Madrid: The Memory of Oblivion

We are going to the Sierra Norte. Bustarviejo welcomes us always with open arms, and always full of surprises. This town oozes nature, history and archaeological remains of the modern era: silver mines, post-war prisons, abandoned railways… And this route that we propose is full of places that were, but are no longer. They had great relevance in their time, but now they are still memories that keep in their walls, in their rails and in their tunnels, thousands of stories of forced labor, deprivation of liberty, millions of euros invested in vain and a lot of history to tell and remember not to repeat.

Because forgetting history is an injustice to the past.

We start our route touring the old Madrid-Burgos railway, a route that in 2011, after a collapse in one of its tunnels, was closed until today. Hundreds of millions of euros deteriorating by leaps and bounds. After walking along the viaduct of La Gargüera, 105.63 miles long and 16.16 miles high, we enter the tunnel of La Cargüera: 154.1 miles dug by political prisoners.

On the way out we come across the dehesa boyal de Bustarviejo, one of the oldest dehesas in the region. A place full of diversity.


And the highlight of our route is within this privileged meadow: the Bustarviejo Penal Detachment. In this detachment lived and worked from the end of 1944 both political and common prisoners, included in the “Plan de Redención de penas por el trabajo”. With 2/4 this plan the prisoner was able to reduce up to a third of his sentence. But sometimes at a very high price.

After passing by the penal detachment, we will continue the route in a circular way until.

we return to our point of origin: the Old Station of Bustarviejo – Valdemanco.



39.77 Miles

elevation gain

251.53 Yards



trail type




Detalle de la ruta

We will make several explanatory stops along the way. One of them will be 25 minutes to have a snack and regain strength.

There is only one section with some complication due to the accumulated slope in just 15 minutes. The rest of the way is very smooth, with hardly any unevenness.

Important Information

We are in a rural area and forest trails, so the use of appropriate footwear for the terrain (hiking or mountain shoes-boots) is mandatory. It is also necessary to carry at least a liter and a half of water or other valid hydration. There are no fountains along the route. It is recommended to bring warm clothes and a raincoat. Don’t forget to bring sun cream and a hat. It is advisable to carry some food in your backpack: fruit, nuts, chocolate… whatever you need to replenish your strength at any given moment.

Some of our activities in Madrid can be combined with each other. For more information, please contact us.

Punto de encuentro

Bustarviejo station car park.

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