It’s been a strange few weeks; warm weather, fires across the mountains near Lanjarón, howling winds to wake the dead and, now, a return to mild temperatures. For the last two days much of southern Spain has become a theatre stage of yellow dry ice – only that it’s Saharan dust, obliterating the Sierra de Lújar for much of the time.
Anyone who had come hiking to enjoy the views in La Alpujarra would be disappointed – and perhaps a little more short of breath. The chest has tightened for sure and eyelashes have gathered crud like a littered fence. It’s a full moon tonight, which has meant it’s appeared more dramatic than usual – a glowing ball in a bowl of carrot soup.
For some back home it’s always blue skies in Andalucía; we’re pleased it’s not. But here, everyone could lose the fires and, sometimes, incessant winds which help whip up abandoned bonfires, turning the land into a charcoal drawing.
The road between Órgiva and Lanjarón was shut. Planes swooped, dropping their non-bouncing bombs of water from the lake at Béznar. Come six in the evening, the curtains were drawn across the mountainside and we watched through binoculars as pockets of flame ignited near Cañar. Earlier in the day, a ‘neighbour’ was ordered from her house because of the encroaching fires. She sought solace in a local bar with others – her attempt at sneaking back home thwarted by the Guarda Civil. Another glass of vino tinto then.
The short film below shows the black patches of earth the morning after the fires. It doesn’t look much but imagine seeing a creeping wall of flames coming your way.
As ever in winter/spring, more rain is needed: to help dampen the earth that invites such fires, make skiers happy up the Sierra Nevada, provide water during the dry summer months and to wash the car – as long as there are no bits of Africa in it.
© con jamón spain