Over the past few days, we have had extremely hot weather, in fact a heatwave is predicted for next week. While some are revelling in the thought of spending days soaking up the rays, I will try to spend as much time as possible under the shade of the awning on the patio or even indoors.
I can understand if you come from a sun-starved UK your top priority when choosing a holiday destination is that it has to be hot. In fact the hotter the better and anything below 25oC at the height of summer will be dismissed without further ado.
In fact, good weather was one of the things on our priority list when we were looking to leave the UK. In those days, we decided that although a lot cheaper, the temperatures in mainland Spanish in August were just too high for us. However, over the years what we thought was a perfect climate here in Tenerife seems to be getting hotter.
It used to be that August and September were the months of subtropical heatwaves, but the past couple of years this seems to have crept forward to mid-June and July. By afternoon, the heat is often bouncing off the pavements, and causing illusions of wavering images. During these months, the steady summer heat can become unbearable. No one dares walk outside barefoot for fear of blistered feet, as the pavements are hot enough to fry an English breakfast.
As said, I try not to move in this penetrating heat and I succumb to shameful indolence and only move when necessary. I avoid high noon when the sun beats down with unrestrained brutality. I hate hats, but the alternative is hair that clings to your head like a thermal blanket, locking in the heat, and frying the brain. As I am writing this I can feel the loose shirt start to cling and a lone drop of sweat makes its way down my back, leaving a trail of temporary coolness in its wake.
Walking along the seafront in Los Cristianos, the ocean is like a mirror and I have on occasions, found myself stripping off my scandals and wading in. The Atlantic is always cool and drinks away the body heat – this is no weather for running or even walking fast so to stay at the water’s edge all day would be wonderful. But it is different living here to being on holiday
You can’t escape into the hills, as the chances are it’s even hotter up there and any wind there might be is transformed into what feels like a blast from a hairdryer of full power.
Ten years of living on the island and a daily Tenerife blog giving weather reports has taught me that average temperatures are always taken in the shade. Therefore, if I see 30°C I know it is likely to be a lot hotter in full sun. I don’t need that, 25°C suits me nicely. And whilst it sounds as if I’m having a moan, I am, but it only lasts for a few days, a week at most, then back to perfect weather. Which is what Tenerife has for most of the year.