January 8, 2023

Day 11: Valence (Short Cycle)

Once upon a time there was a river that ran through a Spanish city. In that city all was well until that fateful day when it wasn't. On that day the river burst its banks and flooded much of the city. Many properties were flooded and much damage resulted. This caused great consternation amongst the city folk. Who decided that such a catastrophe could not befall the city again. Consequently they decided that the river should be diverted. And so it was.

Come to Valencia to see a river bed that is without its river. I cycled in and around it this afternoon. Here are some photos of things that reside in it now.

As for last night, what a disaster. There was blood shed, blood consumed and blood mopped up! Somehow my van was invaded by a hoard of mosquitoes!

On previous days, perhaps nights, I had clearly been a main meal for some mosquitoes. I had the itchy evidence! But last night was on a different level altogether. It all started about 2.15am and was finally concluded at roughly 6am. I awoke at approximately 2.15am and became aware that there was a winged creature near to my ear (buzz buzz buzzing a bloody way!). I therefore illuminated the interior of the van and identified the creature as a Spanish mosquito.

Obviously it had to be exterminated, so reluctantly with premeditation I killed it. On doing so, as evidenced by the relatively large quantity of blood released as a consequence of the killing, it was clear that it had just been feasting on me!

Obviously where there is one M there is likely to be others. So I spent five minutes or so hunting for additional Ms that may be lying in wait. I found none. So I returned to the horizontal and attempted to re-inhabit the land of morpheus. Just as I was about to nod off a buzzing was again heard via my right aural canal; I was lying on my left side.

A repetition of the previous murderous onslaught ensued with me being the victor. I say victor not with any degree of pleasure or schadenfreude at the the demise of the M but, rather, the evidence in this instance, suggested that the M had not feasted upon me prior to its untimely death; clearly there was going to be some collateral damage during this war of attrition. The victory was short lived; although another skirmish may have been won there were many more to come before the night was over.

This cycle of hunting for additional mosquitoes to no avail; hoping I'd finally annihilated them all; attempting to return to the land of nod; and as often seemed to the case, just as I was about to fall asleep, the bloody buzzing kicked off again and, the whole murderous cycle of tracking down and euthanising the M started all over again; typically lasting a good five to ten minutes. I estimate there were something like twelve or so cycles of attempted feast and death.

As mentioned, there was blood shed (by me), blood consumed (by some of the resident mosquitoes) and blood mopped up (by me). All in all, this whole episode lasted nearly four hours and, I must admit, by about 6am (the last time I looked at the clock), I was bloody knackered and so, I eventually fell asleep not truly knowing if I'd be fodder for yet more mosquitoes. I did not re-awake until about 10 am. And by 10pm tonight the only M I've seen was the one I saw outside the window as I made my evening meal, glad in the knowledge that I was not going to be the source of its dinner!

Two things came to mind in the cold light of day:

  1. Why did this happen last night? When it did not appear to have occured during the previous nights I've been parked here; especially as I'd been more careful about trying to prevent them enter the van in the first place.
  2. Why/how did they coordinate/organise themselves such that they attacked as lone operatives rather than en masse?

To answer the first question, I think they may have entered the van on the first night when it hadn't even crossed my mind there would be mosquitoes out and about at this time of the year. Indeed, I was surprised to discover I had been feasted upon; I thought they hibernated or something in winter.

However, I think the reason I was not noticeably preyed upon by the mosquitoes during previous nights was because the temperature inside the van dropped to a chilly 6°C. Whereas, last night, the temperature only dropped to 14°C. So, perhaps the previous nights were too cold for mossie flying! (According to Central Mass Mosquitoes function best at [~27°C] become lethargic at [~16°C], and cannot function below [10°C] (I have converted F to C).

As for the second question, I have no idea, perhaps they were just being evil bastards!! Or having fun at my expense!

Oooops, this turned out to be a much longer post than probably either you or I wanted! Sorry, but it has been somewhat cathartic.

  • Distence drive: 0
  • Distance cycled: 41km
  • GPX
  • Weather: Mainly overcast, warm (22°C @2pm), windy.
  • Mosquitoes killed: about 12