|About the Book|
Travel writing competition winner, Tim Pertwee, has some colourful encounters as he retraces Camilo José Celas Journey to the Alcarriain Spain - - telegraph.co.uk (October 2009)In June 1946 Nobel Prize-winning writer and controversial SpanishMoreTravel writing competition winner, Tim Pertwee, has some colourful encounters as he retraces Camilo José Celas Journey to the Alcarria in Spain - - telegraph.co.uk (October 2009)In June 1946 Nobel Prize-winning writer and controversial Spanish figure, Camilo José Cela, set off on foot to explore the Alcarria, a beautiful region to which people have no desire to go. In June 2009, carrying a heavy rucksack and his Spanish A-level text, Tim Pertwee set off to retrace the steps of Celas classic Journey to the Alcarria.Up with the Lark - A Return to the Alcarria eschews the trend for travel writing eccentricity- there are no domestic appliances or exotic beasts as travel companions. Theres just a lot of walking for someone who would sooner admire scenery from a comfy bench (Youre going to walk? To Cifuentes? / From Brihuega? Walking? Carrying that on your back? ¡Joder!), an emotional ride in a filthy lorry, and a repeat of Celas A Trip by Bus which becomes a Trip by Three Buses when Tim and the other passengers are dumped off the first coach at a remote petrol station with no explanation. How are we supposed to get to Guadalajara? demands an irate passenger. Slowly, replies the driver.This is a book to enjoy slowly, savoured like a slice of Alcarrian honey cake, experiencing the writers every step, sharing his pleasure - and pain - as he walks along the regions country roads, follows the course of its rivers and enters those towns and villages that for thirty years had existed only in his imagination, conjured from his readings of Celas masterpiece and from a few evocative black-and-white photographs. This is a perceptive, entertaining, sometimes moving, but always affectionate portrayal of this beautiful region. Tim brings the Alcarria to life, providing a modern perspective on a place and a country which Cela evoked in the post-Civil War years.But as Tim discovers a place steeped in a much longer history, he begins to question the motives for his journey, a journey which, nevertheless, reaffirms his life-long love of, and fascination with, Spain.