This weekend is the Saffron Festival in the City of Consuegra, which is about 1.5 hrs from Toledo. When we got to Consuegra we headed out to explore the hills. It took us nearly 30 minutes to make it all the way to the top, where 11 windmills, from the late 18th century are perched. We paid a few Euros and got to go inside and a guy showed us how it worked. I was amazed to find out that the whole mechanical and roof structure are not attached to the cylinder on which it sits; by pushing a huge log on the outside they can orient the mill into the wind for maximum power. The mill also had a brake of a sort that would allow the mill to “freewheel”, when a certain chain was pulled. From this peak you could see in every direction… Just flat, orange, clay, farmland.
We came back down, into town and walked through the fair and a picnic area. Tons of families had built fire pits and were cooking out; one family must have had a lot to bring so they enlisted help from their pack mule, who was tied to a tree eating some hay. We stopped for a few minutes to watch the tractor-and-trailer-backing-up- through-an-obstacle-course competition. Daniel wanted to see a play back in Toledo (la Celestina) more than I did so he dicided to catch the early bus back to make sure that he made the start of the show. He still had 30 minutes to pass befire he left so we stopped in a little place for some tapas, what is more fitting in Castilla la mancha than Manchego Cheese? I on the other hand decided on some snails, using a toothpick to pull them from their little homes and made them my snack. They were kind of strange in taste and texture but not too bad.
Daniel left and I hopped on a bus that was going to a saffron farm with a group of tourist. The guide said the flowers were late due to a drought, but many had already started to flower. Consuegra is known as the second largest producer of saffron (second to Iran). Most people in Consuegra had their own “Azafranal” (saffron farm) because it is a crop that takes little to no care and is worth more than its weight in gold literally. He told us It takes 400 flowers to produce a half gram of dried Saffron (one of the principle reason it is so expensive) I got my first plant to care for; for taking the tour (and paying) they give you a small saffron Plant. [It has since died due to cold possibly].
When I got back I had 25 minutes to get to the theater to meet Daniel, only problem is it’s about a 30 minute walk. I was running full speed but then I got a text saying that the show was sold out but Online I found a Concert at some Jazz/ Rock bar called Broadway; a band from Sevilla, The Smoggers, was playing so we headed out to find the venue. The group is a 4 piece punk/ rock group, with a girl drummer.
Hearing this group brought back a lot of awesome memories of my friends Matt and AJ and our little band; it made me want to play music again.