The Wettest Day In The Desert

26th February. San Pedro, you know the place with all the sand. A desert. A dry uninhabitable place for any specie to live. Unless your a human and can supply food and water to any part of this planet. Today was no ordinary day. Statistics reveal that it rains just once a year here in the Atacama desert and you can imagine being from England we are very used to the rain, so the sun is always welcome when we are away from our birth country. But today on the 26th February in the driest place in the world it rained. The one-day-a-year's supply of rainwater was dropped on the day I was in San Pedro. Whilst thinking about the effect rain has here, my memory reverts back to my entrance into san pedro. Descending from the mountains, sharp carved shapes are cut into the mountains from wind and rain erosion. If it is eroded mainly from rain, I cant even imagine how many years it must take to shape these mountains. With most people (Chileans) running inside, the falling rain dissolved into the sand and the smell of the damp dusty earth filled the air. Within minuets of landing the rain soaked sand was dry. Whilst the majority of people enjoyed the comfort of the dry ground beneath their feet I stayed outside. I wanted to relish this moment, as it only happens once a year (if statistics mean anything). If you were a local the change meant discomfort, the open roofs, clothing, food and souvenir products scattered around the streets were to get wet, so ensuing panic of covering up everything meant effort, and as the usual blistering heat shines down on San Pedro, effort is something only blinked at. However for the foreigners of this desert town, the rain was embraced, people went for walks, people just stood looking, thinking. I couldn't believe this magical moment was happening, unless it was not magical and the rains from England suddenly caught up with me! I prefer to think it was a never-again-moment to happen in my life.

What felt like a minuet of rain was more toward the ten, the moment of joy and wonder I was feeling some-how changed the speed in time.

P Wingfield

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