If you had to describe how powerful the rain felt, you’d probably describe it as if you were sitting under a group of thousands of men tipping huge buckets of water over you at a great height.
Quite honestly you have never been so wet in your entire life. What made it even more of an uncomfortable situation, was that you were sat on a tiny wobbly boat, going down a tributary of the Amazon in the Peruvian jungle.
You were in the middle of nowhere really. At least that’s what it looked like. Virgin jungle from the little you could see. Just you, your boyfriend, two unknown foreigners and two local guys navigating you all through the muddy puddle like water.
Be very careful to stay still they said, as the water around here is deeply infested with piranhas. If you fall in you die. There’s also electric eels and all manner of other things below. It’s not that deep, but this water is deadly, so keep your hands in the boat and focus on not falling out.
When I say that this boat was tiny, I mean that it was probably made for two small local Peruvian guys at best. We were 6, with huge backpacks. The boat was full and the deadly water was constantly threatening to overwhelm us.
We were only a few centimeters off being submerged completely. The local guides were in full-on work mode. One was pushing us through the water with a long stick from the back and the other was constantly bailing out the water.
They’d given us these plastic cagoules to use, which implied that this was a regular occurrence, but the power of the water coming down was no match for those flimsy things.
The jungle rain was so strong, that you could not even look up, as it hurt your eyes. So you had to look down at your backpack and pray that you would get out alive. The sheer force of the water and the noise as it crashed into the forest you were surrounded by, meant you could not hear a single thing anyone said.
It was becoming more and more like a horror movie by the second. The jungle had sounded awfully romantic. You, your boyfriend in the rainforest in a tiny hut out in nature. And now you were about to be eaten by piranhas and stung to death by eels. What a horrible way to die. It took all your might not to imagine being eaten alive by those tiny fish.
Focus Focus Focus you thought
You are perched on the river bank, under a set of trees. Right at the end of the river, where the tributary opens out into a lake. Just opposite is a mooring, where the boats dock for the rainforest retreat. If you make it you think. You might never get out alive.
You look down the river and see your boat a good 300 meters or so downstream. The man with his stick is pushing really hard, but the force of the rain is making his advance painfully slow.
How on earth are you going to make it you think? You are all going to die. You decide that you must try what you can to save yourself as it’s essential that you all live and get to the retreat. This is not a selfish endeavor you think, this really is for the longevity of the forest.
You call for help. You see a flash of black to the side of you, and then a voice says hello. You look into the dense forest but see nothing.
“Pssst, over here, in the water”. You look back to the river and see a dusty pink head bobbing in the water. “How can I help”, he says?
You explain, that you are in the boat downstream, with your boyfriend, the two other tourists, and the guides, and you are desperate to make it to the rainforest retreat. Your boyfriend is an advocate for the forest and he’s writing a paper on the importance of keeping the local ecosystems intact, so it’s key that you do not die for the future of the forest.
“I see says the dusky pink head”. He puts his head to the side slightly as if he’s mulling it over.
“I’m afraid, that this is not really a matter I can help you decide alone. There are strict rules in the forest you see. We all abide by the laws of this jungle and these normally never involve helping humans. It’s against the laws. I’m very sorry.”
“Well you just said you can’t decide alone”, I say to him. “So who do you need to speak to?”
“Ah, yes. That is true. I did say that. Oh dear, Perhaps I said too much.”
You are getting impatient now as the rain feels like it’s getting heavier and heavier. Certainly, the pain in your back is increasing from the constant pounding it’s getting, even below the thick canopy of protection.
“Please help us”, you say to him.
He keeps looking at you, again like he’s thinking, but you can’t be sure really. He is a pink dolphin after all and your experience with this kind of animal is limited to this first meet today.
He opens his mouth and does a kind of dance, or maybe a jig and what sounds like a laughing sound. He seems really happy. “They said yes “, he said.
“Who ?, I ask.
“The whispers told me”. I feel like I saw another flash of black out of the corner of my eye again, but I might be mistaken.
You manage to look up through slitty eyes and see that the small river that you are on, appears to be opening up to a lake ahead. The pressure is easing off over so slightly and if you are not mistaken the pace of the boat has picked up a little.
You begin to feel a faint glimmer of hope in your heart and the thousand knots that were tied in your stomach release themselves ever so slightly.
Image: Connexion by Annelie Solis