Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Snapshots of Costa Rica (1)

Weather Report
There are two things that I am not very good at: weather and relationships. The latter is well-documented (permanently over-cast with occasional outbreaks of sunshine or thunder). But my Rain King skills are less familiar.

Basically, I can make it rain anywhere, anywhere at all. And I'm not just talking drizzle.

On a trip across the Sahara, I tipped up in Tamanrasset. Middle of nowhere. Hadn't rained for 25 years. But as soon as I approached, small cumuli nimbus started blotting the skies. In minutes it was bucketing down and didn't stop for three days.

Camping once in the Basque Country, it rained so hard that the Red Cross had to be called in to run soup kitchens for people who had lost their homes in the floods. Bilbao was under water. The National Guard were out to shoot looters.

At LAPT Rio, it rained non-stop. Desolate qualifiers, busted out of the main event, roamed the Intercontinental looking for something to do or locked themselves in their rooms to wait out the storm. What they didn't know, and which I thought best not to tell them, was that they would have to wait for me to leave for things to get any better.

So too in Costa Rica. Prior to departure, I checked the weather forecasts obsessively to see if there was any way round what I was seeing on screen: a plethora of icons which meant anything from "heavy rain" to "thunderstorms". Just before catching my flight, I had one last look (I have dozens of weather pages book-marked in the hopes that at least one is being optimistic). First up was the BBC with a news story saying that it had rained so much in Costa Rica that people were dying in mud-slides. Red Cross back in. More soup. The Rain King does it again.