The photo club I joined earlier this spring made a day trip on Saturday to Campo de Criptana, in the heart of La Mancha. Yes, this is where Don Quixote tilted at windmills. On the drive from Madrid, we saw lots of the modern ones, too, though the car was going too fast to get a good shot of them. The mills in the village are much, much more cooperative.

Missing: El Ingenioso Hidalgo

The weather, however, was not all that cooperative. It was cool, very windy (the better to show the why of the windmills, I guess), and it rained on and off. Not much fun schlepping an umbrella around along with the camera. But at the end of the day, just as we were leaving, the sun was low enough to shine past the clouds, and a few brighter shots were to be had.

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You have to do some climbing to get up to the top of the hill where the windmills live. This was the easier option (for those on foot, as we were).

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This was the harder option — the view is also less inspiring. But it was nice to look down on!

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The blue you see at the base of the houses is supposed to keep the evil spirits away! (Also keeps the dust off the whitewash…)

We had a chance to visit a “casa cueva” that had been turned into a bar. A bit dank, and a lot noisy…but knowing how hot it gets in La Mancha in the summer, you could imagine what a relief it would be to have a cool, dark place to slink off to.

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And a good drink was had by all!

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