Los pueblos negros

Los pueblos negros

Approximate length: 15 Kilometers.
Duration: From 5 to 6 hours (including stops).
Slope: Maximum height: 1.767m. Minimum height: 1.230 m.
Character: Hiking.
Places of interest: the towns of Becerril, Serracín and El Muyo (the "black" towns), Alquité, Madriguera and Villacorta (the "red" villages).
Viewpoints: Valdebecerril (1.767 m.)
Botanical notes: Oak (Quercus pyrenaica), Holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia), Yew (Taxus baccata), Juniper creeping (Juniperus communis var. Nana), Mountain ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Wild rose (Rosa canina) and Heath (Erica autralis) ).


Our starting point is located in the Becerril square. We left the town in a southerly direction. In front of us are the foothills of the Sierra de Ayllón, forming a kind of amphitheater. To 1 kilometer approximately of the town the road forks. We must follow the one on our left that, at the height of a small reservoir of water, we see how it gently begins to climb the slope. From here we can see in the area known as Los Campillos on our right, a dark green stains that from the top of the mountain and in a scattered way are dropped downhill. It is the redoubt of Yew Becerril.

Our path always runs uphill and south, right between the Cambrones River divide on our left and Hociquilla on our right.

Holm oaks, heathers and junipers come to meet us as we ascend. In most of the specimens the browsing of sheep and cows is appreciated feeding on their leaves.

At the height of the Campazo our road becomes more tortuous and steep and it becomes a path practically at the height of an extensive oak tree on our left. We will follow the path towards the pass. Here the mountain ash tree makes an appearance, a true botanical jewel.

Once in the hill, and after having recovered from the effort, we will continue to our left, towards the geodetic vertex of Valdebecerril, the highest point of our route and privileged viewpoint of the Segovian and Guadalajaran slopes. From this point and in a southwesterly direction, we contemplate the Hayedo de Tejera Negra Natural Park, which together with the Hayedo de la Pedrosa on the Segovia slope and the Montejo de la Sierra in the province of Madrid, are the southernmost in Europe.

An extensive zone of wild pine repopulation extends through the valleys of the Guadalajara slope. It will not be strange to stumble over some roe deer, very abundant in these mountains. Something more difficult will be that we can surprise some boar, also very abundant. And much, much more difficult it will be to see the wolf, that during the last decade has been extending its radius of action of the south basin of the Duero, thanks to the increase of its population when considering itself a species in danger of extinction in this geographic area. As if it were an old feudal lord, he comes to claim his hunting domains. Not in vain this geography is plagued by place names referring to its presence as the nearby Pico del Lobo.

From Valdebecerril we will continue on our left, always guided by the fence that marks the provincial limit and that runs along the crest of the mountain in gentle descent about 3 kilometers to the Collado de Puerto Infante. Once here and after crossing the iron gate we will turn north along a well-marked path that will lead us to the town of El Muyo in just under an hour and a half if we stop to enjoy the fall of the water at the height of the place of Las Chorreras. The hillsides populated with oak descend to El Muyo.

After resting in El Muyo or abandoning us to the walk through its streets, we leave this one by the road that leads to Madriguera. Now our itinerary is signaled to Becerril by some indicator arrows placed on some wooden poles. At 500 meters, at the height of the football field (I can not imagine here the stars of the Spanish league), we must leave the road and continue on a path in a northwest direction. Be careful, because after a couple of kilometers it disappears. Here the best will be guided by the power line that from El Muyo reaches Serracín, the second of our black towns.

The bulrush of the church stands proud despite the fact that it has lost its cover and bells and go know how many more things.

Last section of our itinerary. Surrounding the small hamlet, we must continue northwest, always accompanied by wooden beacons. At approximately 1 kilometer, we will leave our path to continue towards the southwest at the foot of the hill of the slate by a narrow path that descends to cross the river Cambrones. From here and in little more than half an hour we will arrive to Becerril, to its square, eyes full of overwhelming beauty and in the heart the indelible mark of a unique region, at the foot of the Sierra de Ayllón, in the almost forgotten northeast of Segovia .

Where: The town of Becerril is located at 18 kilometers from Riaza, which can be reached by the N-110 or Soria road.

When: Spring and autumn are the most recommended times for this itinerary, due to the mild temperatures.

Who: circular route physically demanding due to the 537 meters of altitude that we have to save, recommended for people with a certain physical tone and accustomed to walking, although the beauty of its villages and the spectacular nature of its landscapes compensate for any physical effort.

Mapping: sheet 432 1 scale: 50.000 of the National Geographic Institute

Curiosities: the yew tree is not any tree. Just as its roots sink into the earth, its mythology and legend sink into the mists of time. Since ancient times it has been linked to cemeteries already considered a sacred tree. Its evergreen evergreen leaves symbolized eternal life and the tree became the vehicle of souls on their journey to the afterlife. Adored as a divinity by pagan cults, it is linked to churches and hermitages in more recent times, in Spain especially in the Cantabrian Mountains and northern lands. Its wood, hard, imputrescible is very appreciated in cabinetmaking and from it the arches were made for the armies in the Middle Ages. But paradoxically it is a very toxic tree, due to an active principle called taxin. For that reason it was considered by the classics as a tree of the infernal regions, consecrated to the goddess Hecate, queen of the infernos. But not everything around this tree is as lugubrious as it seems and so it has left us expressions as beautiful and full of evocations as "throwing the yews".

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