smaller rounded without picks, that they are produced by the sting of an insect of the family of the Cinípedos to make the setting, the tree develops a tumoral fabric that will protect to the eggs of the insect.

Habitat: It is a tree climax in Galicia, it requires oceanic humid climate. It usually is not starting from the 1000 m. of altitude, it wants deep floors, lacking lime and it supports the low temperatures well.

Applications.- The wood is hard, of small grain , very marked rings of growth, it is hard and resistant to the rot. It was used for the railway ties of the railroad, ships, casks, in structural part of the buildings, furniture, parquets, and to burn well as firewood or making with it vegetable coal.

The bark and the galls have abundant tannins, for what they are used to harden skins. The fruits are an excellent food for pigs and during the postwar period it was used for human consumption (first they cooked to take out  their bitterness), they were also used as substitute of the coffee.

The oaks can end up surpassing the 1000 years.

Medicinally.- The leaves, bark and galls have abundant tannins, these they have a strong power to be able to astringent, for this reason they were used for:  diarrheas, faringitis, hemorrhoids, varixes (it is used in cooking for external use or like mouthwashes)







 Salix caprea (Sallow, Salgueiro)


Aspect:  Decidius bush of 5 meters high or small tree of up to 10 meters. Their buds and secondary branches are soft, thin, and with fluff and they are of a grizzly green in their base.

Leaves:  alternating and “pecioladas”, measure from 4 to 12 centimeters long, for 6 centimeters wide. Their limbo is elípitic and wide with the rounded base. The face is green dark and some wrinkled, and the greenish gray back is “tomentoso”, they also possess not very appreciable “estípulas”.

Flowers:  they appear before the leaves, the oval masculine catkins measure 3 centimeters long and they have silver hairiness. During the pollination, they are of a pale yellow and they contain an only fruit essence. The feminine  catkins are green and not very showy; the ovaries flourish in spring.

Fruit:  they mature in spring.

Habitat:  Botanical Garden of the IES "A Pinguela", In Galicia is very abundant.

It grows in wilderness, margins of roads and forests or quarries although it can also appear with other trees beside stagnated waters.









Sambucus nigra. (Elder, Sabugueiro)


 Aspect.-  Decidius bush with a very dense and rounded glass, it can arrive to the 5 meters high. The bark is very cracked and of dark brown color. The branches when they are young they are green but soon they become grizzly. The branches have a great quantity of whitish marrow.

 Leaves.-  Compound, with 5-7 flakes in couple with a lone one at the end, they are born faced in the branches of the year. They are of greenish color and something shaggy for the back,  they have sawed margin.

 Flowers.- The flowers are very attractive of an intense or cream white colour, they are small 4-5 millimeters of diameter but placed in a great number of terminal inflorescences with all the flowers to the same height, they are very fragrant. It flourishes in the spring.

  Fruit.- Spherical, fleshy, with an intense black colour, it has of 3-5 seeds in their interior. The fruits mature at the end of the summer.

 Habitat and applications. - It wants fresh floors, being abundant beside rivers or in riversite. It is cultivated as ornamental by their beautiful and fragrant flowers. The fruits are used to make desserts. The dry flowers put among the bed clothes to avoid attacks of insects. The fruits when they are green they are toxic and when they are mature they are eatable but the seeds should be discarded that they are toxic. Their flowers in cooking are diuretic. To combat the distemper of dogs they are put a necklace of elder bills, the bills should be 9 or 11 so that it provides effect (this remedy is broadly utilized).






  Taxus baccata (Tile, Teixo)


Type:  Tree that can reach from 10 to 15 m of height, being frequently presented as bush. Brown-reddish, thin and scaly bark. It is considered one of the trees more long-lived of Europe.

Flowers:  Spherical masculine inflorescence, with 6-14 stamens. Rounded feminine inflorescence, with a surrounded ovum of “brácteas”. In the maturity the seed that is ovoid and of 6-7 mm. of longitude, it is surrounded of a fleshy part of red color with a viscous pulp that falls quicky.

Leaves:  Soft needles of 2-4 cm. of longitude. They are dark green in the face and green with two yellowish bands in the back. Ovoid, small yolks, of brown color. Dioic species.

Fruits:  Fruits in berry or resemblances to berry.

Uses:  It possesses a very resistant wood to the bleakness, having been used in the construction of fences. It has also been used in the construction of barrels and in joinery. It was used formerly to make arches because it isvery flexible.

Habitat:  Botanical garden of the I.E.S. "A Pinguela",  in Galicia where it is not very abundant (Laurel, Trevinca, Ancares, etc.).









Tilia platyphyllos (Linden, Tileira)


Aspect:  It is a robust tree that can end up measuring 30 meters or more of height, it is of trunk right and hefty with grizzly, flat or cracked bark, which is lengthwise in the age copies. Its top is wide and ramosa of tight foliage that projects a very dense shade for the almost horizontal disposition of the leaves. It frequently has sprays of reddish or greenish colour.

Leaves:  They are big widely oval or rounded in heart form and something asymmetric in the base. They are of an intense green color for the face and paleer green for the back where they take some whitish hair. For the face they are completely hairless.

Flowers:  They are small of creamy or yellowish white color, very fragrant with wrapped up double of 5 sepals and free petals, the seconds, longer and more narrow, opened up in star's form. They have a great number of free stamens, or something soldiers in the base. It flourishes starting from June.

