On Thursday, February 4th, I went to Madrid to pick up my British friend Anthony who was visiting for the weekend. That evening we spent the night at Preston's and, the next day, we bought Anthony a helmet for the journey back to my pueblo. After finding Anthony a restaurant that met his particular dietary preferences... and then waiting half an hour for him to figure out a way to position his headphones within his helmet (he's afraid of motorbikes and needed the distraction), we made our way back down to the heart of Castilla La Mancha.
Before arriving in Belmonte, we made a stop near Saelices to see an old structure that had caught my eye a few times before. The next day we spent the morning grabbing stuff from the shop for breakfast, and visiting the Palacio Infante Don Juan Manuel, before heading over to the castle of Belmonte.
We had a look around inside and then made our way up to the tops of the castle walls for some views of the pueblo. After walking around the castle a bit more, and visiting the dark, forbidding dungeon below, we headed back so that we could make our way over to the other pueblos and take in the festivities of carnaval.
The next day we went to La Almarcha to catch a ride to the airport using Blablacar (ridesharing service) so that Anthony wouldn't have to endure another ride on the motorbike. On the way up to Madrid we enjoyed the company of a particularly cheerful Spaniard and, after a couple hours of traveling with him and his buddies, we managed to secure a ride back for me with another blablacar. So, Anthony finished his journey to the airport while I hurried over to meet the last car going back home.