Sometimes a lake turns into a beach, and a beach turns into a church.
Over the last years the Ullíbarri-Gamboa reservoir has held an increasing and important recreative use of its natural area, with appreciable social value and providing a peculiar quality label for the Nature Tourism in Álava (Spain).The Ullíbarri-Gamboa reservoir is one of the most important human water supply reservoirs of Álava and Vizcaya.The area of this reservoir has been able to use the changes which were produced in the landscape by humans, creating aquatic environments with a very high environmental value.
This Natural Area is placed between the Llanada Alavesa and the mountains at the north of the Territorio Histórico, which is a transition area from the oceanic influence to the continental climate of the inland, and it combines oakwoods and gall-oak forests with areas with thick banks, marsh and lake ecosystems, wide water sheds and urban and recreative nucleus, allowing a human compatible use with the conservation of its natural resources.Quiet walking, birds observation, tourism by bicycle, picnic, bathing, Nature Interpretation activities or just landscape contemplation are activities specially recommended for being developed in Garaio. Personally, I like to walk all around the lake and watch flowers, fences, wild horses (too far this time) and people bathing in a lake, which is more difficult than on the sea.
Last time I went there, during my LCA stage 1, something happened when I was laid on the ground sunbathing and reading a book. I group of people came and stood on the shore. They were dressed in south American traditional dresses (maybe from Peru or Bolivia, please, if someone knows…) They were waiting for others to come. And then…. The baptism started. I didn’t want to be very close. I remember when my niece was baptized in the catholic church, there was a group of foreign people taking pictures and we got so angry….
It was an awesome experience, 6 baptism were made during those few minutes. I lost my faith some time ago but seeing those people submerging for faith is the closest I’ve been to God in a lot of time.