Tales of the Lecrin Valley

A personal view of life in an andalusian village.

We had the first rains after the summer heat yesterday, not the benign rain that gently kisses plants and flowers, nurturing and nourishing, but a full blown brutal summer storm which ripped and raped through the hills, leaving vicious gashes in many hillsides where before there had been virgin soil. I drove back through the worst of it from Velez Benaudalla and it was awesome. For a many drivers the awe became fright , and they stopped on the side of the road, with or without their hazard warning lights flashing, refusing to move and adding another hazard to the drive up into the hills. It is a moot point as to whether stopping and being hit by an avalanche or a raging flash flood is better than being hit by the same whilst driving, but I decided on the latter and pressed on, as is my wont, at one stage following a van driver who added to his vulnerability by having no lights on. There is a small brook I look out for which normally has an abundance of flowers growing on its banks, but yesterday was vomiting, the only word for it, mud and rocks across the storm drain and into the road before streaming down the asphalt in the direction of the oncoming traffic. In the afternoon the old road was closed while the bulldozers cleared away the landslides, mud and debris and I saw rafts of flotsam littering the surface of the Rules reservoir. This morning the road was open again and all was peace and tranquillity. Within a few weeks there will be little sign of the damage as plants take over, but this area is prone to flash floods in September and it is as well to remember that we are living in the foothills of the highest mountains in Spain. Why am I writing this? Because the phones have been down since the storm and there is little else to do while we wait to be reconnected.