When it rains it pours
Here comes the Rain again
We all know we can’t control the weather and traveling for the better part of year means we have experienced our fair share of rain. Here is a running list, ala “Forrest Gump” of the kind of rains we encountered:
In the Grand Canyon on the last day of our trip it rained so hard and cold that it hurt. Large bullets of cold Arizona rain pelted us for the better part of two hours while we rafted down the canyon taking on class 8 rapids. Snuggled in rain gear, cuddled together, Laney turned to me and said, “If this was the first day of our trip, I would have broken my ankle on purpose and had us airlifted out of here!” We were all thinking the same thing.
In Guatemala, on Lake Atitlan, we were taking a small boat back from a little village to our house across the lake. The ride took about 40 minutes. About halfway across we saw the storm cloud chasing us. The driver, who spoke no English, shook his head and said in Spanish the words for “big rain”. He began to get a large tarp out which I knew couldn’t be good news. As spiders were scattering everywhere form the crumpled tarp, I was debating taking my chances in the rain. When the rain started it didn’t take me long to get under the tarp. Between the speed of the boat and the wind we were soaked to the bone. Lee said, “It’s better than the rain in the Grand Canyon.” And that was true.
While fishing in the Amazon we heard thunder. The guide said “big storm” but didn’t move. We all looked at each other. The guide caught another piranha. The rain started. It was light at first and we kept fishing. The Amazon is so hot that the rain was a welcomed relief. We kept fishing. It kept raining. We kept fishing. It got heavier. A lot heavier. We kept fishing. It began to rain so hard that we could not see. David said to the guide, “Will the fish bite in this?” “No, probably not”. Hmmmm. Another day in the Amazon.
In Fiji, the weather was beautiful almost every day we were there while Hurricane Sandy ravaged the North East Coast of the USA. A little less than two months later a cyclone came through Fiji doing significant damage to many of the islands. Our prayers are with both places for healing and recovery. Mother Nature is tough.
In Australia it was the beginning of the rainy season and rained almost every afternoon in the north. We never experienced the real torrential rains that everyone told us about as it was still early but one of my favorite memories was while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef from Mission Beach. We looked up to see the rain drops on the surface of the ocean. Rain looks very beautiful from under the water.
In Ubud, Bali the rain flooded the streets washing the Hindu temple offerings away. We attended a cooking class one afternoon and watched the beautifully dressed women walking the streets in the rain with large offerings on their heads to get ready for a ceremony. The rain didn’t stop anybody there. People use motorcycles like minivans and children can be seen riding tandem under their parent’s ponchos. Just extra set of little legs sticking out as they ride through the rain on scooters or motorcycles, weaving through the traffic and bouncing through puddles.
We have just left the Jungle of Borneo and spent a wet morning aboard a pagang boat searching for Orangutans and other jungle animals. As we passed Proboscis monkeys, long-tailed Macaque and other amazing wildlife, the skies opened up again. It was early, 6 am, and we were once again on a boat, on a river, in a jungle, soaking wet. When we got back to the jungle camp our guide suggested we wait in our huts until the rain stops to try again. Lee cuddled up on our cot and said, “Let’s tell stories and laugh”. This was one of my favorite days in the rain.
So we have experienced a lot of different rain. In part this is due to the fact that we are following the sun around the globe and have encountered the wet and rainy seasons in several areas, but also because most of our trip has put us out in the elements more than ever before. Most of the places we have visited live closer to the elements and in tune with nature than we do in the USA. We have isolated ourselves from the elements to a degree that is unique in the world. Many countries, and most people on the planet, do not exist in a climate-controlled environment. While it is nice to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, reintroducing yourself to the natural world is an exercise worth doing. I’m a bit hardier now. I can handle the rain…I even like it.