19 March 2009

Welcome to Cabo Polonio. BYO... everything.



The bus to Cabo Polonia only takes you so far - about 7km from the fishing village to be exact - as it has no roads leading to it. Most visitors pay to take the 4x4 jeep to get there. Debora and I walked the 7 km through the sand-dunes. It would have been extremely pleasant except that we walked through the biggest storm the area has seen in decades.

It started pouring down upon our commencement of the trail, so we quickly ducked under the shelter of a wooden hut and waterproofed everything with plastic bags - namely our backpacks and cameras. I was wearing my completely permeable, red raincoat - whose limitations I first learnt of in Superagui, Brazil - but by wearing my bathers and Debo her bikini we managed to keep the water damage to a minimum.

[Below] A few of the houses in Cabo Polonio - this was taken the next day when the weather was infinitely better



Time escaped us on the trek there. It took at least 2 hours. Over that time the rain progressively got worse, but it was the wind that was more fierce - blowing the air-born splashes of sea-water waves into our faces and inudating us with a multi-directional shower. By the time we reached the village we were soaking wet and tasting of salt - yes, we licked our skin. But being on the road for most of the week it was also the only shower we would have for 6 days.

We managed to find a local man hiding in a wooden enclosure - whose door had just blown off in the vicious winds - and through him we were able to find someone from whom we rented a cabin for the night.

[Below] Debora preparing sandwiches in the "kitchen."



Cabo Polonia is a simple village: no electricity, no running water. Just the occasional power generator and rain-water wells (though the light house is connected to the national grid). So our cabin was quite simple and primitive. I was actually expecting the thin glass of the windows to shatter under force of the angry winds - and I used the curtains to securely cover them just in case - but the only thing that seemed to make it's way inside the cabin was water. Lots of water. Quite literally, bucket-loads of water seeped through underneath the door and flooded the cabin as the rain grew to be much, much stronger and heavier . Every half hour I would shovel the water into a bucket to prevent it from creeping all the way to our bunk beds.

[Below] Sweeping up the water by the candle-light - which would also eventually disappear.



After filling 2 buckets - with no sign or relief from the rain - I simply gave up my attempts to control the effects of the elements. And ironically it is only when I stopped caring that the water miraculously stopped progressing - even though the wind and rain continued on strong through the night. There is no point trying to control the powers of the universe - just admire them.

[Below] We didn't have electricity. We didn't have running water. We didn't have much, but we had Vegemite!



As I lay down to sleep that night I knew for sure that the rain didn't abate for at least fourteen hours. The next day we bumped into the owner of the cabin - it's a very small village - and he stared into the sky in ponderance and confusion saying, "It rains here now-and-then, but never like that. I haven't seen a storm like that in all my life."

Maybe it is possible to "bring the rain with you."

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