We have been pretty spoilt for camping weather around here. I normally throw in a jumper each as an insurance policy, and waterproofs have only recently been added to the packing list. So this weekend was something of a novelty, and a test of our organisational skills to keep the inside of the tent clean and dry despite the efforts of the weather and two muddy children.
Sunday night was the biggest thunderstorm I’ve ever weathered in a tent. Luckily Joni is still small enough to believe us when we tell him everything’s just fine (while watching the poles bend inwards and attempting to calculate at what point they might pass that critical angle). Our tent behaved impeccably, and we emerged on Monday morning to on-going rain, a sea of mud and the sight of every other camper packing wet stuff into vehicles.
We did briefly entertain the idea of cutting the trip short like every other sensible Argentinean, but Joni is made of stronger stuff. “Let’s go for a walk in the rain”. So I dug the tent out of the mud before it sunk without trace, relocated it to a spot with slightly better drainage and we carried right on with our trip.
It was too cold and wet for the beach, but we’re English so we went anyway;
The kite flew beautifully between the showers and Joni managed to fly it himself for the first time;
We explored the multisensory properties of mud at close quarters (Danny’s trainers went in the bin at the end of the trip);
And we probably saw far more nature than we would on a “normal” sunny weekend when the place is full of people. From the ubiquitous flamingos;
to the toad found sheltering under our fly-sheet;
to the black vultures which are currently nesting in a top floor bedroom of the derelict Hotel Vienna;
(I know that’s not a great photo, but I’m still learning how to use the big lens, and in my defence it was raining hard, not to mention trying to set up the whole caboodle of tripod etc. at speed before the beast flew away, which it did a few seconds after I took that picture. Yes, a proper photographer would construct it carefully and lie in wait for a few hours/days, but then proper photographers wouldn’t have two impatient offspring in tow.)
Then we trekked back to San Francisco and spent the remainder of Tuesday evening scrubbing mud and hanging wet gear around the house. Luckily we have a big garage/utility area; memories of times when my one bedroom flat would be filled with soggy canoe club / Guide camp / Duke of Edinburgh expedition kit for days on end.
Meanwhile, as we suffer nothing more serious than some drippy tentage, please give a thought and a prayer for the people of La Plata (Buenos Aires province) clearing up after the severe flooding there this week, with some 70 people either dead or unaccounted for, and several hundred evacuated. You can read an account in English here on the BBC website
And finally, unrelated – no I’m wrong, related in every way; here is a link to the Easter sermon (Maundy Thursday if we’re being accurate) that Viv passed me this morning. It opens with the wonderful line “For those of us whose spirituality is shaped by the uncomfortable disciplines of the Lectionary, Lent – in the mornings at least – has meant Jeremiah”. and then gets better. I do miss being an Anglican when we’re in Argentina, lectionary and all.