Alhamilla sleeping giant
Alhamilla the big strange of Almeria, as a sleeping giant looking always at the sea; so is perceived for locals this small range of mountins that run the Almeria province from East to West at the northern border of Cabo de Gata National Park and just at the south of the Tabernas desert.
Alhamilla emerged 7 million years ago from the seabed and Earth´s core. It is one of the mountains of the so-called Baetic Massif, so as Filabres, Gador or Nevada, being raised as its neighbours around 2 centimeters every 100 years. Its rocks, mainly schist, quartzites, limestone and some other metamorphics are older than 250 million of years, sometimes more than 500 millions and they are intensely distorted, twisted, folded and mineralized.
Alhamilla´s name can be linked, although it is not sure, to the arab language (al-hammam = the baths) alluding perhaps to the two known places with thermal water that exist at the place.
One of the best preserved holm-oak tree forest is still preserved just at the top, that talk by itself how it was the wilderness in the area some thousands of years ago, before humans came in times of first colonizations to exploit the abundant minerals in Almeria lands; for feeding the furnaces built for melting the mineral, it was used the wood of these trees, what happened not only in this area but in all the Almeria province. In roman times it is documented that people knew that they were arriving to this point on Hispania map because of the big smoke columns in the sky, resulting from the intense mining activity.
Nowadays a mixed forest of oaks and pines can be found in the heights, growing under the scarce rainfalls that happen in the area, and living so in highly stressed hydrological conditions.
The mining activity has been present in Alhamilla till the past century and still can be found lot of places linked to the industry, that make these mountains an enjoyable place lost in the time in the middle of a dramatic landscape.
At different altitudes some villages as Lucainena, Nijar or Turrillas can be found; traditional gastronomy, film locations, quiet places and a lot of Nature.
Do you dare to discover the Almeria sleeping giant??