Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Viento y lluvia

I was once told that before Franco rebranded the Andalusia holiday beaches as the Costa del Sol, this maritime region was known as the Costa del viento, the windy coast. Today was such a day, with a 24kph wind coming in from the sea, driving big banks of cloud inland. Doors and windows rattled throughout the building, but the through breeze was refreshing.

I had some shopping to do, first thing, but then settled down, wrote a draft of my next Sunday sermon, and then tackled some office work. It was around four when I went to the beach. It was all but deserted, also the outdoor restaurants. The playa guardia platforms were flying red flags, and a couple of them patrolled the water's edge to dissuade the young and foolhardy from playing among the huge breaking waves. There were a few crazy folk swimming off shore facing off the breakers, plus a couple of windsurfers off Benagalbón playa. They were going at breakneck speed, where they were beyond reproach or rescue from the playa guardia.

The sand on these beaches is very fine, and blows up into a dust cloud, while the coarser grains whip one's ankles mercilessly. To avoid both saharan plagues, I went down to the shore line, to that point where the biggest waves have made the sand wet and firm so that it doesn't fly. There's sea spray but that's infinitely more preferable than dust.

There were small groups of pigeons grounded along the shoreline, their heads pointing into the wind, their tenure no doubt aided by their natural streamlining. They seemed un-bothered by the buffeting. It was an exhilarating paseo for a change. Just after I reached the apartment it began to rain fitfully bringing a new thread of sound into the apartment soundscape, as raindrops hit aluminium roofing over back yards in the street of houses below. And there's a little more birdsong than is usual around here at this time of year. I spotted two blackbirds on a neighbouring lawn, out enjoying the rain, foraging. 

At home, so much rain makes me shun the outdoors. I hate getting wet. Here, it's refreshing and drying off is rarely much trouble, except when its very humid.

The rain stopped an hour before sunset and the cloud began to clear, and this made for a spectacular sunset sky, full of oranges and yellow tinges to cloudy shades of grey. What a treat for onlookers. I saw people in the street taking photos with their phones, but not me, for once.

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