The Belelle waterfall

The river Belelle is a cousin of the Eume. It starts, like this one, within the limits of the Natural Park of the Fragas do Eume, but its trajectory goes northeast to the Ferrol estuary, shaping it along with other water courses such as the Rio Grande de Xubia. Like the Eume, the Belelle river traverses a wild terrain full of twists: in one of these large slopes is where this waterfall is located.

The path that reaches the waterfall is easy to cover for those minimally trained in hiking. It has some steep sections, but they are usually short. You must also be careful, as in any route through the mountains of Galicia, not to stumble over tree roots, some of which sometimes seem strategically placed to trip you.

To get to the beginning of the route from the city of Ferrol, you have to take the AP-9 motorway and exit just after crossing the estuary, taking the road Neda. After passing this town, take the AC-862 towards As Pontes and, just one kilometre later, turn right and drive along the DP-5503 road until you reach the signpost leading to the waterfall.

On the way to the beginning of the route, you will pass by the Pazo de Isabel II, a building unique for the work that was carried out inside. Being Ferrol the great naval military base of northern Spain and one of the main fishing ports of the region, in the XVIII and XIX centuries the factories devoted to supplying the fleet prospered. This particular one made sails.

The factory used the force of the water of the Belelle to move the machines that softened the fabric from which the pieces of cloth would later be made. The same type of energy was used by the mills that you will find walking along the path by the river, testament of a time when they were crucial to the Galician economy.

The river is not lacking in strength. The route, which can be done in just over an hour, begins next to the plant that powers the city of Ferrol. Walking upstream you can see several small waterfalls and walk along a stone channel. Then you will find the majestic waterfall, which appears behind a turn of the road among the riverside vegetation. It has a fall of more than forty metres; in the dry season the current separates into two parallel falls, but when the river is full the show is magnificent, even troubling, because the water falls with huge force and a loud rumble. Beautiful natural pools form at the foot of the waterfall; you have to be very careful if you decide to approach them, because the stones are quite slippery.

Along the route you will find some spots to sit down to rest, and admire the landscape. In one of the paths there is even a small viewpoint with a covered circular bench, very intriguing architecturally,  which offers a good view over the narrow river. From the Pazo de Isabel II and back the route covers seven and a half kilometres, or about four if you start at the end of the very narrow road by the power plant.

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