Nevertheless, everyone seemed prepped and eager to go... to Rincon Falls.
We were going to make that long, arduous trip over the El Tucuche base ridge and into the Las Cuevas area via the Acono Route. That was a long journey that only the very best would attempt. No surprise then, we had soldiers and coast guardsmen among our regulars showing up for the challenge.
The rain kept us at bay most of the journey, yet no one was daunted by the task of trudging through it all.
I don't remember the last time I killed a Priest, but I must have razed a convent to the ground or something. This trip was punishment on my legs.
Yet I don't remember noticing it. Only when I got home late that night did I realize I was covered in mud and properly well bruised.
Ever noticed though how rain brings colours to life? Have you experienced a walk deep in the forest when it rains? Nothing could be more divine. This was what they spoke of when they prayed over water.
Reaching Rincon was almost a blur...the rain had something to do with it. The verdure was alive, the forest was singing to me. For real. I'm not quoting from Tolkein here. I'm talking about an experience that defies logic and the limitations of words.
I was alive like never before and could not help but burst out in song. Anything I could remember. We all love music and think we can remember every detail in our favourite songs until we try singing them without the CD. But, I didn't care.
Now I'm no tree hugger or any big conservator of the forest. But here, you understand the meaning of the psalm that says all creation bless the Lord. It was alive and it was talking back in praises to the Creator. I was there to hear it. I'm serious. No angels, no apparitions, just the rain and the forest making music.
I will NEVER forget it!
Back to the hike!
We arrived at Rincon Falls just as planned and pondered whether it would be safe to return via the road we came or to continue to Las Cuevas and arrange transport from there. Remember, the rain did not stop.
We opted to brave the conditions. These were experienced and brave men.
On our return, we crossed a stream, now swelling into a river, just like we've done before. But something was drawing us up that stream. Nobody could tell me why or how, but it was inevitable.
Was it an instinct bred into us from the day we were born?
I'm no biologist, so I can't tell you.
But when the valley opened up before us, we finally understood what was taking place all the time. The Forest was singing to us about the waterfall. It had to make sense. There was no explanation for this incredible, silent impulse to just go upstream for no reason. The music must have been about the waterfall.
What do we name it? Does it have a name? What was it? Does it have the same meaning as that incredible forest song? All confusing questions at the time. It was right there all this time and we never bothered to look.
The Rain was singing to us. And we responded in awe!
I'm not sure if you're going to be washed of your fatigue by any rain, that your spirits will be cleansed of those heavy emotions that drag you to the depths of banality. Hell, I'm not sure what YOU will experience.
But I assure you of one thing: if it's your first time there, you'll understand what I'm going on about for the last three minutes. Go deeper than you've gone before. Look out for El Tucuche looming like a monolithic guardian of the forest and be inspired.
When you go home and tell them you spoke with the forest, they'll tell you you're nuts. But that's our little secret. I know what you saw. I know what you feel.
We both know they can NEVER understand the song until they listen for themselves.
Maybe Habio means " Miracle of the Rain " maybe not. But that's my story.
Go there and come back with yours.
See you Sunday.