Home  WHAT TO SEE  Ramiro Pinilla – Literary route around Getxo

deapie Ramiro Pinilla

Photograph on loan from Getxoko Liburutegiak – Getxo Municipal Libraries

The route takes you through the Verdes valles, colinas rojas ["Green Valleys, Red Hills"] trilogy and other novels by Ramiro Pinilla. Along the way you will see the reasons behind the name, with the green valleys washed by the sea and the landscape tinged with red.

You will visit the places where Pinilla set his literary world, such as Arrigunaga Beach and La Venta. And you will fall in love (or perhaps not) with the characters that inhabit his Getxo and give such life to his stories: the Baskardos of Sugarkea, Don Manuel, Roque, the Marquess of Oiaindia, Ella, etc. These are characters who crop up in more than one novel and shape the world created by Pinilla.

If you are familiar with his books you will be struck by flashes of recognition along the trail. If not, then let Deapie give you a full-on introduction to his literary world.

RAMIRO PINILLA (1923 - 2014)

Although described as being from Getxo, Ramiro Pinilla was actually born in Bilbao. Up to the age of 13 he spent his summers in a farmhouse above Getxo's Arrigunaga Beach. He was so captivated by the area that in Andanzas de Txiki Baskardo [“Adventures of Txiki Baskardo”] he invented a legend according to which “life on earth was born from these waves".

He moved to Getxo when he was 35. Shortly afterwards he obtained widespread recognition for the first time when his novel Las ciegas hormigas [“Blind Ants”] won the Premio Nadal award in 1960 and the Premio de la Crítica in 1961. It was not until 2004 that Tusquets published his renowned trilogy and literary testament Verdes valles, colinas rojas [“Green Valleys, Red Hills”]. Its three volumes were La tierra convulsa, Los cuerpos desnudos and Las cenizas del hierro [“The Turbulent Land”, “The Naked Bodies” and “The Ashes of Iron”]. This monumental work earned him further literary awards such as the Crítica, the Euskadi and the National Award for Literature. In 2014, speaking from the hospital bed where he spent his last days, he said how happy he was that he had worked out a good ending for a tough chapter in the novel that he was currently writing. Ramiro Pinilla lived out his passion for writing until the very end.

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You still have another 13 routes, with the following being the closest: