Sunday, November 23, 2008
The name will not mean anything to most of the people who drop by here. To very few indeed, in fact. Our reasons for being there this weekend are of little interest, I imagine (mostly eating and drinking, since you ask) but the area is attractive. Terrinches itself is a small village in a corner of Ciudad Real, very near the borders with Jaen and Albacete. To the East is the Sierra de Alcaraz, to the south and West the Sierra Morena. The village, may its inhabitants forgive me, has almost nothing of aesthetic interest, but there is some history, and the surrounding landscape is good fro walking in, being full of mountains, valleys, streams, olive groves and that patchwork of large and small fields, intersecting at random angles, and all of slightly different colours, that give interest and novelty to a place.
The stream just south of the village, that flows past the Cerro Conejero (actually full of partridges) has been dammed, creating a small lake, and there is a path beside it part of the way. The result is what is know as an Hoz, a gully I suppose, with rocks rising on each side. It is not big, or high, or sweeping, or stunning, or anything particularly superlative, but to walk through it this morning, and clamber along the rock face at times (Mrs Hickory having left her vertigo at home, apparently) in a brilliant, though not warming sun, was very pleasant indeed.
The castle is of historical, rather than aesthetic interest. It was built in the 13th C and was defended by the Knights of Santiago. Aben Yucef attacked and besieged it in 1282, and even set fire to it, but it didn't fall. A friend of ours is in charge of the restoration, and is doing a good job of leaving it looking fresh and imposing, inside and out.
All of this is, naturally, an excuse to post a couple of photos. Of the castle and of the lake.