The old doctor’s house –dating to 1957 is an example of the traditional architecture of the area that has been converted to rural apartments– is the starting point of this 5,900 km circular route that goes through the splendid Dehesa Boyal of Horcajo de la Sierra, an sparse oak woodland where cattle is pastured. 1,305 km of the route are traversed on the M-141 road, and although cars are few and far between the hikers should be cautious and always walk on the left side of the road –it is mandatory for pedestrians walking on roads–. The remaining route goes through a rural path hedged by great blackberry bushes (Rubus fruticosus), called the Camino del Canal. This path ends in the dehesa and from there the hiker will walk amongst the oaks (Quercus pyrenaica) of the typical sparse woodland. The way to the site known as “La Fresneda” is perfectly signaled by wooden markers, but the return route to Horcajo de la Sierra is not, however the lay of the land makes it impossible to miss the way.
The old doctor’s house , on Calle de la Carretera 62, dates back to 1957 and is a prime example of the traditional architectural style. It has been converted to rural apartments distributed in two rectangular stories accessed by a dintelled porticoed entrance. From here, take the M-141 road towards Madarcos to leave Horcajo de la Sierra .
After traversing 130 meters we will leave this road to continue on the rural path that starts on the left, the Camino del Canal, hedged on both sides by low stone fences covered in brambles . After traversing 375 meters we will come upon a crossroads. The hiker must keep straight ahead for the entire route . About 540 meters later, we will arrive to a structure belonging to the Canal del Isabel II, a water channel that crosses a large part of Castille supplying water to the dryer areas. At this point we must turn right until we find the Dehesa Boyal, the communal pasture, delimited by two stone fences. Access to the pasture is forbidden for non-authorized vehicles. Immediately inside the dehesa we should turn left until we find another crossroads. The route begins to ascend on the left path, which is the one we should take . These “dehesas boyales” are pastures dotted with trees where the villagers take their cattle to graze. They are usually near the villages and are surrounded by communally owned lands. The name “boyal” is a version of “buey”, or ox, because older herds used to be composed mostly of gelded bulls.
After a walk of about 830 meters under the oaks, the path bifurcates again. We should take the left option to reach a site known as “La Fresneda” , because the predominant tree here is the ash tree or “fresno” (Fraxinus angustifolia) that grows next to the drinking trough where the cattle comes to drink. We will see some corrals and barns and a livestock chute used to isolate individuals for veterinary or other reasons. In the distance we can see the village of Robregordo. At this point we have reached the end of the route and we can return to Horcajo de la Sierra. For those who would like to continue, the path on the right continues upwards, ascending to the Monte Hueco, a hill covered in large oaks and abundant holly trees.
From the Fresneda the hiker will retrace their steps until reaching Point 7, and from there will continue on the main forest path, that veers to the left . After walking 750 meters under the oaks we will see one of the exits of the Dehesa . From here the way goes down to the M-141 road. We will take a right on this road and again the hiker is reminded to be extremely cautious, because there is car traffic on the road, and follow the rules of the road . Take a right on the next crossroads and follow the sign that will take you back to Horcajo de la Sierra . The municipal sports center will be on our right when we are walking on the road . After 180 meters we will have reached Point 2 . From there we will return to the old doctor’s house. At this point the itinerary has been completed and we can continue on the road.
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