On a hot summer day the nobleman Don Quijote comes riding over La Mancha, the barren Spanish tableland, together with Sancho Panza.
It’s in the beginning of Miguel de Cervantes famous novel from 1605. Don Quijote’s faithful servant has promised to assist him in the pursuit of the beautiful Dulcinea, but only if he is appointed ruler of a distant Island as a reward.
Don Quijote has already fought the famous battle against the windmills. Earlier this day, he has attacked a group of monks to save some princesses who he assumes to be held prisoners. A servant of the monks has beaten the poor knight. One of his ears is badly rended.
Don Quijote and Sancho Panza are both hungry and thirsty. They come across some goatherds who are preparing a meal. The aroma of the simmering stew is irresistable. The herds invite their guests to share a simple meal. A cup made of cowhorn slowly circles around the fire, like a paternoster. There are piles of sweet acorn on a sheepskin. The cheese is harder than rock.
As the stars twinkles in the skye, Don Quijote delivers one of his silly talks. Nobody pays any attention to it. Soon enough, Sancho Panza is snoring while his master keeps guard against imagined enemies.
The roles seem to be fixed in the novel. Don Quijote is an incorrigible dreamer. The earthbound Sancho Panza has a clearer conception of reality. The herds live in simple communion with their surroundings, almost instantly moving any visitor towards health and clarity.
But life is in constant flux. Gradually the knight recovers from his delusion, while Sancho Panza secretly nourishes his dreams about that distant Island. There is a lot to learn about the complexity of the mind.