Saturday, July 6: I take a taxi this morning to the Alcazar parking garage, where I collect my Peugeot and head out on the road by about 8:15. I’m supposed to meet someone named Barry from Tour Andalucia at Malaga Airport by 2:00 today, and I’ve been told it takes less than 5 hours to drive to Malaga. I figure I’ve built in an extra 45 minutes to make petrol stops and to see the windmills of Consuegra.
Consuegra is in the province of Toledo, Castilla-la-Mancha, about 60 km south of Toledo. Right along the highway, I can see the town’s famous windmills perched on a hill next to a 12th century castle. The castle and the windmills are Consuegra’s most important monuments.
Most Spanish windmills, like those described in Cervante’s Don Quixote, can be found in the province of Castilla-La Mancha. The best examples of restored Spanish windmills are found in Consuegra. The castle was once a stronghold when Consuegra was the seat and priory of the Knights of San Juan.
When I drive up the hill, I pass people who seem to be part of a running club, people walking their dogs, bicyclists and a tour group. It’s a lovely morning with a cool breeze. What an excellent place to get some exercise on a weekend morning!
Consuegra’s windmills became famous in the 16th century, when Don Quixote was first published. The windmills were introduced by “Caballeros Sanjuanistas” to help millers. The machines used the wind to grind grain, most commonly wheat. The windmills were transmitted from fathers to sons. They stopped being used at the beginning of the 1980s (Wikipedia: Consuegra).
After my brief stop, I continue on the highway toward Malaga.