You know you’re in the vicinity of El Médano on Tenerife’s southern coast the moment you open the car doors to get out; if the passenger opens their door at the same time as you, a rush of warm air takes everything inside that isn’t actually fastened down and sends it spiralling out in a frantic bid for freedom.
The wind in El Médano is what makes it the laid back, Bohemian resort that it is. Long sweeping stretches of ivory sand form patterns beneath the sculptured rock formations and carry the eye to the horizon on which, multi-coloured sails bob, weave and glisten in the sun. Windsurfers, kite boarders and power kiters create a chaotic canvas of colour against the endless blue sky, their sails turning and weaving in an ever-changing matrix, orchestrated by the wind.
Last weekend, an intermittent cast of characters joined the usual wind catchers on the breezy expanse of Playa de La Tejita in the Internacional Festival de Cometas or Kite Festival of Granadilla; kites of all shapes and sizes rode the currents, tethered on their strings like prisoners enjoying a fleeting moment of freedom while others fluttered like Tibetan Prayer Flags on poles buried into the sand. Dragons, mermaids and ghosts played alongside planes, diamonds and giant rays, diving and swooping above the heads of onlookers. Grabbing a beer from the bar, I watched as children constructed their own kites in the little workshop before learning to trap the gusts and make them play. We spent an idyllic hour, just me and my beach towel, inventing the new sport of living sand sculpture as the wind whipped up the fine sand and coated us with its glistening presence.