In complete contrast to our time in Colorado (bbbrrrrrrr), our time in California has been marked by heat waves. A couple of days ago the high was 108 degrees (Fahrenheit) where we are staying. That's HOT!
When you are in real heat you must slow down and drink lots of water. Duh, we all know that. The slowing down part seems to includes a shut-down of intellectual processes. My brain just does not work at high speed in high heat. Because the brain uses more energy than any other organ in the body (utilizing about 25% of our energy), this makes sense. The body has to redirect energy to cool us off, and the brain seems to slow down to accommodate that. If you allow for the slow down and drink plenty of water, it's interesting what happens when the sun goes down: Your energy pops up, the brain comes back online and activity feels good again.
As it gets dark and you cool off, processes come back online and it's time to be active. Within a couple of days, it's easy to see why whole cultures who live in hot climates have lives that revolve around allowing for the body to deal with the heat. When you are up early, rest during the midday heat, then work and eat late, it's almost easy to manage the heat. Viva Espana!
In Mexico, Spain and other areas where it's hot the business/schooling schedule takes into account heat and the body's response to it. Here in the U.S. it's hard to find any community that deviates from our 9-5 schedule both for school and work. In Phoenix, air conditioning is used to mitigate the extreme heat of the summer. In fact, without this augmented temperature control, many people there would die (or hopefully move away before they died) because they are not heat adapted (or cannot adapt because of age or illness).
This morning we woke to fog (it rolled up the hills from the coast) and it was cool. We skipped everything and took the dog for a walk in the still, cool air watching as the sun burned it off. By the time we came back and made coffee the sun was out, fog was gone and heat was on its way. We headed down to the beach (out of the heat) for the hottest part of the day, and will go back to our site to cook dinner when it's cooling down.
Luckily the nights are cool in these hills, so sleep isn't an issue. The second skin, canvas-house works well in the heat, and protects us from too much sun. :) Maybe I'll take it to Spain.