El Cerro de la Cruz (hill of the Cross)
Tucked away on high, a fountainhead of rocks emerges piled up in the shape of a vertical wall that does not seem to be the work of nature
‘Cerro de la Cruz’ can be found three kilometres from Fuenllana, following a reddish pathway that zigzags towards the meadow and later veers off to the right ascending between vineyards and olive groves, until it reaches a rugged summit in which the greenness of the vegetation is broken by the presence of volcanic looking lead-coloured ridges. Orienting one’s eyes towards the sunset we ride through a vast and broad meadow scattered with small hills that takes us to Cabeza del Buey, outstanding orography of the district as, when its mass is enfolded in a soft blanket of clouds, it predicts rainfall.
Tucked away on high, a fountainhead of rocks emerges piled up in the shape of a vertical wall that does not seem to be the work of nature. In the still waters of the spring the image of the old birch-tree shimmers, sheltering in its shade a small enclosure made up of reeds, leaning crags, quivering grass and weightless dragonflies.
Further down hawthorns flower in the stone walls; reflecting in the sunlight the shiny olive leaves and conveying the perfumed breeze with an intense aroma of warm thyme, rosemary and marjoram.
To the right, a luminous valley of farmland, olive trees and several vineyards that creep up the very sides of the hills. In the distance, a green dense grove of trees and a floating river of mist reveal the meadow.
Following with one’s gaze the pink strip of the meadow’s path, the still mass of the grove of trees set in a fold of blinding whiteness of the countryside, extended like a canvas as far as the Alhambra mountain range, sleeping in the confines, without doubt, a gesture to modernity, its summits festooned with the presence of windmills; that would delight Sanchos y Quijotes alike.
In the foreground, farmlands, areas of pastures and the poplar grove trembling in a swarm of insects and the noisy quarrel of grey flocks of birds fighting over the best branches in which to place their nests, colour and peace in Campo de Montiel.
Antonio-Bernardo Rodríguez García