The weather is behaving as if it believed all that climate change talk: a succession of warm, sunny days in late February. The locals are worried. The plants are budding, and daffodils are blooming. But they need rain (the plants that is, not the locals), and if we get a big frost later, all of them could be ruined (the locals and the plants).
Still, we took advantage on Saturday. The dogs and us piled into the Kangoo and set off. We decided to stop about 15 miles further on at Cisneros. This is a village with a fair bit of history, as usual around here.
It is reputed to be the birthplace of the eponymous cardinal, around 1430 or so, and there is a statue of him in the main square. He looks like a nasty bit of work, like most cardinals, but it may just be flattering. I am not sure what he is famous - or notorious for, but a rather lively part of Madrid is named after him.
We walked from the town a mile or so along a quiet road which had a series of stone Calvary crosses spaced out along it, until we came to an interesting church, deserted and locked of course. Then we walked on another mile to a village called Pozo de Urama. Outside there, we met an elderly and friendly gent, who commented on Tim, a hunting dog. Didi I have a rifle? No. Did I hunt ? No.
I told him the story of how Tim found us. The geezer, whose name was Ruffino, then told us a lot of things about the area. As usual, the villages have been depopulated hugely. He told us the name of the church we had passed was Christ of the Lamp and that every September 8th there is a procession out from Cisneros and back. Romerias, they are called.
We walked with him to Pozo, his village, where he had been mayor for 25 years. He showed us an alternative way back across the fields , which meant we could let the dogs run loose.
About a half mile outside Cisneros, we saw two stones like tombstones in the ditch by the side of the path. One read.´ Here died Eugenio Herron, aged 36.´ The date was obliterated, but I suspect it was 1936, and that he was a victim of the Civil War. The other stone was a sort of imitation of a Roman tombstone (at least I suspect it was an imitation) with a latin inscription very hard to read. But I think it was a marker of another victim of that war.
We agreed we will try to find out more soon.
These small towns often have a big history, some of which they would often prefer to stay buried..
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