Fruit:  It is dry and no opened, ovoid and traveled by 5 five longitudinal ribs and very shaggy, it has a single cavity, and it contains of 1-3 seeds. They mature at the end of the summer and during the autumn.

Habitat:  Botanical Garden of the IES "A Pinguela", Galicia, and great part of Europe, mainly in the center and south. It is raised next to other trees in the fresh forests. It is also given in rocky means.







 Ulmus Minor (Elm tree, Negrillo)


 Type: Decidius tree of 15-20 m of height, with the wide top, something oval, and with right and thick trunk, of cracked bark with the years. Sprays with cork bark , forming ribs more or less thick.

Leaves:  alternating, oval, with the unequal base, doubly jagged or sawed. Make green intense, hairless but rough to the tact, clearer and more pubescent back. Nervure of the outstanding back.

Fruits:  Flowers without interest, greenish, prepared in groups it has more than enough sprays of one year. They appear in February-March. Fruit in “sámara”, monospermo, with the next seed to the neckline of the wing. The fruit matures before the leaves appear.

Medicinal use:  the flowers have medicinal uses.

Industrial uses:  It is used to manufacture sport articles, seats and linings of floors.

HabitatBotanical Garden "I.E.S. A Pinguela.". Abundant in Galicia.












  • Apical:  that it is in the tip or end

  • Acorn:  fruit of some trees of the family of the fabáceas. In an ovoid way, covered with a hard shell finished by a hard caperuzo by which is together to the tree.

  • Back:  one of the two faces of the leaf. Depending on the relative position of this., one can say that it is the later, inferior face or of behind. In most of the cases it is the paleest and less flat face.

·        Coriaceous:  hard, armored, resistant. Of similar texture to the leather.

  • Foliolo:  each one of the parts that form a compound leaf.

  • Lenticela:  protuberance of the bark of the woody plants, built by a fabric porous suberoso that allows the gassy exchange between the atmosphere and the internal fabrics of the tree.

  • Limbo:  it leaves wider and main of the leaf. You can use this term to define the part wide distal of other organs, like it is the case of the petals.

  • Lobe:  portions of different size in those that the discontinuous surface of the limbo is divided to foliate.

  • Nerve:  structural acúmulo of conductive glasses of the limbo to foliate.

  • Petiole:  it leaves more narrow and it cuts of the leaf that serves as nexus between the limbo and the leaf. Tail of the leaf for which is linked to the shaft.

  • Peduncle:  tail that sustains the flower or the stingy fruit to the branch.

  • Pineapple:  inflorescence of the gimnospermas, of aspect esferoidal or conical. It contains some mobile brácteas that allow the operation of the structure reproductora and they house the pinenuts.

  • Pinenut:  seed of the pine, housed in the feminine pineapples.

  • Raque:  main nerve of the limbo to foliate.

  • Sámara:  dry fruit of some trees, as the ash-tree, with an only seed in their interior.

  • Shell:  it leaves more external of the bark, laminated many times and of easy extraction.

  • Sheath:  extension that recovers the base of many leaves.

  • Tomentoso:  with short and soft hair, in the case of being dense, they give to the tact a velvet sensation.

  • Verticilo:  group of leaves, flowers or other organs in number bigger than two that are inserted in the same knot in the shaft, to the same height, in disposition more or less radial.

  • Yolk to grant asylum:  fabric of quick growth of the one that derive differentiated structures, distributed by certain points of the surface of the shaft.

  • Webbed:  with the nerves or willing lobes moving away from the center, as the fingers very separated from an open hand.

  • Wing:  continuation to laminate or lateral expansion of little grosor. They often appear in some fruits, petioles and shafts. they are also denominated this way to the lateral petals of the flowers amariposadas of the leguminous ones.


Stop 2 






Parque de los Condes


The route begins in the Park of the Counts, here many monfortinos come to walk so that they can enjoy the landscape of the river, of the sources (example of non consuming use ofwater), of the diversity of planted trees and of the beautiful views that it offers us of Monforte.

To one of their sides we see one of the most representative monuments in Monforte, El Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, also known as El Escorial Gallego, built along the XVI and XVII centuries and whose facade is of Renaissance style. At the moment it works like a school and on the inside it shelters a museum in which we can enjoy pieces so important as some of the paintings of El Greco.

From this Park we also have a beautiful view of the Torre del Homenaje, symbol of the Feudalism in Galicia and of the power of the Counts of Lemos in these lands. It possesses a height 30 meters and it was lifted among the XIII and XV centuries. To their surroundings we observe part of the old one the wall, the Monasterio de San Vicente del Pino and the Palacio de los Condes, restored today and transformed in State-owned Hotel.

The river Cabe crosses the city of Monforte de Lemos and it is a tributary of the Sil for the right. It is born to 960 meters of altitude in the parish of Foilebar (Sierra of Oribio), in the city council of the Incio. It adopts an address NL-SO that maintains during all their course. It crosses the city councils of Incio, A Pobra of Brollón, Boveda, Monforte of Lemos, Sober and Pantón. It ends to 159 meters of altitude after a journey of 53 Km in the limit among the parishes of Fronton (Pantón), Anllo (Sober) and San Estevo of Rivas of Sil (Nogueira of Ramuín) although it doesn't take a bath this parish. Their régime is pluvial arriving to the maximum flow between December and April. Their main tributaries are the Mao, Cinsa and Ferreira for the right, and the Saa and Santa for the left.


