The Sahara on my doorstep – literally!

Posted: January 21, 2008 in Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s been a beautifully sunny day in Puerto de la Cruz, well it would have been had it not been for the thickest ‘calima’ I’ve seen since moving here four years ago.
A sunny day in Puerto - honestHot winds from the Sahara bring massive sand clouds which shroud the islands in a cloak of ruddy dust. The south and east coasts experience the worst of the calima where the air can be thick enough with sand to cause respiratory problems. On the north coast we usually escape the worst (possibly because of the mountains and the volcano between us and the east). By the time the calima reaches us it usually manifests itself as a kind of haze; leaving a fine layer of sand over everything, but today it’s been more like a hot fog, so dense that I couldn’t see any of the surrounding valley.

I took this photograph at Parque Taoro above Puerto. It’s a favourite spot for joggers and even with the air thick with the Sahara’s finest, there were still some diehards trotting around the dusty tracks, ironically filling their lungs with sand in their quest to stay fit – not the most sensible of activities during calima.

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