Tuesday, August 19, 2014

That time we almost got struck by lightening.

We absolutely adored our cozy little rooftop rental in San Cristóbal, a gem we found on airbnb and immediately never wanted to leave. It had beautiful views, a sun-drenched patio, a quaint wood-burning fireplace and soft paper lanterns hanging from the warm, exposed beam ceilings.

We couldn’t quite figure out the odd blue tarp covering what appeared to be attractive hardwood floors (to muffle our footsteps, perhaps?). And never mind the precarious entrance via a glorified ladder (trying to pass as stairs), pretty much on the owner’s roof. Once you were safely up there, it was heavenly. The wraparound deck offered views in every direction, which our hill-top location and roof-top position made all the more majestic.

The one time that maybe you don’t want to be perched so high above your neighbors and protected by nothing but windows? During an insane, torrential downpour, terrifying thunder and lightening storm.

It started off innocently enough. The afternoon clouds rolled in and we retired to our place to wait out the short rains that are common this season. I’ve grown accustomed to how hard it comes down, and the sound on the tin roofs all around was downright charming. This time, though, the skies opening up like nothing I’d ever seen before. Rain poured down on the roof so loudly, Reece and I had to yell to hear one another. Wind whipped menacingly at our 360-degree windows, and thunder roared across the sky all around us.

At first, we were giddy with the excitement of it. I tried to go outside to film the craziness, and a gust of wind immediately blew the door shut and me back inside with it.

A sudden leak sprung through the wood beams above our heads, and before Reece could put a pot under it, three more parts of the ceiling began to drip. In no time, every bowl in the house was in use, and the thunder and lightening was relentless. What was once funny was now a little scary, and I wondered out loud if there were hurricanes in this part of the world. We were sort of unsure precautionary measures to take (Stay away from the windows? Unplug the laptop?) so we just sat in the center of the room in awe. All of a sudden, SNAP! I experienced the loudest, brightest, most startling flash just outside our window. My heart lunged in my chest, and I turned to realize that some metal rods protruding from the roof a few yards away from me had just been STRUCK BY LIGHTENING!

I couldn't tell if it was an antenna or a weather vane or what. In any case, it was unsettlingly close to those tanks of propane you see outside of our door. Could those get struck by lightening? Did that really just happen?? It was surreal.

Eventually the storm eased up, it stopped raining inside and I could safely get back to writing a blog about that time we almost got struck by lightening. And we were pleased to finally understand what that weird blue tarp on the floor was for. 

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