The Travels of Don Quixote, Part 2

Don Quijote de la Mancha, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, is a satire on chivalry and a masterpiece of world literature. This tour visits scenes from the novel.

This story was created for the Google Expeditions project by Carlos Alvar & Elisa Borsari, now available on Google Arts & Culture

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza at a Crossroads (n.d. (after 1847)) by Wilhelm MarstrandThe Nivaagaard Collection

In this expedition, you will learn about Don Quixote's third sally and where he has been during his adventure.

Don Quixote’s Third Sally

“Her name was Aldonza Lorenzo, and upon her he thought fit to confer the title of Lady of his Thoughts; and after some search for a name which should not be out of harmony with her own, and should suggest and indicate that of a princess and great lady."

"He decided upon calling her Dulcinea del Toboso—she being of El Toboso—a name, to his mind, musical, uncommon, and significant, like all those he had already bestowed upon himself and the things belonging to him.” (Quixote I:1)

Dulcinea del Toboso

Don Quixote’s imagination has transformed a girl with whom he was once in love into his ideal, perfect lady, Dulcinea. On his third sally, Quixote sets out to meet Dulcinea in person.

Sancho convinces his master that an unattractive peasant girl is really the lady, who has fallen under an evil enchantment.

El Toboso

El Toboso is a small town located near the city of Toledo. The town’s tourism industry depends on its fame as the hometown of Don Quixote’s great love, Dulcinea.

The Legend of the Lakes

“Ruidera and her daughters and nieces alone are missing, and these, because of the tears they shed, Merlin, out of the compassion he seems to have felt for them, changed into so many lakes which to this day in the world of the living, and in the province of La Mancha, are called the Lakes of Ruidera.” (Quixote II, 23)

Tales within Tales

The legend of the Lakes of Ruidera is part of Don Quixote’s story about his adventures in the Cave of Montesinos. Cervantes embedded dozens of tales within tales within his novel, to great comic effect.

Ruidera Lakes

Today, the Ruidera Lakes are part of UNESCO’s La Mancha Húmida Biosphere Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary and popular recreation area.

The Enchanted Boat

“Thou must know, Sancho, that this bark is plainly, and without the possibility of any alternative, calling and inviting me to enter it, and in it go to give aid to some knight or other person of distinction in need of it, who is no doubt in some sore strait for this is the way of the books of chivalry.” (Quixote II, 24)

Another Hasty Getaway

After scuffling with some Moors (who turn out to be puppets), settling with a puppet master and innkeeper for the ensuing damages, and evading yet another outraged mob, Don Quixote and Sancho once again retreat, this time to the Ebro River. There (of course) they once again fall prey to enchantment.

Ebro River

The Ebro, the longest river in Spain, begins in Cantabria, a northern province of Spain. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea in the province of Tarragona, south of Barcelona and north of Valencia.

The Island of Barataria

“On reaching the gates of the town, which was a walled one, the municipality came forth to meet him, the bells rang out a peal, and the inhabitants showed every sign of general satisfaction; and with great pomp they conducted him to the principal church to give thanks to God and then with burlesque ceremonies they presented him with the keys of the town, and acknowledged him as perpetual governor of the island of Barataria.” (Quijote II, 45)

Sane, or Insane?

As the novel progresses, the fame of Don Quixote spreads. It becomes a popular jest for “sane” people to deceive the lunatic old knight.

In one particularly elaborate hoax, some bored nobles arrange for Don Quixote to keep an ancient promise to Sancho Panza—to make Sancho the governor of an island.

Bends in the Ebro River

The Ebro River makes many horseshoe bends, creating isthmuses and islands that inspired Barataria, the fictional island over which Sancho Panza governed.

“I must be near Barcelona.”

“…with the first light they looked up and saw that the fruit hanging on those trees were freebooters' bodies. And now day dawned; and if the dead freebooters had scared them, their hearts were no less troubled by upwards of forty living ones who all of a sudden surrounded them, and in the Catalán tongue bade them stand and wait until their captain came up." (Quijote II, 60)

Among the Bandits

On their way to Barcelona, Sancho and Don Quijote spend time among a band of thieves. Observing their distribution of booty, Sancho remarks, "From what I have seen here, justice is such a good thing that there is no doing without it, even among the thieves themselves."


In Cervantes’s time, as now, Catalonia and central Spain were economic and cultural rivals. So when Sancho Panza reports seeing arms and legs dangling from trees, Quixote concludes, “I must be near Barcelona.”

The Cavalier of the White Moon

“One morning as Don Quixote went out for a stroll along the beach, arrayed in full armor...he saw coming towards him a knight, also in full armor, with a shining moon painted on his shield... I am the Knight of the White Moon...if thou fightest and I vanquish thee...I demand no other satisfaction than that, laying aside arms and abstaining from going in quest of adventures, thou withdraw and betake thyself to thine own village for the space of a year” (Quixote II, 64)

Combat on the Beach

On this beach Don Quixote meets the Knight of the White Moon in combat. The knight is part of a plot by Don Quixote’s friends to persuade him to retire after an honorable surrender and return home. Back among those who love him, Don Quixote regains his sanity, renounces his illusions of chivalry, and eventually dies a noble death.

Don Quixote’s Death

“Such was the end of the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, whose village [the author] would not indicate precisely, in order to leave all the towns and villages of La Mancha to contend among themselves for the right to adopt him and claim him as a son.”

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