Those of you that were on Condado this Summer will know that it was hot and dry. According to Murcia Today, Murcia has just experienced it’s driest Summer since 1941 and the hottest since 1943. I have been looking around Google and found an article in The Coastrider.net titled ‘Driest in Alicante for 157 years’ which highlights the plight of farmers in the south east corner of the Iberian peninsula which I guess includes Mazarron and Alhama and since it allows me to copy it I’ve copied it for you to read. It reminds us that although we think of Condado de Alhama as a holiday resort it is in the middle of an agricultural region.
Driest in Alicante for 157 years
According to data issued by the Laboratory of Climatology in the University of Alicante recently the city is experiencing its driest half year for 157 years since 1857 when official records start. ‘It remains one of the driest years in the south east corner of the Iberian peninsula over the last 150 years,’ said the head of the climatology laboratory Professor Jorge Olcina. Only 27 litres of rainfall has been recorded in the province over the first six months of this year.
Jorge Olcina went on to say that recent rain in the northern part of the province had been useful for irrigating crops and helping to at least briefly reduce the effect of the on going drought the region has been suffering for almost 12 months. However he added that in the rest of the province the rains had come to practically nothing and had had little or no effect on the drought. ‘If it does not rain as normal in the next two months,’ he said, ‘the drought conditions will worsen and the situation will become serious.’
The President of the Young Farmers’ Association in Alicante, Eladio Aniorte, was quoted in regional newspaper La Verdad as agreeing with the statements from Professor Ocina saying that ‘the outlook is bleak’ particularly in the centre and south of the province. ‘In the Vega Baja, Elche and Alicante it has not rained at all.’
‘Things are very bad; if it does not rain I do not know where it will end. Losses are great, everyone believes between 30 and €40 million,’ he told the newspaper. Aniorte also talked about the crops that are being planted now. ‘Artichokes are being planted now and potatoes and broccoli should be started soon but everything is up in the air and everyone is worried and nobody dares to plant because if it does not rain and with the heat at the moment the plants will die within two months and the crop will not be worth anything,’ he said. This could well mean higher prices for the rest of us in the shops for local fruit and vegetable.
Aniorte was also critical of central government’s lack of practical support for the farmers. They have offered to subsidise and defer interest payments on loans to 12 months but he believes farmers should not be paying Social Security or income tax. He went on to also criticise the Valencian government for saying they will help ‘but doing nothing’.
And today it rained. We had a brief shower a few days ago and the temperatures dropped but today we woke up with rain clouds across the mountains and mid morning the heavens opened with thunder and lightening over head. Anybody outside away from shelter was drenched including my dog – he is still drying out after several hours, as was his walker – not me! The marshal thoughtfully collected golfers off the golf course. The golf course is a dangerous and frightening place whilst thunder and lightening storms over head.
Rain clouds over the mountains – So thick you can’t see the mountain!
The sun came out later
and chased the clouds away for awhile but later it clouded over again and looks like more rain. The temperature has dropped with a cool breeze – I love it. I’ve never been a fan of the hot temperatures. Throughout the morning, through rain and sun the maintenance men were out fixing the top balcony on Penthouse 15.
So that’s my first blog in ages. While Condado sweltered through a hot summer I was travelling Europe in my new Motor-home so my next few blogs will be a little about my travels