Day 3 in Spain – Having successfully found our way to my new hometown in a foreign car, organised a place to live for the year and made a couple of new friends all within the first two days of being here (more on that later) mum and I grasped the opportunity for a little further exploration today.
Our journey took us to Las Lagunas de Ruidera, a natural park around 35 minutes outside of Tomelloso and arguably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. According to wikipedia, the 15 interconnected lakes stretch over an area of more than 9,300 acres and were once romantically nicknamed ‘the Mirrors of La Mancha’. There is a definitely a sense of mysticism surrounding this oasis of turquoise blue water and lush vegetation strangely juxtaposed against the dusty, dry landscapes of Castilla-La Mancha; you can almost sense them before you see them as the land turns slowly from orange to green. The draw of these azure waters is stronger in the summer months when the lakes are overflowing with visitors desperate to escape the arid heat of the region, however today with some cooler September weather we were lucky enough to be left to enjoy this haven in its full, tranquil glory.
Meandering slowly home in search for some surprisingly reclusive windmills (I honestly expected to find more windmills than people here – I guess I was wrong) we took a small detour to visit the town of Villarrobledo, a small town in the province of Albacete which I doubt I would ever have visited otherwise. After only a small amount of wandering, we found ourselves in a bustling city square fringed on one side by a row of busy restaurants and on the other by the most amazing old church, old school bells and all. On further research, the original building dates back to the 15th century!
Despite the lack of windmills in my immediate surroundings, what has immediately struck me during my short time here is the wealth of history and culture in this area. I can’t wait to get stuck into some Don Quixote style exploration!