It was midmorning when we arrived. Even from a trek away, I had caught sight of several plumes of camp-fire smoke twisting up from the main camp, snaking high into the air, holding their near-vertical course, before disappearing into the distant thermals. There was not even a breath of wind today. Typical of spring. And the mauve-tinted sky was sparsely dotted with thread-like clouds that would soon vanish in the noontime sun. A perfect day.
Summer was the rainy season—when the afternoon thunderstorms arrived like clockwork. Although it provided a break from the unbearable, scorching summer heat, courtesy of Eden’s proud, young sun, the blitz of rain showers was brutal, tearing through the jungle canopy with fist-sized rain drops that bombed the flora with vicious intent, almost as though the thunder-angry sky was at war with the ground. As millions of wet shells assaulted millions of leaves, the fallout was so loud, so deafening, that attempts to talk during the bombardment were futile. Only the large, waxy leaves of the large jungle ferns provided some cover from the pelting raid, even though no one escaped a thorough drenching—which given the heat wasn’t the problem. What was extremely unpleasant, suffocatingly so, was the soup-thick cloying humidity that immediately rushed in behind the dispersing rain clouds as the summer sun baked the wet, shell-shocked jungle.
Think warm, pea-green soup. Now, think swimming in the stuff.
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