In the Earth:  Fourth three parts of the planet are covered for water, but the human being only has access to a minimum quantity because 97.2%  of the water that there is in the terrestrial surface it is salted and it forms the oceans. 2.8% of the water of the planet is only sweet and of this 77% is icy, 22% is under the earth and 1% of the total is only forming the rivers, lakes, interior seas and humidity of the floor, being available easily for the earthly life, included  the man.

We can´t forget that it is not rightly distributed,  because in our planet there are surplus areas, as the Nordic countries, and deficit areas, as the African arid areas, Israel...


Water is the most abundant chemical compound in our planet where is essemtial for the maintenance of  life.

 It is formed by an oxygen atom and two atoms of hydrogen united by connections hydrogen. The pure water is a colorless, odourless and insipid liquid. Their freezing point is 0º and their boil point is  100º c.  It can be in solid, liquid or fumes phase. It is a very strong solvent and it is responsible for the matter transfer on and below the surface of the earth.


Water is source of life and a all the life depends on it. It constitutes 70% of our corporal weight. We need water to breathe, to lubricate our eyes, to desintoxica our bodies, to maintain our temperature...

The human being can live more than two weeks without eating but he cannot survive more than 3 or 4 days without drinking. It also influences in other important areas for our life like the industry, watering, electricity generation, recreational activities, means of transport, domestic life...

The plants would be unable to produce their food or growing without it. It is also the means where most of the biological reactions take place.


Not consumptive use of water:  water that is used and returned to the environmet and its characteristics are not altered. It is used, for example,  water that takes place in the own current, the hydroelectric energy generation, the sailing, the improvement of the quality of the water, the aquaculture and to recreational ends.


Consumptive use of  water:  water that it is used and returned to the environment with some characteristics that do not let their later use. For example, we find the water of domestic use and of supply, the water coming from the industry and the one that comes from the watering that can carry payments and fertilizers.


It is also necessary to distinguish among:


High-priority uses that constitute a necessity impossible to satisfy without the use of  fresh water. They are essential for the life and the human activity. It is what happens to the urban and industrial supplies, the irrigable, ecological and environmental character ones.


Secondary uses that can be satisfied temporarily with spare flows, but they don't constitute a necessity impossible to satisfy without the use of the fresh water. Among the secondary uses we can make an appointment the energy ones, for the sailing and the recreational ones.


From the point of view of the main utility of  water in human activities, we can distinguish in way general six uses:  urban and industrial, energy, for the sailing, recreational and the one that is dedicated to satisfy the ecological and environmental necessities.


- Urban and industrial uses:  it is water dedicated to satisfy the demand of the cities and other populations for domestic, commercial and public consumption...

The urban waste waters can be classified, according to the different ones poured that they compose them, in:

a)Domiciliary water. They are formed by kitchen waters and white waters of bathroom.

b)Black water. They come from the human being's defecation.


Regarding the industrial supplies, the water is used for its incorporation to the finished products, as agent of fumes or refrigeration and as factor for the cleaning.


Agricultural uses:  the irrigable one is the biggest plaintiff and consumer of the water. From precipitation in form of water or snow only a part of it becomes useful run-off (outside or underground), the rest gets lost for evaporation, perspiration and incorporation of water to the plants.


Energy uses:  the hydroelectric resources do not  produce any contamination although it is necessary to keep in mind the environmental and landscape impact  that produce the creation of infrastructures for their use. The hydroelectric use doesn't also produce physical consumption of the water (not consumptive use).

We can add that the water is also used in thermal and nuclear centrals as coolant in the condensation circuit.


Sailing:  we need to have beds under adapted conditions hydraulicses and when the natural flow of a navigable fluvial current is insufficient to allow the traffic of crafts you can appeal to the use of regulation reservoirs that provide the necessary flows. Now then, although the sailing doesn't imply a consuming use of the water, the necessity of maintaining minimum flows for this end it supposes a restriction for the employment of the water in other consumptive uses.


Recreational uses:  as the level of life increases the demand of the hydraulic resources increases for recreational ends. The reservoirs and their surroundings play an important role like recreation spaces (practice of nautical sports, fishes...)


Ecological and environmental necessities:  it is supposed that it is necessary to conserve the circulating in a natural way in dry periods as minimum flows. From the ecological point of view the minimum flow should assure the biological balance of the natural aquatic ambience and the physical balance (erosion), to avoid the stagnation of the water and the infection focuses, to dilute the dispersed contaminations sufficiently, to conserve the aesthetics of the natural landscapes and the necessity of recharge of aquifers to make possible the sailing, the recreational use...



Stop 3 - maleconn



Malecón (Pier)


We continue our route skirting the river for the new walk that it has made to both margins, until arriving at the Pier passing above the Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) that according to the history was built in the XVI century on the foundations of a Roman bridge and that it possesses six semicircular arches, covered two of them. To our left we see the Convent of the Clarisas that one of the most important museums of Sacred Art in Spain. In this pier it is where formerly the monfortinos washed their clothes and where a small prey existed being also here the remains of an old mill, the first of the numerous of our route. The walk has been changed and we have marked that it has been deepened in the bed of the river to avoid floods. Along the journey tubes of drainages of the sewer system and of houses can be appreciated and they pour out directly to the river. In abundant rainy season the water of the sewer system cannot be able to absorb the whole flow that circulates for the streets and this pours into the bed of the river.


