21. Sep, 2021

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Our journey today bought us to Campo de Criptana. The journey was only about twenty five miles long, and again we were travelling along nice quiet roads with no lay-bys. The Chef was trying to get the odd picture with the small pocket camera which sits in the glove box on her side.

Passing through one community along the way a pack of Lycramen appeared in front of us having made a right turn in to the road without even looking, typically they were spread right across the road. The Chef was quick to take a picture telling me that she knew i would want such a picture so that I could have a moan about it, and she was right - and now I have.

About half a mile down the road a police officer was stood in the road and gesturing to me to pull in to the lay-by where his colleague was armed with a clipboard. I thought they were going to nick me for speeding, though I had been careful not to, or maybe they knew I'd imagined driving across the top of a pack of cyclists back down the road, which would make it a hate crime. Thankfully it was just a routine check to do with driver awareness and they just asked for my driving license details which they use for statistics. It was all very amicable and I shall maintain that stance unless we arrive home and find something formal lying on the doormat for me.

Not too far further down the road we arrived at the public car park here above Campo de Criptana (GPS: N39.410906° W3.122313°). We'd come to look at windmills as we are now deep in to Don Quixote country. In fact there was a statue to the author of the book in town, so perhaps he was a local lad. As I recall, the story was about a chap and his sidekick Tonto....... oh no that was the Lone Ranger, anyway he dresses up in armour and goes to do battle with giants who happen to be the windmills. Something like that.

So a bit about Campo de Criptana:

 

Campo de Criptana is a municipality and town in the province of Ciudad Real in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha. It is found in the region known as La Mancha.

 

"At this point they caught sight of thirty or forty windmills which were standing on the plain..." Thus begins chapter VIII of Don Quixote. In Cervantes’ time windmills were quite common. This view is undoubtedly the characteristic landscape of Campo de Criptana, presenting its silhouette from the Sierra de los Molinos and the Cerro de la Paz. A 19th century land registry drawn up shows 34 windmills in existence at that time, each clearly marked with the name of the mill and that of its owner. Through archaeological remnants, we know that they had once been far more numerous.

 

Today, ten windmills can be seen from afar, with their original structure and machinery preserved. Visitors can tour the inside of the mills and listen to a presentation about their function. Other mills have been converted into museums: the Inca Garcilaso is a museum celebrating the working of the land, the Pilón is a museum of wine, the Quimera is dedicated to Vicente Huidobro, the Culebro to the actress sara Montiel, and the Lagarto to poetry. The Poyatos windmill houses the Office of Tourism. Every Saturday one of the restored mills is put into operation.

 

In 1978, the entire group of windmills was declared a Monument of Historical-Artistic Interest, which today is referred to as a Cultural Heritage Site.

 

After wandering around the windmills we walked downhill a bit in to the town. It's nothing special, but it's the real Spain, and that's what makes it interesting.

On our return to the car park we found ourselves without the two motorhome neighbours we had when we set out. There is a Camperstop, or Sosta in the town but it's a bit rough and so we're hoping to get away with staying up here for the night, if so maybe we'll get to see the sunset  and the possible floodlighting of the windmills.

There clearly won't be a problem with us spending the night up here becasue the police have already been up here for a look around. This is something the policice do a lot of in Spain. They're ontinually patrolling around, keeping an eye on things. Unlike our own police these days who seem to be either shagging each other in their patrol cars, hiding behind a muntain of paperwork, ore 'facilitating' the needs of the Extinction Rebellion mob.

Tomorrow we're back on the road for another fairly short trip, but sadly not after another hot shower as we can't spare the water.

I think if somebody were to ask me to sum up the motorhome lifestyle in one word, I think I would just simply be 'Today'.