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After the Footprints of the Archpriest

After the Footprints of the Archpriest

Approximate length: 11 kilometers.

Duration: 4 hours.

Slope: maximum height: 1.498 m. minimum height: 1.200 m.

Character: trekking. road suitable for mountain bike.

Places of interest:

  • Port of the tablada or balat humayd of the Arabs peña of the Archpriest of Hita (natural monument)

Botanical notes:

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)

This part of the Sierra, the land, the mountain, trembled under the hooves of the Arabian horses that crossed it in constant skirmishes towards the Christian kingdoms located to the north of the line of the Duero. Nothing remains here that testifies to the passage of the hordes of Islam, unless some curious place names that today appear on our maps: The Watchtower or the beautiful valley of the River Moros. It is also curious to note the presence of toponyms related to the south of the Peninsula: Cerro de la Sevillana, Collado de la Sevillana, Ladera de Gibraltar, Collado de Gibraltar. Over the centuries the Muslims retreated further and further south and the name of Balat Humayd faded into the shadows of time.

It would not be until the mid-fourteenth century when this mountain pass jumped back to the pages, in this case the Book of Good Love, from the hand of the archpriest of Hita, and with the name of the portico of the Tablada. We could say without fear of making mistakes that Juan Ruiz was one of the first precursors of what we know today as hiking or, in its English meaning, trekking. However, in those years, the mountain passages were guarded and the toll was charged, a space of tax to the daring walkers of these heights. In one of his paragraphs Juan Ruiz tells us about his encounter with Aldara, the ugly Serrano de Tablada:

"You will be well come, you will be my husband and I your evening".

And it gives us a detailed physical description:

"He had his tits hanging on his jerkin, they gave him at the waist because they were bent, that if they were not fastened, they would give him on the side ..."

Nothing remains of the presence of such terrible serranas ...

Description of the itinerary

Two trains, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, make their stop at the station stop of the Tablada, an old sale on one of the busiest roads in the sierra in medieval times.

Our itinerary starts here, at the station of the plank, going up a paved road that connects it with the nvi. A hundred meters before reaching this one, on the right hand, a line of cattle climbs, which we access after crossing a metal porthole. Our path climbs the rope through a forest track from cercedilla to connect with some sharp tracks that lead us to the port of the tablada.

A few 200 meters above this and located on the same rope is the Peña del Arcipreste de Hita, declared in 1930 natural monument of national interest on the initiative of the Rsa Peñalara and the language academy. Under the impressive rock and taking advantage of a hollow, a wooden chest keeps, with luck, a copy of the Book of Good Love, and a string of handwritten notes by those who, like Juan Ruiz, have decided to follow in their footsteps and make us share their restlessness, sensations and feelings, as the archpriest did several centuries ago.

From here we enter the splendid forest mass of wild pine of the Moros River Gorge, first descending gently on a path marked at times with mountainous landmarks and in a northwest direction. In 1 kilometer approximately our path leads to a forest track that, leaving behind a cattle farm first and a small quarry later, will lead us to another metal gate. At this point a white and red mark will point us to the long-distance path gr-88 that we will follow to the left of the forest track that we were bringing. We descend to the Panera recreational area where we can take advantage of a well-deserved rest or in the best of cases, and if we have opted to take the trip in the summer months, take a dip in its natural pools of ice cream.

In a few 3 kilometers plus a paved road will take us from here to El Espinar Station.

  • Where. We propose as a means of transport to carry out this itinerary the suburban train that, either from Segovia, or from Madrid, stops at the station stop of the railway station. But beware ... because he only does it twice a day! for the return we can take a train in the station of the spine with more frequent stops. We recommend finding out about renFe or any of its stations about the schedules.
  • When. Any time of the year is good for this linear itinerary of approximately 11 kilometers and of low difficulty.
  • Who. Itinerary suitable for anyone and especially recommended for school groups and families for its outstanding scenic, environmental and cultural interest. Especially recommended for mountain biking.
  • Mapping. Sheet 508-iii 1 scale: 25.000 of the national geographic service.
  • Curiosities. The port of Balat Humayd witnessed the passage of the hosts of Islam in the incursions made every year to Christian lands. in the same way it was used by the Christian armies. thus, according to the chronicle of sampiro, bishop of astorga, towards the 933 the troops of ramiro ii of lion crossed the mountain range by this point to put siege to the border fortress of madrid. Little or very little is known about the origin of this name own Arabic. The Arabist Felix Hernandez Jimenez ventured the possibility that his name was due to the Berber caudillo Jalid b. Humayd, who came to the peninsula from North Africa to pacify and guide the Maghreb, at the end of the s. viii, to his Berber compatriots in one of his numerous revolts against the emirs of córdoba. (July tracks, "memories of the guadarrama").