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A long road from Madrid

A two-hour drive from Madrid took us through ancient forests that opened up to steep cavernous canyons and through a cowboy-like desert where it is hot in the day and freezing at night. In the still mid afternoon sun we pulled up outside of a rescued salt farm.

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The house is a marvel of sensitive recreation.  It remains true to its roots; the stone is unplastered and little samphire plants grow in the cobbled flats, there are huge fireplaces and an enviable library. There are no other buildings in sight but a sunset over a gorge that leads to a small river fishing village. This is an untouched gem.

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On the Saturday we wandered to the local town to eat grilled goat and visit the Cathedral, built with Moorish arches and a tomb with an elegant Arab nose. 

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With the presence of a tanker, it is the only building in sight. It was erected when salt was almost as valuable as gold. Now the holding water tank is partly a pool, partly a party-place.

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A true lesson in how to work with your environment and not against it.

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