Tilting at windmills in La Mancha


We've managed to dodge Storm Leslie during the Spanish part of our roadtrip. He roared through Almagro early this morning but we were safe behind hotel shutters.

Up in Consuegra, one of the twelve windmills was turning as we approached this La Mancha town, right in the heart of Don Quixote country. Los molinos de viento stand in a line like knights either side of the castle, challenging onlookers to a fight.

Unlike the tiles in my hotel room.


These cheerful little chaps are everywhere.

Quixote wasn't wrong to think the windmills were giants. Seeing the imaginary enemy right before my eyes made me wish I'd had my jousting lance to hand.

As a six or seven year old child, I was treated to Don Quixote as a bedtime story by my fourteen or fifteen year old sister, who whom I shared a bed but not necessarily the same taste in literature. Grimms' fairy tales, the tale of the Hobyahs in my school Beacon Book and The Singing Ringing Tree on television - the scariest children's programme ever made - these (apart from my sister) were my natural bedfellows.

Not surprisingly, I didn't really get Don Quixote. I thought the book was esoteric before even understanding what the word meant and, frankly, thought Don Quixote was not just mad but completely up his own backside. Now, Sancho Panza, his loyal and greedy sidekick, well, he was my kind of character. Full of earthy wit and wisdom, Sancho made this extraordinary bedtime story all worthwhile. He was the grounded one, the foil to Quixote's idealistic ramblings.

But after almost weeping this morning at the sight of those glorious windmills, maybe it's time I read the book for myself.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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