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Posts Tagged ‘Pillars of Hercules’

Las Nubes

In Presentation, Production on October 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

There is a point along the high road between Algeciras and Tarifa where a succession of twists and curves offers rapidly alternating views of the Straits of Gibraltar – hemmed in by the coastal mountain ranges of Europe and Africa – and the wide open, luminous vista of the Costa de la Luz as it stretches out along the Atlantic. There is a rare sense of scale and of place – one can picture oneself on the relevant page of the atlas – and today the scene is even more than usually singular.

Weather reports have described the area as nublado, or cloudy, but in fact the skies are crystal clear and brilliantly blue, marked only here and there by scissor-cut contrails. The clouds are down below in the form of a marine layer that drifts slowly westward through the Straits, trapped by a warm front that is moving in above them. They fill the narrow waterway with fluff, above which the Pillars of Hercules peek – papier-mache protrusions amidst the cotton wool of a child’s geography project.

I get off the bus and walk downhill into town and towards the casco where we live. With precision, the marine layer leaves the coast clear and keeps to the water. Only where Tarifa itself terminates at the Isla de Palomas – the continent’s jutting, southernmost point – does it drift overhead across the antique roofscape. Our building, when I reach it, marks the line at which the high-visibility day gives way to fog. More

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