11th March 2017. Tarifa, Spain.

I don’t know why we bother making plans they never quite work out. We were going to go up the hill to the observatory to watch the next swathe of birds fly in.  I read last night that they don’t fly if it’s too windy and guess what, they’re right!   However we did see some unexpected things just by staying put.

We were in the van when a big shadow went across the windscreen and moments later a microlight appeared and landed about 15 metres in front of us.  He taxi’d round to near where he’d landed spent some time fiddling with the wing then took off again.

A long time later he flew back in again and took off almost immediately, in between his two landings we watched waves of bikers as they enjoyed a day out and the brightly coloured kites of the kite surfers appearing and disappearing behind the tree line.

In the late afternoon we stopped doing our tasks and sat outside watching for raptors.  We didn’t find any raptors but we did start chatting to a British couple, Terry and Jan who’d just driven in.  I think I might have made a lasting impression, as they walked past on their exploratory walk round, I waved and my dress blew up in my face!

We had a nice chat with them about places we’ve all been to and then we noticed a huge plume of smoke getting bigger as we watched.  It obliterated our view of the hills and the road but the strange thing about it was that there was no smell.   We were all rather perplexed until another neighbour told us it was a sand storm!

He also filled us in on the biker who we’d seen twice over the last couple of days doing wheelies at high speed along the road, being followed by a line of traffic,  apparently he’s a German man who came down with a group of friends but his friends have gone off for a while so to keep himself entertained during their absence every so often he does wheelies along the road at up to 70 mph!   As he was chatting the sandstorm really kicked in but we weren’t sandblasted as we had been on the beach on our first day here instead it just enfolded us in a gentle sandy cloud, it was weird.  When we got in the van we noticed the sand cloud had left our skin feeling silky smooth from the silica I assume.  We watched as the cloud enveloped the whole area then vanished as quickly as it appeared to build up as a white cloud behind the tree line and start again.  It was intriguing, I watched a man ride past on a beautiful horse just as the second cloud was building up,  I’d love to know how sandy  they were when they got home.

As the sand storm cleared I noticed something above the tree line, it was a clone, as I was looking at that a model aeroplane suddenly popped up above the trees too, we were entertained by his aerobatics  for a while and as I stood outside photographing that a dog came racing across the grass  followed closely by some quad bikes!  It all happens on that piece of grass, this morning it was a cow pasture, this afternoon it was a runway/ bridle path/ quad bike track, I LOVE it here!

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