OUCC Proceedings 7 (1975)

Rales Area: Other Caves

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Cueva los Alloros

The village lads showed us this cave, on the hillside overlooking the resurgence. Two entrance pitches~,one (about 6m) climbable with a rope lead into a sloping rift chamber. The rift narrows down and eventually chokes in all directions. When we were shown this cave, we took little interest, as it did not lie near any known part of Fuentica. However, the later discovery of the downstream series in Fuentica showed that in fact there is a large chamber not far from Alloros, so some determined digging might make a connection. Guy Cox

Cueva de las Botellas

This cave was also discovered for our delight by the local youth and is situated about a third of the way up the south face of the Cuera del Castillo, east of the saddle behind which Fuentica is situated. It consists of an enlarged, steeply sloping bedding plane(the bedding here is almost vertical) which is descended for about 10m with the aid of a rope. The walls are covered by richly coloured flowstone and the chamber at the bottom also has some good stalactites. The floor was made of mud and there appeared to be an old water level about a. metre above it and it is possible that there is a choked connection to the Main Chamber series of the Rales system.

The name of this cave appears to be misleading, there being no debris of any kind in it and our limited mastery of the Spanish tongue did little to establish any logic behind it. Martin Laverty.

Un-named Sink near Samoreli

About 0.5km beyond Samoreli there is a large, tree-filled polje to the south of the ridge which can be descended with difficulty through gorse, brambles, nettles and other vegetational hazards to a small limestone cliff. This appears to have been the arch of a fairly large cave entrance which has now been filled in by mud and debris from the polje, but a small stream sinks several metres from the cliff. It is not known whether or not this water reappears in Rales or drains into another cave system and any digging here would be a massive task. Martin Laverty & Peter Friend

Un-named Cave under Road

Walking down the unsurfaced road from Los Carriles towards Rales, a small stream is encountered on the left hand-side of the road. This leaves the surface via a culvert constructed for it under the road. This is a well-built, if not roomy, cave which soon joins a natural passage which was not followed but provides an interesting possibility for further exploration - could this be a true, if small, sink for the Rales System, which seems to be almost entirely percolation fed. Martin Laverty

Football Cave

This is a small choked hole near the 7km stone on the Rales - Nueva road whose chief claim to fame is having been found by local children who lost their ball in the ditch, a closer investigation of which revealed said cavity.  Martin Laverty

Cueva la Vizcaina

Entrance Co-ordinates: 5014 9796. This cave may be a sink for the Rales System. It is situated on the limestone- sandstone boundary to the north of the Cuera del Castillo ridge and the 3m high entrance can be seen from the fields below the hamlet of Los Carriles. A dry stream bed leads west from the entrance, a small stream draining the polje sinking about 100m away into its bed. The initial walking size passage, dry at the time of our visits, lowers until it reaches a series of pools. These contained much unsavoury debris and what appeared to be static water. Several narrow, mainly flooded passages were seen to continue and pushing of these minimal air-spaces or diving may well pay dividends, as could some form of water tracing between here and Rales.

This cave was revisited in 1975 with intriguing results. All the debris had disappeared from the final pools which were clear and had no passable ways on. However, the entrance was almost totally blocked by festering debris built up behind a jammed tree-trunk. This testifies once again to the floods which apparently occur in this region in, we have vague reasons to believe, autumn and spring. However, no study has been carried out by us of the regime of the rivers and cave streams of the area, although the results of the floods are chillingly clearly displayed and an understanding of such factors could be very interesting. Martin Laverty, Guy Cox & Peter Friend

Un-named Cave near Vizcaina

This is another cave which was found for us by the Spaniards and in this case they also enlarged the entrance in order to gain admittance. The hole is situated on the limestone-sandstone boundary between Cueva la Vizcaina and the adjacent col and involves a 5m descent, which requires a rope, to a small chamber. All ways on are choked by rock falls but there seemed to be various draughts emanating from these. This cave was not named, but contained a fair number of bottles. Martin Laverty.