2018.12.08 Inversión

This is Lorca. Almost 100.000 people live here. We’ve been there once before during the feria at the end of September. The old city is nice to walk through with small streets and high Renaissance buildings.

But that’s not what this picture is about. It’s about the haze that is to be seen just under the mountains at the horizon. In the picture the haze is white, but most of the time it’s brown. This doesn’t look good and originates from several sources:

  • These last couple of weeks there has hardly been any wind. The sun is shining during the day time and the temperatures were rather high for the time of year. This kind of weather is called Veroño. This is nice for us, but it also produces a drought that causes unused farmlands to turn into dust. Since people who live in Spain like to drive like ‘devils’, particularly on dustroads, the dust is all around.
  • On top of the Veroño there is inversión. This means that there is a higher layer of air that is warmer and which prevents the relatively lower, and polluted colder air from getting up.
  • The next cause is the highway A7 which follows the length of the valley in which Lorca, Totana and Murcia are situated. The A7 is the artery which connects the agricultural areas around Almeria with the east coast cities such as Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona, and of course with the rest of Europe. So it’s a busy road.
  • Seventy percent of the family cars in Spain are diesels.
  • The valley between Lorca and Murcia is a mix of an industrial and agricultural area. The factories fume 24/7 and the farmers are allowed to burn their harvest residues from October onward.
  • Spaniards smoke a lot of cigarettes, eat much meat, have many pets, like cats and dogs, and breed chickens, pigs, goats, donkeys, horses and cattle that also contaminate the air with dust and methane gasses.

Although we hope the wind will soon settle in again, a change of winds will also announce a change in the weather. If this will be for the better, is an open question.


2018.11.18 Smugglers Route

The black pencil lines are the only evidence that there is ice on the water. It was a freezing cold day today, so we decided to walk one of our famous hikes: The Smugglers’ Route. Half of the route is in Holland, the other half in Belgium. It’s a walk of about two hours.

The woods are in late autumn colors. A combination of yellow, brown, green and some patches of red. Because the summer and early autumn have been extremely dry, there are hardly any mushrooms. But the air is fresh and the sun was shining most of the time. Many people shared our hike, so it was really cosey. There were even some horses and hounds.

With a fresh nose and warm from a stiff walk we took a cup of hot cocoa with a high tower of whipped cream on top. Winter in Holland. Not a thing to get your nose up for.


2018.09.09 Pure air from the Arctic

This is what happens when the skies clear above the sea. At once you can see for miles on end.

But these clear skies combined with the clouds on the right announce a change in the weather. No matter how south you go, the Arctic knows where to find you.

A cold streak of high speed air came down west of Ireland across the Atlantic, reached the Azores and discovered we are somewhere else. So it changed direction, crossed Spain and decided to drop some thunderstorms with lots of rain in front of our doorstep for the next seven days.

To be continued.


2018.09.05 A change in the weather?

Although the waves aren’t as high as they were yesterday in Japan during typhoon Jebi, they announce here a change in the weather. In San Carles de Rapita the streets were flooded today. In the Rioja wine area hail stones as big as golf balls destroyed cars and parts of the grape harvest.

Tomorrow and friday it will be reasonably sunny and quiet, but on Saturday and Sunday heavy thunder and rain storms are predicted. Perhaps the waves will even get higher because the winds will increase as well. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and let you know.


2018.08.16 Welcoming the rain

Woot, woot! Finally some rain. And now we realized again why gutters are a really great invention. In the Netherlands you will hardly discover any house without them. Over here it’s the other way around.

Water was streaming from every roof tile which made a spectacular view (from the inside of the house of course). We are happy that the roof protrudes a lot. Otherwise it would be gushing down into the house!

Who would have thought last February and March we would welcome any rain. 🙂


2018.08.15 Just some lights

For days it has been, what we call, Dutch weather. Humid, cloudy, stuffy. I wish it would rain. Then it would cool down and the garden would be happy as well.

But no luck so far. It lights, which is a spectacular view in the dusk, but nothing more. The forecast says there will be a thunderstorm on Friday. Let’s wait and see.


2018.05.21 Blue skies

Until today every early morning and every early evening clouds are hanging either on top of the mountains or above our heads.

Today was the exact opposite. An impeccable blue sky this morning and the moment I am writing this post. And clouds in the middle of the day. Everybody keeps warning us it’s going to be hot over here, but so far the temperatures are perfect for me and even a bit cold for Tom.

The tree I photographed as a contrast to the blue sky, is one of my neighbor’s trees. And thanks to one of my Facebookfriends I know now how to look up the name: in an app called Garden Answers. Simply upload a picture and the answer is there.

This is a Jacaranda Mimosifolia or Black Poui.
In our own garden is a mini version of it with one peculiar seed box. I hope to be here long enough to see more of those. Seed boxes always were a great inspiration for me when I worked on my ceramics.


2018.05.10 Walking in the rain

The weather app keeps predicting sun and the reality keeps being rainy. Well, we won’t melt from a bit of rain. Although we didn’t like that the supposedly drying laundry outside got soaking wet again.

Today we walked a part of the Vías Verde. We took up the path about 600 m. from our house and walked until the end. Which really is the end – it ends on a way with lots of traffic. Too bad, because we were hoping on a safe path to Mazarrón.

Next time we will walk the other direction.


2018.05.09 Raindrops in the swimming pool


Most of the day was sunny and lovely. When we drove out of Puerto de Mazarrón with our shoppings we saw big waves of sea mist. But still, we hadn’t thought it would rain.

Even when we see dark clouds we don’t expect rain. Especially when the weather app predicts sunshine all day.

So yes, we were surprised at the end of the day by real rain! Not just 6 drops, but some showers. Although still nothing compared to what we had last February or March. And also far from what we were used to in Holland.

On the other hand “used to”? We never got used to it, which is one of the main reasons of moving up here!