Back in my childhood, I remember the story of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza his sidekick and their adventures in a region called La Mancha. Since then if I have always wondered if I’m ever going to visit this place one day!

Years passed, and I found myself living in Madrid/Spain. Castilla La Mancha is just South of Madrid province, so no extra effort required to get there. 120 or so km and you are in its heartland. To get there we leave Madrid in a southerly direction passing in the lovely town of Aranjuez with its immense gardens and continue towards Consuegra our first stop. Overlooking the plains of La Mancha on a majestic ridge you will encounter an old fortress and right next to it about a dozen windmills one of them still in an operational state, all with curios names like Bolerot Sancho! After a mandatory photo stop it’s time to continue to Alcazar de San Juan an old township from Roman times, later influenced by the Moorish conquest with some interesting historical buildings!

Some windmills in different states of conservations located around the town.

After a refreshment stop we continue on to Campo de Criptana where one can see another 10 windmills are beautifully located in the Sierra de Paz, some of them from the 16th century!

Burreta Infante and Sardinero with its machinery still in working shape. A short stroll around the Barrio Alto with its picturesque narrow lanes and stairs and balconies will be another highlight here. Next stop along our route is, Moto de Cuervo where more windmills on a spectacular cliff are dominating the area. The old town centre offers a small collection of structures dating back to medieval times (xv century)

Our final destination is El Toboso, a typical small country town in La Mancha, where a museum to Don Quijotes is located as well as La Casa del Dulcinea another thematic place of interest to see there.

We will enjoy a brief walk around town and a refreshment before working our way back to Madrid via countryside roads for most of the way.

Ken KRAMER