La Ribera Salada
La Ribera Salada is a river that runs the Solsonès, born to the north of the region and ends at the river Segre. Places of great beauty surround the course of this stream, an area where the Solsonès changes its soft terrain to a more abrupt one, marked by mountains that are a prelude to the Pyrenees.
In this route we will take a tour of some of the places of the Ribera Salada but, also, we will visit the surroundings of the river basin, with extraordinary landscapes that we will be able to observe from several viewpoints, in addition we will be able to know the origin of the denomination of this course Of water which, as its name says, has a close relationship with salt even though it is very far from the sea.
The Clop Bridge
To get to the Ribera Salada we will come from Solsona by the C-26, in the direction of Bassella, and we will take the detour where the LV-4011 road starts in the direction of Cambrils and Montpol, we will follow this road until we reach the Clop Bridge, Where the road crosses this watercourse.
At this height of the Ribera Salada the river widens and has created a wide plain beside it. In this place we can make a stop and take a stroll through the surroundings, observe the waters of the river, the cleanest of Catalonia, or the ruins of the old inn. The quality of the water, the shallow depth of this section and the esplanade next to it, make during the summer, the Clop Bridge becomes an inland beach that attracts bathers from Solsona and other nearby towns. Upstream we can see the serpent channel, a stretch where the passage of water has shaped with very curious shapes the stones that surround the river, gorges that make of this section of the river a small gorge of rounded lines.
Aigüesjuntes and Montpol
Once we have left behind the bridge of the Clop we will go to Aigüesjuntes, as indicated by its name in this place are joined by two different water courses, the river Frio and the stream of Canalda, which, once joined, form the Ribera Salada. Therefore, the name of Ribera Salada begins to apply from this place down. The cold river, which is born in Cambrils, is called this way because much of its route passes between gorges, a narrow valley and little sunny, therefore the water that passes is little exposed to the sun and its temperature is lower. On the other hand, the stream of Canalda has a warmer water thanks to the fact of passing through a wider and sunny valley. To get there, take the LV-4011 road that leads to the houses of Montpol, follow the road and, shortly after passing through the houses, we will arrive at Aigüesjuntes.
Returning to the LV-4011 road we will pass by the church of San Miguel de Montpol, a building built between the seventeenth and the nineteenth heirs of an old church that disappeared, along with the castle, on top of the Rock of Montpol, A very peculiar big rock located next to the plane where the present temple is raised, much more accessible than the previous one. At the foot of the rock you can still find vestiges of old houses that had been hiding place of bandits and smugglers.
The viewpoint of Serra-Seca
Continuing along the LV-4011 road, towards the heart of Cambrils, we will enter the municipality of Odèn and stop at the Serra-Seca viewpoint , located very close to the road. From the point where it is indicated to follow a path in ascent and five minutes later we will arrive until the viewpoint. From there we can see a privileged view of the Ribera Salada valley, but we can also see other places such as the mountains of the Port del Compte massif and the Obacs mountain range, with the Encantadas or Montserratina, rock formations reminiscent of the Characteristics of the mountain of Montserrat. At this point, at the foot of the road, there is also a monument in memory of the passage of the Tour de France, the summer of 2009, along the road that runs along the gazebo.
The saline of Cambrils (Odèn)
After visiting the gazebo will be the time to know the close relationship that Ribera Salada and salt have, to do so we will have to reach Cambrils, one of the nuclei of the municipality of Odèn, presided over by the church of Santa Cecilia and the ruins of Old castle, once there you have to go to the saline, this place is witness to one of the few mountain saltworks that existed in Catalonia. To get there we will have to cross Cambrils center by the LV-4011 road until the end and take the L-401 towards the Coll de Jou, at km 20 we will find the corresponding detour.
