once upon a time the rio tinto railway company were 135 steam locomotives,7 electric ones and 372km of tracks to transport mineral ore from mines to the port of huelva.
the activity stopped in the early 80's.
today only stays the miners'train for visitors (see transportation tip)
you need a car for this trip.
halfway between the museum and the main station ,after 2km,.....you'll see a small lake on your left....and oposite to the lake,on your right side,of course,a narrow,in poor condition road.....take it,and the adventure starts! (no traffic arrows at all!)
first,you'll find,2km later,on right side,a forgotten cemetery,hidden in the vegetation...now,you have to leave the car to reach it!
after the visit,driving one more km you reach the pic landscape!
and then take it easy at your fantasy!
even dirt tracks are interesting and suitable for motor vehicles!
no problem at all for our peugeot !
avoid rainy days....
Housed in the company's former hospital on a hill above the Rio Tinto Company offices. Open 10.00am to 3.00pm but closed for lunch.
Galleries show the history of the area from pre-Roman through to the current company. For me the interesting exhibits were on the old hospital; the 1892 railway carriage, built in Birmingham, for a proposed visit by Queen Victoria to India and then sold to the company for a visit of King Alfonso XIII; a restored steam engine built in Leeds in the 1880's. 2 trips can be organised - a tour to see the deep pit and another, Tues to Sun (Jun to Sep) at 13.00 on the 115 year old train into the mining area.
the only way to discover rio tinto...no roads!
original mining railway with cars,some of them rather old (1912) and original diesel locomotives.
first sunday of each month:STEAM LOCOMOTIVE (120 years old!!
16.09 to 31.03:sat,sun 4pm
01.04 to 31.05:sat,sun 5pm
01.06 to 30.06:sat,sun 1pm
01.07 to 15.09:daily exc.mon 1pm and 5pm
buy your ticket to mines museum (museo minero y ferroviario)
from " ASTROBIOLOGY MAGAZINE",february 10,2004:
"the rio tinto,a polluted,acidic river,offers astrobiologists achance to look for exotic life.As part of the search for Mars analogs,the blood river is an expedition target to drill for core samples and test satellite links in preparation for remote robots that might survey the red planet.....
During the Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE),scientists and engineers from NASA,US universities and spanish Centro de Astrobiologia hope to show how robot systems could look for life below Mars' surface.Bacteria may dwell beneath the surface,eating minerals derived from subsurface rocks that contaimn iron and sulfur.
Similar bacteria are in the very acidic Rio Tinto,and these microbes may play a role in producing acid in the river.
Located in a region that legend claims was part of King Solomon's mines,the Rio Tinto looks like deep,red wine,because iron is dissolved in the highly acidic river water.Mining activity at the Tinto River dates back at least 5000 years"
(from ASTROBIOLOGY MAGAZINE,10.02.2004)
NASA office stays in museum buildings.
look at the pines at the back stage!
seeing their size,they seem rather young...
but the truth is different:they are more than 100 years old and their actual size is due to the earth acidity!
1200m long,330m deep in sierra morena.
in red upper part:gold and silver
Fondest memory: because of low copper quotation:stop the mining in 1986.
since 1986,keeping the mine in repair (roads and pumping mainly) in the hope of better copper quotations!
things look so small inside the open cast mine!each mine store reaches the height of a 5 stores building!