How do the rivers defend themselves of the contamination?


The natural cycle of the water has a great purification capacity. The rivers defend of the contamination for their own dynamics that allows them to dilute of continuous the pollutants. But this same easiness of regeneration of the water, and its apparent abundance, makes it be the habitual drain in which we throw the residuals taken place by our activities:  fecal and domestic animals remains, pesticides, chemical waste, heavy metals, solid residuals of the mines and industry, phosphates of detergents, etc., they are in quantities bigger or smaller and many waters are polluted until the point of making them dangerous for the human, and harmful health for the life.

The quantity of oxygen in the water is an important parameter to analyze when we want to know the level of contamination of a flow of water, because it expresses the capacity of the water to be regenerated. The dissolved oxygen usually expresses as percentage with regard to the available maximum in each case. The maintenance or not of the life of the organisms in the aquatic ambience depends of it. It comes from the exchange between the atmosphere and the course of water in question, as well as of the fotosintetic alive beings.

The clean superficial waters are usually saturated of oxygen, whith is fundamental for the life. If the level of dissolved oxygen is low it indicates contamination with organic matter, septicización, bad quality of the water and inability to maintain certain forms of life.


The main points of consumption of the water are :


Domestic and supply:  in this section we not only include the water used at home, but also the water characteristic of the municipal activity, of collective and of trade uses and the water lost in the systems of supply that it supposes an important percentage in many cases.

Industrial:  The use of the water for the industries is consumptive, because they incorporate it to the product manufactured or they transform it for the addition of residuals, impeding its later use.

The irrigable one:  it is one of the most outstanding sectors as for consumption of water. The use of water in this sector is usually consuming because the use of fertilizers and pesticides make the returned water to the environment contain strange elements.


A minute of reflection:  you think of the quantity of water that you use, since you get up until you go to bed:  for your hygiene, the food, to wash the clothes... could you make something to diminish their consumption?


Stop 4-Club Fluvial  






We follow our road going by the rear part of the Multiusos Center and crossing the bridge of the circumvallation arriving to the Fluvial club that is an obliged appointment of the monfortinos in the summer. Here, we can enjoy a bathin the pools or in the river, to practice different types of sports or simply to take advantage of the lunchroom that there exists in the shade of the trees. This is a good example of the recreational use that we can make with the landscape that provides us water of the river and of the non consumptive use of it, for example, because the water of the pools can be recyclied.


The hydrological cycle:  it describes the continuous movement of the water on, in and under the terrestrial surface. It is the succession of stages that crosses the water when it passes from the atmosphere to the Earth and return to the atmosphere:  the heat of the Sun evaporates the water of the terrestrial surface (seas, rivers, lakes, lagoons). The alive organisms that inhabit the Earth also evaporate water like product of theirs metabolism. This water in form of vapour ascends and it forms the clouds;  which are pushed by the winds and with the collaboration of the vegetation it cools down enough so that it precipitates in rain or snow form. It is a process of permanent transport that owes you fundamentally to two causes:

-           the Sun that provides the energy to elevate the water (evaporation)

-           the terrestrial graveness that makes that the condensed water descends (precipitation, surface run-off).


Riverside vegetation:  in the riversides and in flooded areas a series of well-known vegetation is developed as  “ripisilva” or forest in gallery. Two strata are very defined black poplars , alders trees, sallows... they are the most frequent trees in the top tree-covered stratum. Among the species that grow in the herbaceous stratum:  ivies, blackberries, Honeysuckle of the forests (lonicera periclymenum), Tamaráceas (Tammus communis), and several types of ferns.

The forest in gallery usually only occupies a narrow fringe in the margins of the rivers. It happens that the high requirements of humidity that most of the “ripícola” blossom has and for the intense use that the man makes of the riverside lands for different cultivations, given their good agronomic aptitude.

These forests, in spite of their reduced width, complete important ecological functions, because they regulate the temperature of the water limiting the heatstroke that it receives , they hold the margins of the riverside - especially when there is rise - and they constitute an ambience in which they live a varied aquatic and amphibious fauna.


Starting from the Club Fluvial the road along the margin of the river is closed that´s why  we should go along the general road that takes to Lugo until passing the Virgin's Bridge and about 200 meters later  take the street to the left until arriving to a tarred road that it will  carry us until Ribasaltas.


Stop 5-Presa de Villanueva







At very little distance there is the Presa deVillanueva or Presa del Sierra, meeting-place to enjoy the beauty of the place and of the waters of the river. This spot supposes an alternative place for a lot of people that look for a nearer contact to the nature  while having a swim in summer. Here we find an old building that served as generator to produce electricity. In this area they are three sources that in the pastwere used by people of the area, but at the present time it would be necessary to analyze their potability because they can be polluted with pavwments, purines or remains of fecal waters coming from the small exploitations and near houses.


A portion of the water of the precipitations, after carrying out a course for the surface, filters in the earth and it  incorporates to the underground waters. The quantity of water that it filters in a region it depends on the climate, of the permeability of the rocks, of the vegetation and of the inclination of the land. After a slow descending course through the pores and fissures, the water arrives to an area where it cannot continue because the pores are already full with water. When the rock where the water is stored it allows it to move with easiness they are formed aquifer that are the only exploitable reservations of underground waters. The superior limit of the aquifer is the phreatic level that fluctuates in function of the recharge and the losses. The rock portion whose pores are full with water is the saturation area and above it there is the aireación area that only contains occasionally water. When the underground water intercepts with the surface of the land it is formed a spring that when it doesn't flow clearly and it leaves dispersed it is denominated oozes.


