When life itself seems lunatic
Who knows where madness lies?
Perhaps to be too practical is madness.
To surrender dreams — this may be madness.
Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all:
to see life as it is, and not as it should be!
― «Don Quixote», Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Multitude of cultures have conjured legends from the sun-baked plains and wind-sculpted rocks of Spain’s interior landscapes, upon which they built their own wonders.
– «Legends from Spain», Stephen Phelan
“Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember…»
To mention La Mancha, is to be taken at heart and mind to the impossibly flat landscape that Don Miguel de Cervantes immortalized through Don Quixote’s journey.
This land is known in any corner of the planet thanks to its errant Knight and its resigned squire Sancho.
There is no unanimity when it comes to explain the origin of this toponym, although most theories associate it with terms of Arabic origin such as «manxa», which means «dry land», or «mányà», «high plain» or “plateau”.
La Mancha is a vast territory in the center-south of the Iberian peninsula, with extreme flat land physiognomy and climate, characterized by utmost dryness in summer and severe cold in winter.
This magical flat scenery, that gave birth to Don Quixote and in which he fought some of his most memorable adventures, is a unique land of vineyards, farmhouses and drums, carts and trailers adorned with branches, and the graceful joy and deep devotion of its people, where the Pilgrimage appears to the traveler loaded with religious but also pagan meaning, especially when in the so-called Procession of the Antorchas sees the faithful pray in the Dark of the Night as they walk around the Sanctuary.
But beyond the Legends, the magic and the adventures, you may enjoy to learn too that Castilla La Mancha holds great relevance in the frame of Spain’s agri-food sector, leading in the overall Spanish industry, of which it accounts for 7% of the total.
Agricultural, livestock and processed products stand out in the region, with a great range of high quality and diversity, in which Castilla-La Mancha has a great specialization.
And now you also know why, or course, those were not Windmills…but Giants.