Nights that we carry with us.

The deepest, stillest night sky that I have ever experience happened in 2001 on the side of the highway in Argentina that connects the colonial era city of Salta to Buenos Aires. At some point on our drive, my friend Daryl, one half of the couple that I was traveling with, pulled our rental car to the side of the road.

We turned off the engine.

 

Away from any man made lights,

We looked up

Into layer upon layer of stars

In a sky of black and midnight blue.

 

 

Movie: A Quiet Place

There is of course a movie coming out today that has the same name as my blog about quiet spaces and ways of being…

It’s a horror film.

 

It is about a post-apocalyptic world in which there is total silence. If you make a noise, monsters hunt you down and eat you.

 

For the record, my partner Tom would not last long in this world.

He will tell you that sometimes I act like those monsters.

(burp…)

The hilltop above Consuegra, Spain is a quiet place.

 

The hilltop above Consuegra, Spain is a quiet place guarded by sentinels.

Here you will find twelve windmills–relatives (by marriage) to the “giants” of Don Quijote’s imagination. From this perch, above the wide open plains of La Mancha, it is easy to imagine him riding out 500 years ago in search of adventure, accompanied by faithful Sancho Panza atop his donkey.

Relatively few visitors to Spain venture to Consuegra. Those who do often come on tour coaches from Madrid that include the windmills as a quick stop on a day excursion to the city of Toledo, 40 minutes to the north. If you can, rent a car and come on your own so you can take your time; we stopped here on our drive from Granada to Madrid.

The windmills are clustered close together. The museum* is a quick stop. The castle (a site of medieval battles between Moors and Christians,) which sits near the windmills can be visited quickly as well. But give yourself a few hours to linger on this hilltop. This is a different type place from Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada etc. The magic is in the quiet of the setting. Except for the occasional tour bus pulling in, the only sound that you hear is the wind.

If you can, try to time your visit for just after sunset when the blue of dusk saturates the sky and the white of the windmills throws off a glow.

There is a cafe/souvenir shop, restrooms and a restaurant (housed in a windmill, but unfortunately closed when we were there) at the site. For places to stay and more food options you will need to venture back down the hill to the charming town of Consuegra.

 

 

*Molino Bolero (Bolero Windmill,) one of the first windmills you encounter as you drive up to the hilltop (and one of only two that you could enter when we were there) contains a small but interesting museum that explains some of the history and use of these particular windmills. Check timings for the museum (and the castle) if you are interesting in visiting. Otherwise my sense was that you could drive up to see the windmills into evening.