Zuheros

Two miles from our apartment is Zuheros, a town of 800 people…..

20140429-072211.jpgThere is an eighth century castle perched on a rock….amazing.

20140429-072339.jpgWe parked in a small lot at the entrance to town and made a walk from one end of town to the other to decide what to sketch and ended up at opposite ends of town for the rest of the morning. I sat on a bench neat the entrance in the first photo. The people who live here take walks along the road. As I was starting the watercolor on the drawing, a man approached from behind me…..we talked for about 30 minutes. The place we are staying had many large original abstract paintings. Well, this man is the artist! And here he is.

20140429-073121.jpgFor lunch we drove 3 miles to another village to eat in a family run place we had heard about. I had the best chicken noodle soup on earth (it even had a hard boiled egg chopped up in it!) followed by this….

20140429-073650.jpgOK, this looks like a corn dog, right? Well, it is a piece of pork tenderloin rolled up with jamón inside, breaded and fried…..very good. Larry had fried fresh calamari and it was very tender and good. This is the enclosed patio where we ate.

20140429-182424.jpgTomorrow we leave this area; it is beautiful and one could easily spend a week here.

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Sunday Into Andalucía

We left Don Quxiote’s area of La Mancha and crossed into Andalucîa where we will spend the next few weeks. We stopped in a small town, Baños de la Encina to sketch and have lunch. There is a Moorish Castle from 967, and it is spectacular. Here it is from the terrace of the restaurant where we had lunch. See the bus below? And the white car to the left in the parking lot? That is our car. We walked all over the town, up and down many hills.

20140428-190614.jpgThis is just part of the view over a zillion olive trees. Lunch was good, but not as pretty as what we had been having. Larry had Javalí (Wild boar) stew.

20140428-190821.jpgI ordered rabbit (pretty sure it was not the Easter Bunny) you can see the big bones, but there were a ton of tiny bones….along with 3 buckshot pellets. I managed to get through without breaking a tooth.

20140428-191011.jpgHad we known that the servings were so big, we would have shared one plate of meat….lesson learned…..again.

We drove on to our next stop, between 2 tiny towns, Zuheros and Luque, and settled in. (C on the map) Here is part of the view from our efficiency apartment balcony.

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Today has been a real treat…..I will post it tomorrow…

Windmills (Molinos) and a Castle

Zooming in on the windmills of Consuegra.

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And there they are. Windmills for grinding grain….Don Quxiote’s giants. They are visible for a long ways over the plains of La Mancha. Our apartment was at the foot of the hill but there were 72 steps down to the level of the center of Consuegra, and many more steps from the apartment up to the mills. Our legs are really in shape now as we made both numerous times.
We had our second lunch at the same restaurant Sarurday, el Alfar. This time we shared ONE salad and ONE order of meat…..needed to eat lighter than Friday.

20140428-070630.jpgIt included mixed greens, dried fruit, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, tuna, croutons, fire roasted red peppers, Basalmic vinegar and a raspberry dressing. Then, beef ribs…..very rare beef ribs with a sauce of smoked paprika and saffron.

20140428-071153.jpgThe waiter brought us a gift of 3 different Manchego cheeses with little bread sticks topped with some kind of citrus sauce and black sesame seeds. The chef thinks one needs cheese between the salad and meat course. All cheeses were Manchego of different months of aging….from youngest and softest to oldest and most hard.

20140428-071634.jpgLater today we will post Sunday’s castle and more.

Foodie Alert

Oh boy, what a start!

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THIS is a goat cheese salad for 2….The red slice is jamón, fried.

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Then, 2 dishes to share; a stew of eggplant, olives and potatoes topped with a fried egg….the other was Migas (very different from Texas Migas) also topped with a fried egg. Next course,

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A platter of meats to share; pork ribs topped with a glaze saffron, carrots and almonds. A slice chorizo and a sausage. Then, desert of course….

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We shared one desert….a custard topped with raspberry glaze…absolutely heaven! We ate this meal at 3 PM and had “nada” the rest of the day. Still not hungry this morning. We are returning to the same place for lunch today, but will not be having a multi course meal, but order 1 or 2 items!

The Route

The above image is from Segura de la Sierra (K on the map below). We spent 3 days there last fall, never left town, and cannot wait to return and explore some of the other villages in the area.

Most of this trip will be in small mountain villages in Andalucia. We fly into Madrid (M), pick up a car and head to B for 2 nights in Consuegra, home of a hill that has 12 windmills and an old castle. This area is Don Quixote’s area (LaMancha) as is stop L (Riopar Viejo). The rest of the places are the small villages in the mountains of Andalucia.

From Madrid to Consuegra is a 1 1/2 hour drive; the longest drive is from Riópar Viejo (L) back to Madrid airport….3 1/2 hours.

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We are covering a small area of Spain; from the most northern to the most southern point of the trip is only 365 miles; ahhhh, slow travel.

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