I have to confess that I love visiting small unknown towns in Spain. I love learning more about rural life in this country through villages that hardly anyone has ever heard of because it is there that you can still encounter a little of that nearly forgotten world. Some of these places are on the verge of extinction while others miraculously cling on to life without really any explanation… I mean really. I don’t know how they do it. Well, those are the very places that fascinate me, and, if I am to come up with a new project, that just may be the one I’m looking for.
Take Cuevas de Velasco, for instance, a village in the heart of the Alcarria region of Cuenca. There’s a town which in its heyday must have been something, but now sustains little more than 100 inhabitants. And yet when you go there, the place looks and feels hale and hearty…for the most part.
To get there all you have to do is take a right at the turnoff before entering the nearby town of Villar del Maestre, cross the railway tracks and weave along a lowlying valley flanked by truncated hills scalped by millions of years of persistent wind and rain. In the distance, at what seems to be the very end, appears a majestic tower of an oversized church penetrating the sky at the ledge of a flat-topped hill. That was where I was heading.