Flash floods

I have become so used to rain on this journey. Running in the monsoon season, this was expected, but not in the volumes that I had seen. Never have i experienced so much water in such a short space of time. With months of rain, the soil is totally saturated, it can’t absorb a drop more. When the rain comes, it just stands in pools and they grow and grow until they finally all join up and the flooding begins. Within half and hour raging rivers will form from nowhere, you just hear a roar around you and here the mass of swirling red water comes with rocks and trees.

I had been running for half an hour, the rain had been relentless and with a driving wind it had now become too slippery to run any more. I was just sloshing through the water, trying to keep on the cattle track. I could see the build-up of massive pools everywhere. It was a matter of time and this was going to all join up and then all hell was going to break loose. 3 times I had already slipped and fallen; the going was really difficult in the sheeting rain.

The rivulets began to form, and in no time the path was a raging torrent of water, whenever I hit a double track, it became a river. Debris was beginning to be picked up by the water as it began to gain momentum. Large logs were being tossed down the track and all the danger signs were there. I had a slight uneasy feeling as every valley crossing became more and more dangerous as the water level grew. How many more crossings were there as the area was really mountainous? What was going to happen in the low lying and swamp areas.

It was now late afternoon the light was already fading, my gear was soaked through and my back pack probably weighed and extra 2kg with the wet gear. All I had in my mind was, “I have got to get through the worst before night falls”. Then the nightmare happened. I hit a huge valley, I could hear the cascading water, the first flooding had started. From where I was I could see a split in the river higher up. If I moved quickly, I might still have time to cross before it got too bad. I headed for this, my best crossing point. It was nearly at a point that I could not cross the foaming white water, but managed to claw myself over clinging to trees and branches. There was a real sense of fear creeping into me, things were just escalating to a point that it was out of control. I moved on into the next valley, that was it. There was no way over it was just a mass of water and debris. I slid and clawed my way down with the gushing water to the river edge, that’s as far as I can go. I will have to sit this out. I found a fairly sheltered spot from the wind and sat down to eat and survey my options as the rain slowly petered out. After about 2 hours dusk was creeping in and I managed to get across and keep moving.

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