Thursday, March 7, 2013

Levant brings stormy weather

I was hoping for better weather today but when I looked out of the window the clouds were very low and quite menacing. On our way into Figueres this morning there were streams running down the rocks in the mountains, and river beds that were bone dry two days ago had flooded their banks. Even one of the local transit buses had run right off the road, through the metal barrier and was lying on its side.

Thankfully, the rain had let up a little while we did our shopping but near the end of our excursion down it came again with a vengeance. By the time we arrived at the car we were soaked through.

On the way home we decided to stop in Llanca to watch the waves as we had glimpsed a lot of turbulence driving by there this morning. Down in the port the police had blocked off the road that goes out to some of the restaurants and stores as well as the far parking lot. After parking we watched the biggest waves we have seen crashing in across the bay. The water was quite close to our parking lot and the first boat tied to the dock nearest us was swamped.

A quick walk along the promenade took us closer to the far parking lot, which was completely flooded and full of rocks, some of them quite large. The waves were crashing right over the break-wall and the parking lot wall before dropping down three metres to flood the street. It was quite spectacular.

When there was a break in the waves and the street was no longer a river, we climbed a slate hill to watch the waves crash onto shore. It was quite breathtaking standing there with these huge five-meter or more giant waves heading straight towards us. I have never seen anything like it. In fact I must admit that I did find it quite exhilarating. Fortunately, we were just off to one side but we did get sprayed a few times. In the parking lot beneath us we could see some big boulders and lots of rubble that had been picked up and swept along by the force of the waves. When we decided to return to the car, we had to wait for another lull in the wave action before we could cross the street that would become a torrent when the waves were at their height.

Back in the Port the water was the highest we've seen it. The beach was covered in rocks and every so often the sea water came through an opening and sloshed across the parking lot. Our waves were much calmer, long rollers quite different from usual. All of this is caused by the warm, easterly Levant winds that traditionally bring windy, wet weather at this time of year.

After returning home and hosing down the car to get rid of the salt, it was time for a lovely cup of chamomile tea. I hope that our guests are enjoying themselves in Barcelona, where they can spend time visiting the indoor attractions, when the rain becomes too much.

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