February 3, 2009
Yesterday and today we caught our first glimpses of the oft fabled Paraguayan rainstorm. This truly torrential tempest is sure to simultaneously delight and strike fear in the eyes of those who behold it. ‘Storm’ in Spanish is tormenta, a very apt description. The word sounds like ‘torment,’ which perfectly describes what happens if you get caught outside when the heavens decides to unleash its fury. Because of an inadequate sewer/drainage system, after only a few minutes of steady rain the streets literally turn into rivers. Good luck if you drive a car. More luck if you drive a motorcycle. Most luck if you must traverse the street-river on foot. You’d be better of in a canoe during this time. It’s an amazing sight to behold to watch the streets you just walked down only minutes ago transform into raging rapids. The worst streets create impromptu torrents three to four feet deep and several feet across.
Then there’s the color of the water. Because of the dirt, as the water picks up speed and volume it turns red. Seeing it gives new meaning to the expression that goes something like “And the streets ran with blood.” If you decide to visit Asunción, this is one tourist attraction that is most definitely not on the list; however, it is most assuredly worth checking out.