Energy uses of the water


Renewable energy:  they are clean energy only limited by the magnitude and location of the natural flows; among them we find: hydraulic, sea, eolic, sun and geothermal energy. Its impact on the environment is not comparable with the produced one for the non renewable energy (coal, petroleum, natural gas, nuclear..).


Hydraulic energy:  it is the energy that is obtained of the fall of the water from certain height to an inferior level what causes the movement of hydraulic wheels or turbines. The water when arriving to the turbine makes it rotate on its axis that crawls in its movement to the electric generator that transforms the mechanical force in electricity.. The water is returned to the river under the conditions in that it was taken, so it can be used below for another power station located waters again or it stops consumption.


Advantages:  renewable, clean, instantaneous.

Inconveniences:  the possible production fluctuations according to the time of the year.


A historical touch:  already the old ones Roman and Greeks took advantage of the energy of the water to mill the wheat with wheels. The hydroelectricity had a lot of importance during the Industrial Revolution. It impelled the textile and the leather industries and the shops of construction of machines at the beginning of the XIX century. Although the machines of vapor were already sophisticated, the coal was scarce and the wood was not very satisfactory as fuel. The hydraulic energy helped to the growth of the new industrial cities that were created in Europe and America. Later, when it could have coal, the hydraulic wheels were substituted by the vapor machines. 


Sea energy:  The ascents and descents in the level of the sea caused by the action of the gravitate forces of the Sun and the Moon have been taken advantage by the man for the energy production for many years.


Eolic energy:  the eolic energy has been used from the antiquity to move for the sea or to produce work, like in the mills. The conversion of eolic energy in electricity is carried out by means of airgenerators in those the rotor, worked by the wind that impels the crosses, is connected to an axis that makes rotate an electric generator by means of a system of engagements.


Solar energy: it can be used in an active or passive way. A hothouse, the orientation of the housing or their insulating capacity are passive forms of capturing the solar energy. In the active systems, solar badges that allow to heat a fluid (water or air) are used and  transfer this heat to a storage system that supplies the consumption when it is necessary.


Geothermal energy:  it takes advantage of the increase of temperature in depth in volcanic areas or with high geothermal gradient. The water of the underground, that reaches its point of boil to little depth, can be directly transported to the big ones central generating of electricity installed in the surface.


Non renewable energy:  energy resource formed inside the Earth during very lingering geologic periods as the coal, petroleum and natural gas whose intensive use could end in its exhaustion to half or long time.


Coal:  it is the used fossil fuel. It is of the accumulation of vegetable remains followed by a quick burial that establishes anaerobic conditions for the bacterial reactions that transform this remains in coal.


Petroleum and natural gas: originated by the accumulation in very deep marine funds of the remains of marine plankton. Under conditions anaerobics and in way gradual this remains are transformed in hydrocarbons, first in solid substances with big molecules (polishes and asphalts) and later in liquid petroleum and gas.


Nuclear energy:  it is based on the generation of heat by means of the fission of the atomic nuclei of the uranium and the later transformation of the heat in electric power.


About the history of Monforte.....  do you know when  electricity was first used in Monforte? Already in 1844 the first apparatuses of illumination of petroleum, the oil lamps, began to substitutethe old candles of suet, but it didn't go up to 1894-95 when it  carried out the installation of posts and material for the operation of the electric light in our city, what supposed a great advance in the well-being of the monfortinos. The used energy came from the prey Vilanova that used the water coming from the river Cabe, through a generator, to transform it into electricity.



Stop 6-Campo de Golf





You continue the road until arriving to the Golf course, sport that begins to take many followers in the area, which rebounds positively in the economic sense. Here you can enjoy a sport in full nature and of the beautiful landscapes that  the river leaves us to its step. It is necessary to keep in mind that in this area there is not shortage of water, situation that supposes a problem in many other areas, mainly in the south of Spain.  To maintain the grass under perfect conditions a great quantity of water is needed, but we could be contributing to not to waste the water with the use of white waters for the watering of the field (water coming from the domestic use that only need a small purification). It is necessary to remember that the requirements of water dedicated to the human consumption are not the same ones that those dedicated to the agricultural watering or the cleaning of streets.


Fish and other animals


The river is also a food source. Along the route they are areas where it is habitual to see fishermen. The typical species that are fished in this area are:


Trout (Psalm trutta fario): common trout. It usually measures from 15 to 25 cm in mountain rivers but it can reach 1 m in big rivers and preys. It possesses some characteristic as red spots in the back, and a fatty fin near the flow fin. It feeds on insects of all kind, fish, frogs, other smaller trouts...

It can live in any river that is clean and with currents, so that they need waters with high oxygen concentration. The eutrofización (rot of algae in the preys) kill them. It makes their it spawns when the river grows, for what overcomes the river until looking for a suitable place (many times it is not able to because it meets with power-stations and preys that it cannot avoid or they don't possess stairways) and these places are usually places with little current where they can dig among the sand and to make a small well where it is rubbed pressing the part of under the belly to leave the eggs;  next the male fertiles them and the female covers them.

