The weather forecast for Luz today was a slight drop in temperature accompanied by a little, light rain. That is the first forecast of rain for months and the parched earth badly needed some water.
But the meteorologists don’t seem to understand Luz or the Algarve. We don’t get light rain here. We get downpours. And so it was last night. I was awoken by a deluge that came down with incredible ferocity. Oddly, there was no thunder or lightning, which normally accompanies torrential rain here.
Now, overnight rain, however heavy is not an issue. Rather it is a blessing. The lawn will spruce up, the reservoirs will get restocked for 2017, and after a prolonged drought, I have no doubt that the farmers are glad to able to replenish their water tanks.
Normally, it is heavy rain overnight and it clears by day. Today, for most of the day, it continued to chuck it down in abundance.
Let me turn to Autumn. It seems that the UK thinks Autumn starts on 22 September, and is characterised by leaves turning brown and falling from the trees. It doesn’t happen this way in the Algarve.
The UK concept of deciduous trees and leaves falling everywhere is a bit of a non-starter here. For a start, the dry season is so extended that deciduous trees would perish or simply add fuel to our bad-enough forest fires.
Autumn is when plants come into life again. There is still plenty of light and heat for flowers to bloom, and bushes put out vibrant, colourful displays. OK, our garden is artificial in the sense that it gets watered all year long, but the arrival of the rains means the countryside turns from the parched brown of Summer to a much more pleasant shade of green.
I can think of two relevancies to Madeleine, should the weather continue like today. The first is that if my guest on Luz Tour #4 wants to do a bit of exploring, then suitable exploits that get us out of the rain need to be considered. There are activities in Burgau, Luz and Lagos that are impervious to the weather, though such activities have little to do with the Madeleine McCann case.
The other is that the rain is now feeding the bougainvillea in the Tapas area again, and no doubt by the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, on 3 May 2017, it will be in bloom to prove that the Tapas area photos of Madeleine are genuine.