I thought I’d write a separate post solely for the thunderstorms here in Bacoa. 

It all started a couple of weeks ago after a group of us headed into Guatape for dinner. This is where I tasted my first Micheladas-beer (Club Colombia Dorado of course) with lime juice and salt around the brim of the glass. Very refreshing! Before we’d finished up dinner he skies had opened. By the time we got back the thunderstorm had rolled in in full force. We huddled up in colourful blankets and drank Hervidos Pastuzos. It’s basically like a hot toddy, hot passion fruit or Lulo juice with a healthy dose of Aguardiente (Colombian zambuca like alcohol).

A rather jolly Emma in the storm. Beer and blanket to keep me warm?

What is going on with the weather in the Americas…global warming? And angry Mother Nature?

Since then we have had storms every night like clockwork! I’ve seen thunderstorms before and always thought they were quite beautiful, however here I have been petrified. Its a combination of being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees, thunder that shakes your bones and lightning that strikes so close it’s blinding. 

During the first storm lightning struck the dorms (whilst we were all huddled with our hot drinks in the main house) and several plugs exploded…fried! Luckily nobody had phones etc plugged in so only the chargers were charcoal! Since then we’ve have regular power cuts most nights but what takes the biggest blow is the wifi! One day lightning breaks it, a couple of days later guys drive out to fix it and we have 24hr of social media/internet frenzy and then BOOM, another storm and bye bye wifi. 

Word of advice: During a thunderstorm do not sleep in a beautiful wooden cabin in the middle of the wood with no curtains! Unless you’re a fan of fright night!

Idilic by day…hell by night!

The view that is so peaceful by day turns into a horror movie. Unless you’ve covers over your head you can’t take your eyes off the earie black silhouette of swaying trees, a thick grey fog and raindrops pelting the windows. On top of this the thunder goes through your whole body and echo feels eternal because it echoes across the lakes and through the valleys. And to top that there’s the lightning!! I could see the blue current come in through the wire run up the wall and burst the light bulb above my head. What’s worse is that it happened twice in one night. An almighty light bulb that is miraculously still working…

I felt like I was a tiny atom in a Brian Cox documentary demonstrating how lightning strikes. 

The odds of lightning hitting the cabins are slim. On the other hand the chance of it hitting a tree and then falling on top of the cabin is slightly more likely. Chamo and Don Leo spent hours cutting down nearby branches and trees. I’m so so grateful! Chamo climbed so so high and hacked away with his machete, very impressive!

Don Leo and the axe
Monkey boy Chamo

Since then the minute we hear the rain begin to fall and the thunder roaring over the hill it’s a frantic sprint to get everything in and set up camp in the cinema room. The whole floor full of mattresses and blankets (and the dogs who hide under our covers). Depending on how early it is we either fall straight asleep or try playing cards/dominoes by candle light. It’s a lot of fun and after numerous storms I’m no longer frightened.

Making snacks by torchlight with Jose
Torchlight cards..looks like Leo knows he’s won
In hindsight the storms are fascinating and mesmerising to watch, the valleys light up and everybody is brought together around candlelight. I also should just put curtains up on the cabin or get an eye mask and stop complaining!


One thought on “Thunderstorms

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