Rain. Rain on the palm trees and the streets. Rain on the beaches and the sea. Rain on the site, churning up the mud and collapsing the tents. Rain on Global Crew as they all go into work early and dry and come back filthy and drenched with another early day tomorrow. Rain on my car as I drive 8 hours without a break before two in afternoon. Rain gathering in huge puddles on the roadside, semi visible barriers of deep hard puddle. Rain on the broken wheels and shattered farings of the cars on the long road to the airport. “Oh look, that one’s in a hedge,” or “Whoever was in that scooter didn’t make it”. I was careful and watchful, exhausted with concentration. I still lost the back end right at the end of the day. Only for a moment. The tyres don’t know rain like this. Nobody’s do. Accidents all the way.
This rain has bodyguards. This rain needs multiple extra syllables like the wedding rain Alanis told us was ironic. This rain does whatever the heck it pleases. This rain… Hard hard rain. Raining constantly out of a dark grey sky. This is the rain the electric storm last night heralded. This is tropical rain. Rainforest rain.
I pick up a scientist. “This is in a big band of weather all the way from the Amazon, I’ve been watching it live on a map. It’s fascinating to be inside it.” I pick up a security guard. “I’m glad I’m not on site today.”
Yeah so I’m working slightly longer hours than they are. But I’m doing it in a car. It has a roof. It has soft seats. It has temperature control.
I get myself to site in time for dinner, loaded up with hose. I grab falafels with Will. He is absolutely drenched, head to foot, and has been all day. He fell in a puddle before 8. All the Global Crew look exhausted. They’ve been at it in the downpour while I’ve been driving, keeping the whole damn village above ground. They’ll have trench foot. They are washed out. I really hope they have good showers in those rooms.
“The rain’ll stop tonight,” says Will. We are standing on tarpaulin that slides. Beneath the tarpaulin the mud is already Glastonbury Festival. I almost lose it beneath my feet. “It’ll be dry in time for the race,” says Will. “You think so?” “Remember how dry it was when we arrived?” … … CAN it be dry? Is it possible? I absolutely value his optimism but I’m really not that sure. I think he might have been delirious from cold. It feels like I’ve just witnessed a catastrophe of rainfall. The Uruguayan government threw tons of gravel into the site and at the time we all thought it was way too much. Now it makes sense. The course has been closed all day. Likely it will be all day tomorrow as well. We need a hot day. We need a hot week.