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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: trekking.

Places of interest:

  • The towns of Becerril, Serracín, El Negredo and El Muyo (the "black" towns)
  • Madriguera and Villacorta (the "red" towns)
  • Alquité and Martin Muñoz de Ayllón (the "yellow" people)
  • Lookouts:
    • Valdebecerril (1.767 m)

Botanical notes:

  • Oak (Quercus pyrenaica)
  • Holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia)
  • Yew (Taxus baccata)
  • Creeping juniper (Juniperus communis var. Nana) Mountain ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
  • Wild rose (Rosa canina)
  • Heather (Erica autralis)

In the year 2000 Becerril had 16 inhabitants, El Muyo had 9 and Serracín was uninhabited. Today things have not changed much and despite the fact that there is a certain resurgence of life in the villages, mainly thanks to rural tourism, there are hardly any new settlements in this remote corner of the province of Segovia.

Located at the foot of the Ayllón mountain range, between the port of La Quesera and the Collado de Puerto Infante, they border the province of Guadalajara to the south and the Pela sierra to the northeast, in the province of Soria.

As in the villages of the Valley, they survive in the highest areas of their peaks, on the shadiest slopes, true botanical treasures. The beech forest of La Pedrosa in its Segovian slope or that of the Tejera Negra, declared a Natural Park, in its slopes of Guadalajara and the redoubt of Becerril yew trees tell us of other times where the climate was possibly colder and the mountains were covered with another Type of vegetation. For centuries, millennia, possibly millions of years have been present in these mountains. Today a very small number of specimens have survived the passage of time, the change of seasons, the disappearance of glaciers, fires and especially the axes of men.

Also in the towns of Becerril, El Muyo and Serracín, the men, a very small group of them, cling to the houses of their ancestors made of slate, which gives them an unmistakable and beautiful color almost black.

The belfry of the church of Serracín stands proud against the sky. In the distance you can see the holes where the bells once tolled. As the autumn afternoon falls, the footsteps resound in the lonely streets, silent, cold and a terrible feeling of nostalgia fills the air. I wonder what will happen to the yews, the beeches, the people and the people who still live in a hundred years ...

Description of the itinerary

Our starting point is located in the plaza de Becerril. 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 road always runs uphill and south, just between the river divide Cambrones to our left and Hociquilla to 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 Campaign our road becomes more tortuous and steeper and this 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 on the hill, and after having recovered from the effort, we will continue to our left, towards the geodesic vertex of Valdebecerril, maximum height of our route and privileged viewpoint of the Segovian and Guadalajaran slopes. From this point and in a southwest direction we contemplate the Natural Park of the Hayedo de Tejera Negra that together with the Hayedo de la Pedrosa on the Segovian slope and Montejo de la Sierra in the province of Madrid, they are the southernmost in Europe.

An extensive area 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 full of place names referring to its presence as the near peak of the wolf.

From Valdebecerril 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 for a fireplace well marked 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 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, we must leave the road and continue on a path in a northwest direction. eye, 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 reach 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 Ayllón mountain range, 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 height that we have to save, recommended for people with a certain physical tone and accustomed to walking, although the beauty of their villages and the spectacular nature of their 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 considered already 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 it was made the arches for the armies in the middle ages.

But paradoxically it is a very toxic tree, due to an active principle called taxin. For this reason it was considered by the classics as a tree of the infernal regions, consecrated to the goddess Hecate, queen of the underworld.

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".