Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rain to the River. River to Rain.

Rio Madre de Dios, in the "drier" season.
Where I stay while we're in the city from the jungle, I saw the lightening.
Seen from afar on the roof-top terrace of Juan's house , it seemed like the rays were active up 100km from the surface of the earth. Flashes illuminated the sky for hours, and we watched it coming from the west thinking it would arrive any minute.
It didn't. Not then.
It's the rainy season in Madre de Dios. This means that you can reliably expect some rain -
But, in which form? For how many days? With sun? With electrics? - All of those answers are not so reliable. The guess on reality seems to be a bit more of a gamble. It could never stop raining for weeks. Or, a storm may never arrive, and instead circle and circle. But being surrounded by the largest tract of tropical rainforest on all of earth where we are situated on one major river that is part of the Amazon drainage system - the amazon with it's delta mouth 240km in width from bank to bank ...

....you reliably expect water peeing endlessly from the sky, none-the-less. It's just a matter of when

Those clouds, with lightening and thunder dancing in the atmosphere, were huge.
Really though, nothing special for this part of the world.
But still so huge that the storm was actually probably still 150km away when we saw it. But if you didn't count the seconds between flashes and booms, you would think it was going to be over your head in a few minutes. I did, at least.

But it was not a few minutes,
No, it was hours before it actually arrived, and it came in the night.
I was able to sleep only until that thunderous collection of moments when rain exploded into the roof.

The house's floor flooded. Water soaked down through the windows (I was before wondering why the paint was peeling in all the rooms). Rain blew in the side crevices, left and right. And while water fell down, puddles on the ground simultaneously soaked upwards. The storm flowed in all directions: water wicked through the ground, and rain pummeled through the sky.

No big deal though - 12mm of rain over about 8 hours.
Like I said, it really wasn't anything special. In India they can get 120mm in a day.
It was not some "storm of the century". Nor an event really out of the ordinary.
Sure, it might have collapsed the highway between here and Cuzco.
But really, that is just nature's way.

So the rivers rise.
Madre de dios in partial swell (wikipedia)
But it can go higher still.
A part of Puerto Maldonado in 2003.
I would love to see a picture of the full-size of the Madre de Dios

But me, being from a dry little corner of the world (but where we still do get our own share of floods)... I was extremely impressed with the amount of water. And since all the water needs to goes somewhere - in a city without out many storm drains - the rain meanwhile took dry ground, and garbage, and the banks of the ports out to the sea with it.

Those waters in the rivers, and those waters of the sea mix with the great life-force of this living jungle and keep it all raining again. Rain to river. River to Rain. An Endless loop.

I hope.

Yesterday, we couldn't get back to Canto Luz (which is situated a few hours outside of the city, up river), because cars couldn't get to the port where our boat is. But had we been with boat, I am sure I would have felt the raw awe again of river travel : those immense possibilities that, if I flowed, would all take me to the other side of the continent.

approximately where Canto Luz is, along the river piedras,
a tributary to the Madre de dio
(canto luz)
No wonder it is so green here.

but more on that soon - And my life in just a small snippet in the amazon basin.
huge mother-lovin' basin 

Meanwhile, read Canto Luz' blog- http://www.cantoluz.com/#!blog/cdch

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