At this point, they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that there are on that plain and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire: “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.
“Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”
“Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “What we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”’
I read Don Quixote during a time when I was a bit worse for wear and it gave me some great moments. Ever since reading it, I’ve wanted to see those “giants” up close. I filled the car with petrol, loaded up on films and grabbed my little girls, (the Fisheye 2, the Diana F+ and Horizon Kompakt) and also got my ever eager mum to come along for the ride.
It took us a little less than two hours to get to Campo de Criptana from Madrid. In addition to being famous for its windmills this is also the birthplace of Spanish actress/singer Sara Montiel. Currently there are ten windmills, three of them originals dating back to the 16th century. It’s a very tranquil spot. The perfect place for a wander while it’s not too hot and eat some of the local “gachas” (gruel) or the local version of ratatouille “pisto manchego”…because it’s not always about taking photos.