Fire in the Serra

Thunderstorms breaking out all around us tonight. Whilst driving through Ponte de Sôr the heavens open and the temperature, still 36oC, falls by ten degrees for about ten minutes. I want to bottle the wonderful smell of the rain hitting the parched ground  - it is the first substantial rain since June. Almost no rain at Quinta do Centro (fortunately as we are in the middle of vintage) but there are lightening strikes all around. We watch in awe from the veranda of the adega as lightening hits theserra in front of us.  First we smell, then we see smoke as the forest ignites. Luís dials 1122 for the bombeiros and they fly out from Portalegre with a helicopter within three minutes. A giant bucket lifts water from the barragem here on the quintaand drops it on the fire. Within five minutes it is extinguished and the helicopter departs.