This animal is threatened by the contamination, the poisonings, the preys and power-stations, the not well made repopulations and the overfishing.


Peixe (Chondrostoma duriense Coelho): also well-known as “boga” or “pepe”. It generally measures about 15cm although it can arrive up to the 50cm. It feeds on bugs of the river, small amphibians, eggs, flies and mosquites. It is a very gregarious fish and the fishermen use baits of food so that they come in big quantities and they can catch them easily. They usually inhabit the tracts means of the river and as the most of the fish it is vulnerable for the introduction in our rivers of exotic species as the carp, for the small power-stations construction and preys, the extraction of arid, the wrong use of the waterings in summer that dry our rivers and for the increase of the contamination.


Escalo (Squalius carolitertii): also well-known as “chacho”, “cachizo”, “kardo”. It has lengthened body, big head and subterminal mouth. Its colour changes according to the river in which it lives. Their fishing is very easy, even for beginners. They don't usually pass of 30cm and they possess many thorns. They are very abundant but vulnerable for the introduction of the “Lucio” and the American Perch.


With regard to the community of birds that depend on the river, a singular bird is the Martin Fisherman (Alcedo atthis) that possesses a big head, often with crest. Their body is short and plump, and its paws and small feet. Most has the short line. It presents a beautiful plumage, of blue, yellow, white iridescent colors.

It lives with their couple, but it is not sociable with their fellows. It makes underground nests and it lays white eggs. It generally builds their nest in sandy land, near the bank of a river or an aquatic habitat. It digs with their pick a tunnel with an extremely narrow entrance. The tunnel is serpentine, because it avoids the stones and roots in its itinerary, and bowed up, to avoid the grown of the river. In the final part it carries out a wide compartment where it builds the nest, the one that forms with the thorns of the fish that once it has eaten, reveal, after digesting the soft parts.

Aquatic Grackle (Cinclus cinclus) and the Lavandera Cascadeña (Motacilla cinerea) are also abundant because they are typical of areas of streams and rivers and whose feeding is based in insects, spineless aquatic, crabs and snails.

In areas of waters calms we find anátidas (Anass platyrhynchos), (Aythya ferina), (Aythya fuligula), (Fulica atra) and the Real Heron (Ardea cinerea) that depend on the masses of water.


The wild mammals, are some of the most unknown creatures and fewer studied of the Animal Kingdom, maybe this is due to their suspicious character of the men.

Most of the species have become night and rarely you see them for the day, to part that their senses of the smell and hearing are very developed and to the smallest interference suspicion they disappear. In spite of all this, it is known that they are there, because there are sings that accuses them like prints, excrements and remains of food.  

Many of our mammals have disappeared of wide areas due to the deterioration of their biotope and to the competition of the foreigner's brought animals, as the American Mink that has displaced and finish with many autochthonous animals in the areas that it has colonized.


An animal that is seriously danger of disappearance of our rivers is the Otter (Lutra lutra) that lives in very clean waters. To see it is very difficult, but noticing well their prints can be seen by the margin of the river and mainly to find their excrements that are very dark, of small size and they are characterized to remove a strong scent to fish, their favorite food.


As predators also there are: the fox (Vulpes vulpes), “mustélidos”, the “gineta” (Genetta genetta) and the badger (Meles meles). With the exception of this last, one they feed on micromammalians and rodents like the rat of common water (Arvicola sapidus).


Among the mammals it highlights the presence of the boar (Sus scofra) with high population density.


In the community of anphibious we have the triton (Triturus spp), the salamander (Salamander salamander), the “sapito comadrón” (Alytes obstetricans), the “sapo pintoxo” (Dicoglossus galojanoi), the common toad (Comic comic) and the green frog (Frog perezi).


Among the reptiles the “lagarto arnal” (Lacerta lepida), the “lagarto das silvas” (Lacerta schreiberi), the Galician small lizard (Podarcis bocagei) and the “lagartija de las rocas” (Hispanic Podaris).




How is the geology of the area?


The Valley of Lemos is a depression of tectonic origin of the Tertiary that arose as consequence of the deformation of the Galician central part during this period. It is a smoothed surface with a half altitude of 300 m. The depression of Lemos is formed by sandy and loamy lands with the southwestern exception where  granite prevails. This fact explains the easiness adapting of the floor for the formation of the depression that becomes a basin of reception of detritic material among those that highlight the red clays and the formation of fluvial terraces. The origin of the depression surely owes itself to a tectonic reactivation by the middle of the Tertiary.


When going by this zona we have notice the landscapes that are drawn in the Barrioncas, jousts from behind of the field of Golf, where you can appreciate the geology of the Valley of Lemos, with a sedimentary basin stuffed with materials of the Tertiary and Quaternary Age. The materials of the Tertiary Age don't possess great permeability due to their great clay proportion and they are recovered by materials of the Quaternary one that possess higher grades of permeability and that they serve as protection in front of the direct entrance of the pollutants in the aquifers. The great quantity of clay that there is in the area could be exploited economically, like it is the case of a ceramic factory that there is in the area. This red and green clay characteristic it is classified as “Formacion Iris of Monforte”.

In front we can appreciate a hillside restored with low vegetation and some chimneys that belong to the old drain of Monforte that was closed and sealed recently. The outdoors location of this drain was extremely negative due to the vicinity to the river (although it doesn't seem it they continue arriving leached that they come from it to the river) and for the scarce permeability of the land.



