Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lake Maria takes its toll

The late afternoon sun was beating down on us as I took this picture of our car being towed away from the infamous Lake Maria, that mud hole that I've cursed over the last year. Now you may wonder why a mud hole would warrant having to call a tow truck from Santarém, some 18 kilometers away. Did the the car go under water? No, but I've worried about that every time I've launched my little Fiat into the muddy waters of this football-sized body of water blocking access to our Bosque Santa Lucia. I've come close, but I've managed to avoid tragedy, sometimes by simply staying at home in Santarém after heavy rains. What happened yesterday was that I ripped open the front left tire of the car as I went through the mud hole. I wasn't as careful as usual because I'd been told that Cargill had drained the water so that the trucks could get their loads of soybeans to the Mato Grosso mill just around the corner on BR-163. Seeing that the water level was indeed lower, I drove into the middle of the Lake Maria, instead of sticking to the outer edges. That was indeed a mistake. As I drove into the "lake" the front of the car suddenly took a radical dive into an invisible hole. I felt the impact of having hit something other than mud in the bottom of the hole. I suspect that it was timber, something like a 2x4. By the time I got to higher land, I knew that I had a flat tire. Coming up, the rest of the story.

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