Sunday, 12 December 2010

Moments in Chaco Time: Leaving the Chaco

Back onto the smooth hard top of the trans-Chaco, the sky vast, the horizon as flat as last night’s pizza. The road a notch on the distant periphery, a ribbon of grey giving way to a mirage of mirrors, the oncoming moto a mote of red, ten minutes away, floating, shimmering in mercury. The vegetation showing real signs of the dry. The prickly pear deflated, flacid and limp, the wild tomatoes fruiting, their leaves dead. The water holes mere slips of green scum, the Rio Seco living up to it’s name. Everything, you feel is just waiting for the rain, waiting for the wet to start.

The land gives a slight wobble, we manage a 10 metre climb, irrigated fields of maize occur, soya is waiting for the combine, which I take to mean that we are leaving the Chaco. Gone are the Ceibo trees, the rooting pigs in the petrol station, the herds of goats climbing through the thorn thickets, the stallion guarding the mare with her new born foal.