Stop 7-Ribasaltas







Beside the Golf field there is a small spreading public field and to its left a path that takes until the “Muiño da Ana” that was operative until not  long ago and that it possesses a prey that stored the indispensable water for its operation. From the mill you arrive at the field of the fiest of Ribasaltas that is used as an eating area during the rest of the year. With the arrival of the good time, people take advantage to take a bath or to make barbecued steak.

It deserves to visit the romanic temple of San Pedro de Afora, of the XII-XIII century whose facade is later, XVII S, time to which belongs the paintings that  adorn the vault of the apse.


                     Another form of taking advantage of the energy of the water:  the Mills


  You know that.... The operation of the mills is so interesting as primitive. Usually, the millers reached an agreement for the day of the mill. The water coming from the stream was guided by a stone construction until the cube (of an approximate depth 3 meters). Once full the cube, the flume opened up from the mill room and the power of the water was transmitted by a mechanism to the stones of the mill, stones that have cylindrical form, approximately of a meter of radius, with a hole in the central part for where the axis that moves them enters. The miller placed the grain to mill, wheat, barley, trenches, rye or corn in the chute that is located above the stones, for the later part. The grain falls little by little among the stones and for the revolvable movement of the same ones it goes being crushed. If what is milled is wheat, the flour goes going by a sifter and for some sieves so that it leaves clean. For an part it separates the flour and for other the one saved. This last one was used for food of animals and to cure illnesses or to alleviate them. If what was wanted was integral bread the one saved and the flour was obtained together, being the blackest bread.

         Periodically the miller should remove the stones to chop them, that is to say to recompose the grooves that have worn away by the use. The quantity of mill that you toward every year was also controlled. The mills were respectful industries with the environment, ecological a hundred per hundred. The cleaning of the mill and their dependences were fundamental to cause good impression and also because a portion of the flour was for human consumption, transforming it into bread or in sweet. It is necessary to keep in mind that years ago, when people lived isolated, the mills became on the dot of social encounter and in the place where you knew what passed in the area.




From the spreading area you pass below the general highway and below the railroad bridge, beside this bridge there is a construction that was used to pump water for the machines of vapor in the deposit of the RENFE of Monforte. This hut possessed a motor that pushed the water until this deposit located 2 Km.

To remember that the railroad had a great importance in the development of Monforte until half-filled of the XX S.

Then you pass below the bridge of the highway, where there is a source that leaves one of the pillars exactly, and in this place it also leaves the general drainage of Ribasaltas, causing the contamination of the river and bad scents in the dry season. You ascends again to the bridge, you cross  and  catch the road that there is to our right that will carry us until Freixo.


How is the water contaminated?


Contamination of the water takes place when it has lost its  natural conditions and, therefore, it does not possess the characteristics of its natural state. As a result of the contamination, the water can suffer changes in its color and composition, product of the quantity of dirt that arrives to it (residuals of the homes, detergents, petroleum, pesticides or nuclear waste). These wastes alter their flavor, density, purity, etc..

Different pollutants of the water exist. The most common are the waste waters and the residuals coming from the industries.

Waste waters are those waters that transfer domestic waste of the city. The existence of a bigger number of houses implies a bigger number of people, that which generates a higher volume of waste waters that transports organic matter of waste, abundant in phosphates.

In the waters there are bacterias whose function is to degrade the waste. When these are moderated, the bacterias are able to disintegrate them without difficulty, on the other hand when they increase, the bacterias are not able to carry out their work and the waters are muddled slowly. This bears to that it diminishes the light and the algae cannot carry out the photosynthesis, that that in turn brings as consequence the death of many fish and algae. For oxygen lack these organisms begin to break down, they leave to the bottom and it goes being formed a thick layer of organic material in fermentation, incompatible with the life of the aquatic alive beings.

Another polluting factor of the waste waters is the presence of parasites, bacterias and virus. The dangerous thing is that this water, that forms part of a river or channel, can be used for irrigable. This way, this microorganisms are deposited in the foods that waste away causing a risk for the health. Some illnesses that can be caused in this way are the cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, etc.


Residuals coming from industries:  The waters that drag residuals of industries are beared of a great diversity number of polluting agents. Some of these they are:

.  Residuals of detergents: these are eliminated and they are integrated to the waters of the rivers, where they can destroy many types of aquatic life.

.  Mineral residuals and metallic salts:  these waste can end up being polluting agents in the rivers and to cause big damages in the distribution and quantity of flora and fauna. Its presence in the waters of the seas, makes that the pollutants concentrate on some species that live in the place, without causing them the death, but the toxic residuals can arrive at the man, if this it consumes this organisms.

Derived of the petroleum:  these residuals have different sources and they arrive to the waters in different ways. For example:  the water of the rains washes the streets and it drags remains of tar, oils and fuels, those which finally will stop to the rivers. The residuals go forming a thin or thick layer and of this they go coming off certain toxic substances which go intoxicating the plankton, fish and the diverse aquatic organisms. In the cases in that the petroleum is eliminated in big quantities in accidental form or not for the ships (remind the case Prestige) it is formed a dense layer on the waters, called “oil spill” . This layer impedes the oxygenation of the waters and again the destruction takes place.

