Saturday, May 2, 2015

Senior Miss. Just Gotta Have fu-un! Missionaries in La Mancha.

The Frosts, the Redds, me, and the Wiscombs.

Last weekend all the "senior" missionaries (minus the Coombs) got together at the Wiscomb's home  in Alcázar de San Juan which is in La Mancha territory. We don't often congregate, but when we do, we have a lot of fun!
The first order of business was to explore the windmills, which the region is famous for. Especially those tiltable ones disguising their "giant" nature.
Wine and olive oil are also big (shown here with the windmills we are headed towards), as are wheat, barley, and oats (the reason for the wind MILLS).

These are the windmills above Alcázar (pictured in the distance). The picture to the left shows the inner workings of the windmill. First the miller has to attach cloth to the blades of the mill (a difficult and dangerous job). 

Note the contrast between the town, fallow fields, and crops
           The gears transfer the force produced by the motion of the blades to turn the top stone of a pair of millstones. Grain is poured through a hole in the top stone, and it is ground into flour. This is forced out the side and goes down a chute, where it is collected in sacks on the floor below.  

We finished the day checking out the branch in Alcázar and a local restaurant, then went to our various accommodations. The Wiscombs were very kind to me and let me camp out in their living room. You meet the greatest people on missions!
  The next day the Guffeys joined us and we drove to the windmills of Campo de Criptana where we were hoping to be able to tour one. Unfortunately there were busloads of people before us, so we weren't able to. But the windmills were still cool!  I tried to get a picture of the cathedral with the windmills behind it as we drove up, but I wasn't fast enough, so here is the cathedral behind them!

There was a little shop there selling Don Quixote souvenirs that had caves dug out below where he displayed his wares. Very cool (literally). 

Don sneaking up behind me. This is the entrance to the little shop. 

I love the spring flowers coming out!  I couldn't resist. 

Next it was on to El Toboso, "Patria de Dulcinea."  Here the craze for all things Don Quixote reaches a fever pitch.

First we visited the Museo Cervantino, which houses over 400 editions of Don Quixote in 60 different languages. All kinds of different people from Ronald Regan to Hitler donated signed copies.

The sizes ranged from tiny to huge, and they even had a VERY dramatic movie of what Dulcinea might have thought of the author.

                                                      Then we toured the Museo Casa de Dulcinea, which is a "re-creation" of the home of the Don's "girlfriend"  Dulcinea. At least it showcased what a home of that era would look like.
Outside was a wine press that used a gigantic beam to press the juice out of the grapes. They also had an outdoor "room" with walls filled with pigeon holes, just big enough for one bird each. They were raised for meat, not racing.

I leave you with some final pictures of our adventures in La Mancha. #missionsareawesome! 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds so wonderful!!! I'm a little jealous. It would have been so fun to be there with you all. Give every one a hug from us!!!