We’re currently away from the Algarve and just before we left I suddenly realised I had not prepared a post for this week. I was beginning to panic about what I could write when Sue (Words Visual) mentioned ‘the bee’s knees’ in a comment on my last post and I was inspired. So thanks Sue!
I thought I’d take you on a short walk in the valley below the ‘Barragem do Beliche‘. It’s a perfect country ramble for those wishing to experience life in the Algarvian hills, but haven’t got the time, footwear or energy for a proper Algarvian hike. We always begin this stroll in the shadows of the EN122, but you could easily begin it by the reservoir.
Last time we walked this there had been heavy rains in the previous month and so the reservoir was looking full. Last week however the reservoir levels seems very low. I guess not surprising given we have had three months of little or no rain. However November through January are meant to be the wettest months of this year here in the Algarve, with February not far behind, and so the reservoirs should be looking fuller than this.
Do click on the gallery below you can really see the contrasts between last year and this.
Whilst we are concerned by the lack of rain I must admit we have been enjoying the daily blue skies and warm temperatures. The bees are also enjoying the early spring; it’s the bee’s knees!
Or is a dry early spring really the bee’s knees? I suspect the local farmers in this fertile valley are not as happy as their bees. Around 50% of southern Portugal is now in minor drought, and the Minister of Agriculture was highlighting only a few weeks ago that if the rain doesn’t fall soon it will have huge consequences for agriculture in the region. We noticed some of the orange trees were struggling. We can only hope that March is as wet month as it was last year following my last drought post; then we had the second wettest March since 1931 here in Portugal and the reservoirs were filled.
The likelihood though is that Portugal is heading for drought. Global warming is causing droughts to last longer and affect greater areas in Europe, and if the Earth continues to warm, even as little as a couple of degrees Celsius, these extreme events could become our future norm. No wonder young people were striking last week in England, they have realised that we need our governments and the corporate organisations to take action not placate us with more promises.
I hate to think what impact it will have on one of my favourite valleys in the Baixo Guadiana, hidden away below the EN122. Whilst a few intrepid camper vans have found what I am now calling ‘the bee’s knees’ valley, most whizz past heading north to Alcoutim and Alentejo. Not that I can blame them as it is in Alentejo where we are this week. A beautiful region, and even quieter than the Algarvian hills. Although that is difficult believe sometimes when you are on a hill, like the one below, in the Algarve!
By the way if you would like to read more on the impact of global warning in Europe check out this link at: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-climate-droughts-europe.html#jCp