.  Agricultural products:  constituted by the residuals of the animals and certain chemical compounds, they are used as insecticide and fertilizers. When this type of substances is used in an uncontrelled way, they can end up destroying certain type of animals and vegetable, breaking the natural balance and harming the upper animals a lot. This pollutant type deposites the organism, and in some cases it doesn't cause the death, but yes malformations, little development, etc..



Stop 8-Freixo






The riverside vegetation, ferns, and some centennial cheesnuts trees accompanies us on the road until arriving at Freixo. We unfortunately also here find many remains of garbage (plastic, containers and even some appliances).

We continue skirting the river and we can see the station of pumping of water of Monforte and a channel of water in front that it pours to the river the surplus that there takes place. In front of the houses of the town the Muiño of Freixo that counts us according to its owner see he has intention of restoring, and that it is in quite good conservation state.

The road will drive us until the “Prey of the Company" prey of regulation of the irrigable one of the Valley of Lemos, water that has as end the irrigable of the lands and its use for our consumption.


A little before arriving to the prey it is necessary to take a path to our left (to cross the small bridge that there is on the watering channel) and you begin the ascension. This road has been recovered by the youths that came to participate to the Working Field in summer and that they cleaned the vegetation that made it impassable in some areas. During the itinerary, you can enjoy the views of the Valley of Reigada and Remoín, of the vegetation, of the beautiful landscapes of the mount Cornao and of the call it  Pena do Corvodo (located to the right). This lands were inhabited by pre-romanesque cultures and there are numerous Castros and other vestiges for the area. An example is the Castro of O Cornao that is above Pena do Corvo.





To notice where the mimosas are:  Doesn't it call the attention the frondage with which they grow? Is it seen that they don't leave space so that another type of plants grows where they are? Is a typical plant of the area?


 Mimosa:  scientific name Acacia dealbata. It is very frequent, so much that lately it has become a plague that competes with the autochthonous plants and it ends up displacing them. It is originated of Australia and it was introduced as ornamental plant. In it emphasizes the attractive and fragrant yellow flowers that flourish from January to February. It is considered as invader plant because it reproduces with a lot of easiness and their roots are able to pass all kinds of obstacles. As it reproduces so well and with the small plants growing some next to other, it does not  leave space so that the rest of plants can grow and with supreme speed they go colonizing all land.


One of the characteristics of our forests is the great diversity of arboreal species that they compose it. Besides the chestnut tree or the oak, many other trees are inserted depending on the altitude and of the climate:  pines, poplars, walnuts, alder trees, maples, hazel trees... These are examples of that diversity that has been traditionally utilized to extract multitude of useful resources to the man. The last decades have seen, however, how a part of this botanical wealth disappeared substituted by strange species, looking for an exclusively timber productivity incompatible with the ecological balance. Example of this is the eucalyptus, of quick growth and a bigger timber productivity. From the ecological point of view the substitution of autochthonous forest for monoespecific repopulations with exotic trees is one of the most  serious environmental problems with those that many regions in these moments face.




Stop 9-Parish of A Parte





Continuing the ascension the murmur of the river is listened and accompanies us on our road. You can enjoy from the height of beautiful landscapes, rocky blooming, oaks arrays that protect us of the sun, models of isolated pines, heaths, “xestas”, “ericáceas”... We will also find two natural sources in the road. This path leads directly to the parish of A Parte, almost opposite of the Church, and from here you begins to lower for our right until arriving to the place where the San Mateo takes place. You can enjoy the beauty of the landscape here and of the joining of two rivers, the Mao and the Cabe.

Very near (taking a road that leads to the houses that we see to our left) one can enjoy a singular geologic pleat.



Stop 10-Return to Monforte





After crossing the stone bridge that crosses above the river Cabe, you take the asphalted hint that it is of front and you continue the journey going by the Mill O Penedo, in Remoín. You continue another track skirting to the river, passing below the Pena do Corvo and of the Castro of O Cornao, enjoying a beautiful and dense vegetation. This path goes until the derivation prey and from it, you continue along the road that accompanies to the left margin of the channel of irrigable of Monforte until the amusement area of Ribasaltas.


Administration of water resources  at national level


National Hydrological Plan


The objectives of this plan are that there should  exist enough water to satisfy the demands, to balance the sectoral and regional development and to increase the readiness of water, at the time that the quality is protected and  its use is limited in a rational and agreed way with the environment.

One of the problems that would bear this would be the construction of reservoirs with the consequent environmental impact, destroying numerous forests with their populations and forms of life and flooding important natural areas.

From the point of view of the sustainable development the National Hydrological Plan should lean on in concepts like  saving, efficiency, return and recycled and the combined exploitation of underground and superficial waters.


Law of Waters 1985


With it, it passed of the idea of increasing the wealth of our country fomenting the use of the water (mainly from the agricultural point of view), to the idea of protection of a scarce resource. At the same time they declared of public domain the entirety of the continental waters, both much superficial and underground.


Stop 11 



The return journey locates us again in the recreational area of Ribasaltas and by means of agricultural lands (a road fasther away from the river) we will arrive at the street of the Morín, and then along the road we will arrive at the Fluvial Club and from here we will go behindthe Convento de las Clarisas (left margin) to the Malecón and from it to the beginning of the route the Parque de los Condes.



This route also has the possibility to make it for sections or to go by car or by bicycle up to where it interests us, the recreational area of Ribasaltas or from the prey of the company, they are two good tracts if we want to divide the route.






      José Ramón Casanova Otero y Ángela Rodríguez González.