The coast of the dinosaurs

They combine the expiration of their forms subjected to erosion with the perennial sample of the species that have inhabited and inhabit it, including man and his culture. They are natural museums They tell us that in the Jurassic the dinosaurs left their mark and that Homo sapiens fished and collected mollusks. Now they are almost the same, a little older, offering each of its corners to those who want to sunbathe, fish, bathe or simply watch.

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The pediments of Ribadesella are a set of stones of all sizes joined by an invisible cement; a lace of centuries that continues its evolution towards a future of distant sand. Whipped by the winds, the pedrales are covered and discovered by the daily game of the tides. Sometimes they dress in light colors and other times in the rough and turbid clothes of the swells. One can see them walking along the riosellana high coast from different privileged promontories: the tip of the Caballu, Mount Somos, Guide or the area of ​​Hell (with recreational area included). The creek of Portiellu, Vega, Abeu, Tereñes, Punta Pozu, Cetárea, Canales, Socampo, Borines, Atalaya, Xico, Arbidel, Arra and Tomasón. In addition, human language has been designating every corner, every rock, every race ...

Caution and respect

To enjoy this coast you don't have to be reckless. Owes one bathe always accompanied and ask the locals for the least dangerous places to take a dip. Never bathe with the rough sea and know how to retire in time before the surge of the tide are basic rules. They are also leaving the pedrales in the same state that we have found them and not abusing the species that inhabit them. That is, do not litter or play to be shellfish.

A unique ecosystem on the coast of dinosaurs

The flora of the pedrales is an essential component that has continuously purified the water and fed other species. The ocean, for example, a set of algae detached from the rocks by the effect of tides and very abundant in these waters, has been appropriated by man for industrial, food and medicinal uses. One of the vestiges of this activity can be seen on the coast of Abeu. There is a crane mistreated by the weather and the years that used to be used as an instrument to raise algae. There are also many laminaria, brown and elongated algae, large, in some cases, that are exposed at low tide.

Alongside the small wells full of life, the cracks and caves or the shadow of the stones, a wide range of sponges: aquatic animals that after their death leave rigid, circular skeletons that are easy to find unless they are found. There is also a large number of planktonic beings, shaped like oval and gelatinous globes, that swim freely with transparent bodies. Anemones, corals and jellyfish are some of the best known animal forms of the riosellana coast.

El food cycle of the pedrales is like a spinning wheel. The species eat each other at the same pace as always. The base that sustains it are algae and microorganisms. Then mollusks, crustaceans and fish that are served as food for each other. The man is at the end of the chain, has used the weapon of his intelligence to catch everything and procure the food of the pedral. Llámpares, periwinkles, arcinos (oricios), barnacles, quibbles, camber, andariques, sepias, barbados, congrios, xulies, goats, seabass and, and a little further from the coast, lobsters and spider crabs, are the species that the riosellano has captured throughout history. It has served as a thorough observation of animal behavior to manufacture beakers, hooks and rods. And he has used in his favor the abundance of minor species, developing the classic "macizu" to capture larger pieces.

Prehistoric man was already nourished by all this, and over the centuries he has preserved the anthropological essence of the Rioja in relation to its vital space, also preserving the nutritional formulas of its ancestors without realizing it. They have always been frequent "flares", "bigaradas", "arcinadas" ...

The gangs prepare them in their beach bars and the bars offer them to their customers watered with cider and wine. The strength of this heritage leads to folkloric rites that speak of its harmony with nature. The quintessence of this folklorism associated with the pedral is currently the Fish party, held in the village of Tereñes in the month of August. An event that shines with its own light in that eternal ritual that men and women have agreed upon. All to one, the town of Tereñes descends to its pedral with dozens of bamboo canes. Afterwards, obtaining a good performance in collective fishing will be the best guarantee of the party that happens.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for

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