Termalito, Colombian Andes
I finish cooking the soup on Doña Gloriás’ fire stove and sit on the only chair there is, the first one I’ve seen in seven days, with the chickens on the opposite side of the table, on the table. I add some fresh cheese to my meal. Reading while the soup cools down I first hear and then see the downpour on the forest, then it stops and the clouds come down dressed as fog and inadvertently smooth the transition from day into night.
I put down Steinbeck and raise my eyes to see the heavens have come down and the stars, now mobile, make new twinkling constellations each passing second, fireflies, fireflies like I’ve never seen before. I can see this because I read using the red light of my headlamp, saving batteries and not blinding myself to my surroundings. I come back up to camp and see the field spangled with tents, lights moving around inside, different colored tents, yellow and grey, unsuccesful bonfires litter the site, they set plastics over the tents.
Now that the rain has stopped, music comes from one side and laughter from the “hot” springs in which I got too cold in the afternoon. These are not the nature loving mountain campers I was with a couple of nights ago in the high mountain “paramo,” these, are true gypsies…
My tent marks the edge of camp. Past it the dense jungle presses up against the massive vertical rock face, almost scaling it, as if wanting to get closer to its life-source, which starts at the very top as a waterfall and then turns into mist as it plunges into the abyss.
I eat a chocolate and slap the sticker that comes with it onto the thermos, the common owl. The rain comes back, or better-said, new rain falls, and I gladly withdraw into my wild peppermint scented tent. Good night