are very good reasons for autumn to be the best season for the natural conditions
of Ibiza and Formentera and also for the social conditions of natives and residents.
include the physical reasons, the natural meteorological conditions and the
labour and social conditions.
the first rains and storms - normally by the end of the summer - the monotonous
and tedious South winds, "Xalóc",
"Mitjorn" and "Llebeig" (as we say in Ibicenco), Southeast, South, Southwest, blowing
softly, almost non stop all summer from North Africa, hot, dry and dusty, gradually
changing to "Llevant", "Gergal"
and "Tramontana" (East,
winds are much cleaner and fresher. The temperature can drop between four to
six degrees centigrade just with the change of winds, which take all the suffocating
feeling and the dusty mist away.
first rains wash away all the dust accumulated during the summer month on buildings,
trees and forest, leaving the Island's skies much brighter, with a clean, unpolluted
and transparent atmosphere. And the autumn Sun gives the Island's landscapes
the best light of the year. Autumn is the best time for the Island photography;
don't you think so Gary?
rains normally finish when the wind changes from "Gergal" (Northeast), coming from the open Mediterranean.
It is very humid, the most rainy the Island gets. Then comes "Tramontana",
the North Continental wind. It is the coldest of the lot, also humid when it
the wind turns to Northwest, coming from the Atlantic. But it has left its water
over the Spanish Mainland. Being still cold, it is dry by the time it is over
the Islands. This is "Mestral",
very strong winds, often forming tempest, that can blow hard for several days,
taking all the clouds away in just a while, leaving always blue skies behind.
(West) the "Sunset" wind as this word means in Ibicenco, have a very
similar effect as "Mestral",
but not for so long, and can bring spotty rains and very short heavy washes,
especially if it blows together with the Southwest wind "Llebeig"
- the real specialist for this "on and off" rain.
general, the autumn temperatures stay warm, ranging from twenty to thirty degrees
centigrade during the day. The sea water stays at about twenty degrees centigrade,
a bit cooler at nights, but still pleasant to sit for a couple of hours on an
open air terrace, comfortable and easier to sleep
(or not to sleep) at night. It is the right temperature that we would
like to have all the year around, or, let's say that this is how most European
citizens programme the heater thermostat to be able to share the same temperature
with us (unfortunately without open windows, sunshine and blue skies, of course).
temperatures, and especially the very-much-needed rains, make our autumn almost
like a second spring for the Island's Flora. There are almost as many plants
that grow and blossom at the present time and during the coming weeks, as in
March-April-May, and soon the mushrooms and toadstools will appear.
can easily observed in the annual growing rings of the pine-tree trunks which
have two cambium rings for each year, one for each raining season. Also in some
crops, such as potatoes, having a second chance with the autumn rains, that,
hopefully, will be around fifty per cent of our total annual sky water income.
Island's traditional crops, such as the summer fruits and cereals, apricots,
figs, barley, corn, almonds and grapes, are normally ripe by now. However, they
ripened about three to four weeks earlier this year, because of the prolonged
hot and dry period we suffered during the spring-summer months. This has been
happening for the previous five years, during which time the average amount
of rain water has been from forty to fifty per cent less then it should be for
our minimum requirements, and far, far less then we actually need. So, as we
say here, the almonds are already in the sack and the new wine already in the
barrel. The harder jobs are over and local farmers look ahead with confidence,
keeping an eye on feeding and pampering the pig that will soon be sacrificed.
You always can tell when these jobs are done. There is always a smile on the
farmer's face and sparks shine in the eye when they tell you how many sacks
and especially when they speak about the great quality of their home-made yearly
wine. This year, the best ever!
They say this every year.
the grape crop and the wine industry are growing fast on Ibiza, both in quantity
and quality. This is something
that I will write about more deeply very soon. (As soon as I have been able
to taste a few of these new, happy and magic nectars... and I can recover from
the "other" Ibiza, for the tourist trade and all the community involved
in it, these are also good times. "S'es
figues ya estan cuidas, i si no y'estan, poques s'an cuiran." (You
will have to learn Ibicenco if you want to know what this means, but I honestly
don't think it's worth it). We
already know the balance of trade from the tourist season, the money should
be earnt by now, and even though it's not over yet, most of the suffering has
we begin to feel the positive side of it, the young noisy crowds have gone,
marching on, back to Britain, as most of their "exclusive oases" are
closed by now. The marching processions of "Pub Crawls" and "Clubbing
Nights" are over, and there is far less "commerce" in the streets.
At last, this is not like a Football Cup Final every night.
is a nice realisation a very much-needed break for all, the local population
and the remaining tourists.
the other hand, also the temporary workers have been paid and these businesses
have been steaming strong, so there is more money in the community and also
- for some - time to spend it.
are still a lot of hotels open and some venues - such as good restaurants and
the best bars - will do well, maybe even better, for the next month. These weeks
can represent the icing on the cake.
the majority of Ibicencos, it is a real pity that we cannot always work at this
civilized tempo, or at least at least enjoy this period for another three or
four months than we do now. We all know that this is possible if there is the
real political will for it.
in general, everybody is already looking forward to closing time, thinking of
resting, happy to be a summer survivor, counting the well deserved and hard
earned money and also making plans for the winter holidays.
hope that whatever wind blows from now on, will blow peace and harmony into
our hearts and cool down our heads, brushing all the black clouds away like
in the skies, the planet Mars is still getting closer to the Earth. In a few
months, it will be the nearest to us that it has ever been, or will be, for
many centuries, so, please remember, if you drink, don't drive... and don't
play with nuclear weapons either.
The Good News
and especially Ibiza Town have celebrated “The First Environmental Week"
a complete week of ecological activities. There was a lot of participation from
politicians and university professors presenting the new plans and laws about
buildings, waste disposal, water and general development to schoolchildren.
They learned about turning rubbish into art, how to produce compost, ecological
agriculture, new and clean technologies, etc. Also there were concerts, clown
shows and special games for the handicapped. Everybody said it was a great idea
and a big success. We all hope it will be repeated in future years.
Saturday we had "A day down town without my car" a relatively new
experience that is being enacted in more and more cities all over the world,
over 800 this year. The real practical effects of it are not very bright, but,
as Hazel Morgan says in her regular article in the local newspaper, it helps
to wake up consciousness and can open a positive debate to find solutions to
a very important problem, such as urban traffic congestion.
Morgan is the president of "Amics de la Terra, Eivissa" the local
branch of "Friends of the Earth International".
Tim Bosnjak from down under in Sydney, Australia. Thank you very much for your
kind e-mail. How is it living upside-down? I still don't understand how you
can keep the coins in your pockets without dropping them! I am very glad that
you have decided to come back some day to Ibiza. Let us know when you are coming;
I look forward to it and will save a nice bottle of our new wine to share with
then, keep in good form and stay by the side of loving company.
regards from José and Ibiza.