Here are some sources of salt water that, at the same time, are the origin of the river Cold and the name of the Ribera Salada. In spite of having a high level of salt, downstream, this concentration is being diluted by the different tributaries of fresh water. But the most curious point of this area are its old salt pans, a vestige of what was a small salt-producing industry a mile away from the coast. The history of production begins at the end of the eighteenth century and ends in 1963, producing salt for both livestock and human consumption. After the closure the facilities remained for a long time without use but a few years ago they were rehabilitated and now have become a museum where the old process of salt production is explained and salt therapies are also offered. Thus we can see old water pipes, mills, old terraces where the water evaporated to collect the salt or, also, there is the possibility of bathing in the therapeutic saltwater pool overlooking the valley of the river Frio.
The source of Cal Sala and the Elephant's Codro
Once we leave the salt flats, we can continue along the L-401 road in the direction of Coll de Jou, we will soon find the Cal Sala Fountain located in the center of Racó, in this very place, very close to the fountain, we will find the jump Of water from Cal Sala, a place where popular legends say that women of water were going to comb their hair.
Once past the Fountain of Cal Sala we can visit the Codro del Elefante, a large stone with some shapes reminiscent of an elephant, to do so we will have to go to the hermitage of San Quintín, a small Romanesque building that we will find hidden between oaks. To get there we will have to take the detour at kilometer 21.5 of the L-401 road in the direction of Coll de Jou, since we will have to follow a 1.4 kilometer forest track that we will have to do on foot during the road We will find a fork and then we will have to take the left path. Once we are there, 20 meters from the hermitage, we will find the "elephant" stone.
The Rock of Canalda
Continuing along the L-401 road we will approach the rock of Canalda, a mountain that forms part of the Port del Compte massif and which is visually characterized by its great rock wall, much appreciated by those who love rock climbing. At the foot of this wall are caves and stone shelters that, since time immemorial, have been inhabited, although today nobody lives anymore. Shortly before reaching the houses in the center of Canalda, at kilometer 36, we find a detour to the farmhouse "Can Rita", the last place of the rock that was inhabited. The ruined building is protected by a natural rock ceiling. This stone grotto was inhabited since prehistory but the house was not made until the eighteenth century, the construction owes its name to its last inhabitant who lived until the 80's of the twentieth century. You can enter inside where you can still see an old stove and a bread oven.
If we look at the house from the front we can continue to the right and take a walk along a section of the road that runs through the base of the rock of Canalda, we can find other places formerly inhabited such as, for example, the ruins of Ca Andreu, the Caves of the Espluga Melera or, finally, the caves of the Moors that can be observed elevated a few meters higher, are little accessible since at the moment it is only possible to arrive by means of climbing techniques.
The Trunfos (potatoes) of Odèn
The municipality of Odèn, formed by nuclei like Cambrils, El Racó or Canalda has in the cultivation of the trumfos one of its gastronomic specialties. The trunk of the high Solsonès, cultivated more than 1000 meters high, is a mountain potato with a taste and special qualities. Odèn has found in the trumfo an element to promote a peasantry that cultivates this tuber with natural and artisan methods. This product can be found integrated in the gastronomy of the area, but one of the moments of the year where it is most present is during the Truffle and Truffle Fair, held every March in Solsona.
Viewpoint of the Cross of the Codó
If we take the L-401 from the point where we were we arrive at the Coll de Jou, from there we can drink the water from the source at this point and make a short walk to the viewpoint of the Cross of Codó, For a while the basin of the Ribera Salada by the Cardener since from there you can see a panoramic view of San Lorenzo de Morunys, the conglomerates of the Bastets, the Sierra de Busa, Lord 's spring and the River Cardener at the height of Marsh of the Llosa de Cavall.
The Castle of Lladurs
After reaching the highest point we will close the route returning to lower lands, the Castle of Lladurs. From the Coll de Jou we take the LV-4241 road towards Solsona and when we find the picnic area of Lladurs fountains we leave the car and from there, taking a walk, we can get to the castle. It is a construction with more than a thousand years of history that today is in ruins, along with the castle is the church of San Martín, the most visible and whole element in a set with parts of several epochs, the oldest dating Of the middle ages. This old castle is located at the top of a hill that allows us to finish the route with a privileged general view of the basin of the Ribera Salada and the south of the Solsonès.