The towns of the Alto Tajo are solitary enclaves. They see their sepulchral silence broken in the central moments of summer, when the hubbub of the temporary inhabitants revolutionizes everything. The rest of the year, Peralejos de las Truchas, one of the most emblematic of the initial course of the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, is almost a tomb. Only the trickle of its ornamental fountain resonates.

Peralejos is a well-preserved town. The houses with red tiles and the carved wooden balconies give it that image of a town subjected to the rigors of the classic Castilla-La Mancha winter. In its bell tower a clock appears punctual. And its streets, generally empty, are wide and sunny. The basin from which four pipes sprout is crowned by the figure of a hooker and a short and explicit phrase: “In memory of José Luis Sampedro.” The writer is venerated here as a god.

Sampedro went around many times, for the sake of his father’s military profession. He was born in Barcelona, ​​a year later he moved to Morocco, he lived in Aranjuez, Cihuela, Santander… but what left a deep mark on him to write one of his most emblematic books were his teenage summers in Peralejos de las Truchas. There he became fascinated by the gancheros, those hard-working men who moved the wood along the river: “The impact of one day finding the river boarded up and the relationships established with those who had brought the wood, had to become a novel, although I did not. “I knew when I was thirteen years old.” That novel was The River That Carries Us.

Although you cross it on the outskirts, the Tajo has a special role in Peralejos de las Truchas, and has marked its life for generations. Now it is a postcard, the wood is no longer carried floating through the waters. But tourists stop at emblematic places such as the Martinete bridge or the viewpoints over the gorges just before entering the urban center, where it is obligatory to stop at the parish church of San Mateo, a baroque work from the 17th century. with several dizzying altars. In addition, you must visit the Ribagorda hermitage, Romanesque from the 13th century, short, elegant, with three entrance arches.

When Antonio del Real decided to direct the film based on The River That Takes Us, logically he had to choose Peralejos de las Truchas for filming. For a few weeks, the town went back in time. But this Guadalajara town is not exactly addicted to nostalgia. In fact, it has a lot going on. Walking through its streets you will find a plaque with a photograph of the musician Bruce Springsteen that reminds you that the town is twinned with Freehold, the singer’s native town in New Jersey.

Every summer the Greetings from Peralejos contest is held in Peralejos. In mid-August the murmur of the Juan Taravilla stream that crosses the town is muted. Its waters tremble with the waves launched by the speakers that reverently reproduce the songs of the legendary The Boss. Peralejos has not yet managed to get the famous rocker to visit the town, but the size and significance of the meeting means that the existence of that small group that tenaciously pays tribute to him has already reached his ears.

The closest important town to Peralejos is Molina de Aragón, another town with cinematic ties, as some scenes from The Name of the Rose were filmed in its castle. There are 40 minutes of entertaining curves between both towns, using the CM-210 and CM-2111 roads.