Journey to the Alcarria: Stage 6

The stretch between Budia and Durón on a journey that combines literature and life.

By Diputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Diputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Journey to the Alcarria. Text for the sixth leg (1948) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

This fragrant passage is from the sixth stage of the book "Journey to the Alcarria," in this project that combines the themes of literature and life.

"There are more than seven hundred different aromatic herbs around here; maybe that's why the honey is of such good quality."

Map for the sixth leg: Budia – Duron (2016) by Fernando Toquero y Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The sixth stage of the Journey to the Alcarria runs from Budia to Durón, covering a total of 6 miles on foot.

Breakfast in Budia (2018) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The stomach is the barometer of health."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

Assertions such as this one make the book a manual of popular wisdom.

Field towards El Olivar (2016) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"He had thought he would return to Durón by the same road along which he had come to Budia, but changes his mind and goes right up the mountainside, sometimes taking paths that are almost obliterated, to get near El Olivar."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

On the path finally chosen, water flows.

Streets of El Olivar (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"El Olivar is about half a league from Budia."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

A league is a unit of measurement that is barely used today, equivalent to 3.46 miles. Half a league is therefore 1.7 miles.

Chuch of El Olivar (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

As Antonio Herrera Casado, historian of Guadalajara province, writes: "The parish church of El Olivar, devoted to the Assumption of the Virgin, is a magnificent work of Renaissance architecture."

Its antiquity suggests it was built during the time of the area's reconquest, in the first half of the 12th century.

El Olivar (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"A shepherd is watching his flock in the gorge of a stream."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

The descendants of almost all the characters in the book still live in the same areas of the Alcarria, almost 70 years after it was published.

View from El Olivar (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Lovely view." "Yes, so they say. Listen, are you from Guadalajara, maybe?" "No, why?" "Nothing; it's just that everybody from Guadalajara says the same thing when they come up here."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

One thing's for sure: 70 years after this description, the view is as beautiful as ever.

Local cuisine (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The traveler, who has replenished his supplies in Budia, opens his pack to eat."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

Mushrooms are an important ingredient in Alcarrian food, and in the province of Guadalajara in general.

Walkers (2014) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The traveler, as he descends the slope talking and smoking with the shepherd, sees some distance away a wild-looking boy with his hair grown down over his neck and his chest bare."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

You travel with whoever you happen to meet along the way. Making friends on the road is an enriching experience, as Cela has shown us.

Aromatic herbs (2014) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The Alcarria—especially its hills and valleys—has a wealth of herbs and flowers, such as different varieties of lavender, rosemary, thyme, and sage, which have encouraged the hives that produce Alcarria's honey to be built.

Bees (2018) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"There are more than seven hundred different aromatic herbs around here; maybe that's why the honey is of such good quality."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

The bees produce their tasty honey from Alcarrian flowers.

Field towards Duron (2014) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The traveler has to take the descent very carefully so as not to slip and break his ribs, and about halfway along he sits down to rest for a while."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

Every terrain has its challenges, and going downhill is, strangely enough, as hard as going up. This quote reveals how the writer rationed his breaks.

Walkers (2014) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Back with the flock again, the traveler says goodbye to his friend Roque and starts out in search of Durón."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

The road goes on. The essence of a journey is being on the move and, inevitably, bidding farewell to other walkers.

View of Duron (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"You can't see the town till you're right on top of it. The traveler has gone a little out of the way and reaches the town by way of the mountain of Trascastillo; on its lower slope is the cut of El Tirador which he crossed yesterday after nightfall on his way to Budia."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

On this stretch, Cela seems to retrace his steps, just as we do in life.

Sundial in Duron (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Durón is a town in three sections, two on the side of the mountain and a smaller one along the road the traveler is about to take, beside the garden plots."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

A sundial welcomes visitors to Durón.

Calvary of Duron (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Four or five black poplars as thin as whistles are swaying in the afternoon breeze."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

The landscape, fountains, and people of Durón left their mark on the writer.

Streets of Duron (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Durón lived through the reconquest of the early 12th century, and King John II of Castile made it a separate jurisdiction in 1437. It still has several emblazoned houses dating from between the 16th and the 18th centuries.

Hermitage of La Soledad (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Through the cut of El Tirador and beside the highway runs the Soledad, with some little meadows along its banks almost hidden in the trees; it is a very bucolic landscape, which looks as if it had been taken from a tapestry."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

The Hermitage of La Soledad was located next to the Tagus River, but when the Entrepeñas reservoir was created, it was completely rebuilt at the top of the hill.

Wineskin (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

When Camilo José Cela traveled through the Alcarria in 1946, it was normal to carry wine around in a wineskin. This is somewhat less common 70 years later, but wineskins are still an interesting element of cultural history.

Wineskins have undergone several changes over the years. The very earliest versions were not what we might recognize today. They were very large, made from entire animal skins, and could hold up to about 32 gallons.

Credits: Story

Coordinators: Aurora Batanero, Mario G. Somoano, and Marcelino Ayuso (Department of Press and Tourism, Guadalajara Provincial Council)

Project producer: Guadalajara Provincial Council

Texts: Laura Domínguez and Fernando Toquero
Photography: Alfonso Romo, Enrique Delgado, Laura Domínguez, and Fernando Toquero

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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