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Travelling Spain with Two Dogs & a Parrot

With a good internet connection, I can work remotely from anywhere, so my husband Rob & I took advantage of this & are travelling Spain with our pets & everything we own packed into an estate car with roof-box.

It Rained and Rained and Rained
27 September 2019 @ 08:36

We were away visiting family in the UK earlier this month when the storms hit southern Spain, but all was OK with our home in Oliva when we returned.  We were fortunate.

This post is a memory from the rains we experienced in Autumn 2018 which seemed to be constant at times with the storms settling over the wide valley we overlooked & not budging!

We lived up a lane from the main road, then further up a side lane to the gate at the top of our drive.  The concrete drive at the side of the house sloped downwards ending at the tiled terrace along the front of the house.  This area was covered with a corrugated metal roof extending almost to the edge of the pool. It was possible to drive the car onto the terrace & under cover right up-to the front door & we knew that we probably would on moving day at the beginning of 2019.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a gutter on the corrugated roof so when it rained, all the run-off, the muck, dirt, dead rodents & all, dropped straight into the pool.

The water soon became black & filthy.

The weather had turned Autumnal at the beginning of September 2018, cooler & wetter with frequent bouts of rain, so not so appealing for a swim anyway.  However, after a couple of weeks, the skies brightened & the sun came out so we cleaned the pool & refilled it using our cobbled together system of foil funnel & paddling pool.

Then, within a week & for the remainder of September & into October it rained again, & again, & again.

When it was stormy, the electric often flipped out & we had to wait a few hours before it was turned back on.  I was fortunate that each occurance wasn't during my work time so client tasks were not interupted.  We stood under the corrugated terrace & watched the rain, deafened from the noise above, but thrilled by the experience & constant thunder & lightening.  It wasn't unusual for the windows & light fittings to rattle with the thunder & I experienced a complete white-out during one strike.  I lost my sight to the sheer brightness of lightening directly overhead, followed by complete blackness until my eyes adjusted afterwards.

The storm settled in our valley & trapped by mountains all around, didn't move.  In October it had been pouring down, non-stop all day & I went to bed just before midnight, still with ongoing thunder & lightening.  I must have woke each hour during the night & there had been no change in the weather.

I'd never known such heavy rain, so much thunder & lightening, constantly for so long.

(I have since as we moved houses once again during Easter weekend 2019 - a tale for another time...)

At 3am, the storm hadn't abated any, but amazingly, the electric was still functioning.  By 5am, the storm still raged, but by then we had no power.  I awoke a couple of hours later & the rain had lessened, but it was dark & with no electricity, I couldn't do anything, so snoozed until daylight.  I was so pleased I had & hadn't attempted to cross to the kitchen in the dark...

The kitchen was in a separate room across the terrace with a two inch step down.  It was a good way to keep the heat of cooking out of the main house in Summer, but a daft design too.  Although the terrace was covered, both ends were open to the wind (or welcome breeze when it was hot) & the water flowed across the tiles from the drive side of the house to the other, to then drain away at the side of the building & down the hill.

Or that particular morning, it wasn't just water, but mud had too.

The contant torrential rain had washed the soil off the field above the house, down the drive & dumped the silt onto the terrace.  We had a good 2-4 inches of wet sludge whilst the kitchen was flooded in water right up-to the step, with a good layer of mud beneath.  The pool was black & had filled right to the top, 3-4 feet overnight!  Our top lane wasn't too bad having a relatively hard-packed surface, but the lane to the road had washed away.  Deep gullies & large stones made it treacherous to drive in an ordinary car, but the main road was flooded anyway with mud landslides from the adjacent washed-away lanes.

Although messy & time-consuming to clean-up, afterwards we realised we'd actually not been that severly affected & it was a story to recount later.  However, the storms & flash floods had done dreadful damage elsewhere & lives were lost.  You may remember Eye on Spain blogger, Karethe's post of the destruction near Ronda, an hour's drive away from us.  Some areas of Malaga Province received over 11 inches of rain in less than six hours, just under 5 inches in an hour & nearly 1 inch in ten minutes!

According to our landlady, the weather was unusual & unseasonable, turning cool & wet far earlier than usual, but this was our first full Autumn on the Costa del Sol, so didn't have other experiences to compare with.  It turned-out to be an unsettled few months as the weather continued to be damp, cloudy & quite cool.  When the sun came out, it was warmer outside than in the house so I sat working indoors with a blanket over my knees & hunted down fingerless gloves as my mouse-hand always gets cold.

The wood burner would need to be lit soon...



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