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Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero

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Weather in Ribera

20 may 2024

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Delibes Route

The Provincial Council of Valladolid promotes the so-called Delibes Routes, inviting us to explore the province through six routes based on six works of the writer. In each of these routes, complete quotes from each book appear, mentioning the visited place, providing details about the landscape, animals, plants, or customs of the countryside.

Four of these six routes explore the Valladolid's Ribera del Duero region, and they are as follows:

  • Route 2: "Diario de un cazador" (Quintanilla de Onésimo)
  • Route 3: "Mi vida al aire libre" (Quintanilla de Onésimo)
  • Route 5: "Aventuras, venturas y desventuras de un cazador a rabo" (Quintanilla de Onésimo and Peñafiel)
  • Route 6: "Con la escopeta al hombro" (Quintanilla de Onésimo)

Miguel Delibes Setién (1920-2010) was primarily a novelist and a member of the Royal Spanish Academy, but he was also a graduate in Commerce, a cartoonist, a columnist, and later a journalist and editor of the newspaper El Norte de Castilla. On a more personal note, he was known for his passion for the countryside: his role as a hunter is perhaps the most well-known, but he was also a fisherman and a naturalist. Delibes took advantage of these hobbies to travel throughout his native province, and some of these travels took place in the Ribera del Duero area of Valladolid, especially visiting the municipalities of Quintanilla de Onésimo and Peñafiel.

Route 2: "Diario de un cazador" (1955) takes place in Quintanilla de Onésimo.

Diario de un cazador (Destino, 1955) is the first diary of Miguel Delibes. The protagonist is Lorenzo, who is (in the words of the writer) his diminished self. This young school caretaker goes hunting in the province on Sundays. In this book, real towns (such as those along the route) are mixed with others that are invented. Following Lorenzo, we will get to know the first towns in Valladolid that were part of Miguel Delibes' life, including Quintanilla de Onésimo, located in the Ribera del Duero region.

Quote from Miguel Delibes in Quintanilla de Onésimo:

"On the way back, we crossed the wasteland to reach Quintanilla. On the way, I shot a partridge that seemed to have fallen asleep among the rocks for no reason. At the station, we found a hunting party that had caught two great bustards. I told Anita yesterday that we wouldn't be able to see each other because I had duty."

Route 3: "Mi vida al aire libre" (1989) takes place in Quintanilla de Onésimo.

Mi vida al aire libre (Destino, 1989) is a general overview of Miguel Delibes' outdoor hobbies. The writer recalls his early years with his father and talks about hunting, bike rides, the "tren burra," the motorcycle he had, swimming in the river, and catching crayfish. Although hunting is mentioned a lot, this is the most diverse of Delibes' six routes.

Quote from Miguel Delibes in Quintanilla de Onésimo:

"(¿) habitual bathing spots (¿) the cadozo that followed the bridge of Olivares, in Quintanilla de Abajo. As I mentioned before, during my early years until I gained independence, my baths were timed by my father: one daily bath lasting ten minutes."

Route 5: "Aventuras, venturas y desventuras de un cazador a rabo" (1977) takes place in Peñafiel and Quintanilla de Onésimo.

This is a hunting diary in which the writer recounts his trips to the field in search of partridges in Quintanilla and Boecillo, pheasants in Peñafiel, or foxes in Olmedo between 1971 and 1974. Based on his small hunting notebooks in which he meticulously noted what, where, and with whom he hunted each Sunday, this book also describes the different elevations of the terrain in the province of Valladolid.

Quote from Miguel Delibes in Peñafiel:

That's why when Jaime Royo Villanova invited me on Friday to shoot some pheasants in Peñafiel, I gladly accepted, even though I kept wondering what these birds were doing in such rough and exposed lands like those of D. Juan Manuel. Jaime clarified this point by informing me that it was an American-style hunt, meaning it was prepared in advance, as the pheasants would be distributed among the oaks and junipers on the slopes of Laguna de Contreras - neighboring the Torre hunting ground that the hunting party abandoned last year - where we were going to shoot them on Sunday."

Quote from Miguel Delibes in Quintanilla de Onésimo:

"With a sturdy shotgun and elastic legs, ten years ago on these diabolical slopes, one could get bags of gala."

Route 6: "Con la escopeta al hombro" (1970) takes place in Quintanilla de Onésimo.

Con la escopeta al hombro is a small hunting book that is easy to read. The red-legged partridge, always present in the hunting books of the writer, shares the spotlight with stone curlews, snipes, hares, quails, and other animals from the cereal fields and pine forests of Valladolid that are depicted in these pages. Miguel Delibes wanted to wait for this book to tell the story of where, how, and when he hunted his first partridge in his life. These few pages contain a thousand and one hunting adventures that Delibes experienced over the years. This route follows a nearly straight line, always a few kilometers from the Duero River. Perhaps this is the most purely Valladolid book, where only towns from the province are mentioned, including the riverside town of Quintanilla de Onésimo once again.

Quote from Miguel Delibes in Quintanilla de Onésimo:

"I will never forget those afternoons on the plateaus of Quintanilla de Onésimo with my father (...), and that reddish-black dog, Boby, with a nose as long as from here to Lima, roaming among the stone walls and junipers, sniffing around here and there, nose to the ground, ending in a sculptural point."

Enjoy the Valladolid Ribera del Duero region through the books of the great writer Miguel Delibes Setién.