“It’s over 40 degrees,” said the sweet barmaid. “Did you hear that?” asked the silver-haired Scot to his wife. “Over 40 degrees. Didn’t expect that in September but it bloody feels it.” A cursory glance at one of my many weather apps told a very different story. Luz, today, reached 28c and it was bloody hot. The thermometer was directly in the sun. This is not how you measure temperature.
I have experienced, only once and then only briefly, temperatures exceeding 40c. We had landed in Corfu one July morning and as soon as the air stewardesses opened the plane doors, we emerged into a furnace of kerosene, the local fauna and the hottest Greek sun I had ever known. The journey to our resort and the afternoon that followed was quite literally unbearable. It was way too hot to lie in the sun so we did the only thing we could do: go to the nearest bar.
It is easy to forget what ‘hot’ means. We arrived in Praia da Luz in around 24/25c and even this was pleasant, very warm if you will. My partner and I agreed that this kind of temperature would be “just right”. In our first week, the temperature has gradually climbed. The difference between 24c and 28c is vast.
Surprisingly, just off the Atlantic Ocean, it’s incredibly humid, like one of those days in England when the skies turn from bright blue to jet black in half an hour and the following storm washes away the humidity. This is not going to happen in Luz.
Going away in September can be such a gamble weather wise. Some years ago, a friend went to Corfu on my recommendation. To my horror, it rained incessantly for the best part of a fortnight and it was generally cool. Every year since – and I am making up this bit to make myself feel better – September has been a glorious extension of September, with the thermometer regularly hitting 31/32c. That’s bloody hot for the height of summer, never mind autumn.
And when we get back home, it will be an almighty shock to the system, what with the Luz night time temperatures exceeding the Bristolian daytime ones. I might have to wear some jeans or even a coat. Which is why I am not complaining about these last five and a bit days. As ever, the second week is flying by compared to the leisurely first and next week will feel like winter, which to me it will be until next March.