Thursday, March 1, 2007

On the river

The Guarani natives say that the Rio de Uruguay is the source of dreams. You can see their point watching the interface between water and air. Patterns of silver continually form and unform on the opaque brown waters.
What lies beneath?

Well, fish obvious.
But metaphorically: anything.

The boat trip was a cruise down the river and a wander on a large sand island with a guy called Charlie. I figured him for an English expat who´d found his little piece of heaven and retired to it, showing tourists around for fun. I asked him. No, he´d been doing it for fourteen years now and they were twelve hour days!
Enthusiastic, fun, academic gone a bit hippy. He quoted Latin and iterature.
"As the old boy said "In nature you will find the truth.""
We only had one and a half hours, but I could have spent days with him. He told us about adaptations, medicinal use and a bit of the mythology of the plants we saw. He got excited when he found a mushroom he hadn´t seen before and got one of the Dane´s to photograph it and promise to email it to him.
He studied nature to better appreciate it´s beauty: a true natural philosopher.
When we were in the boat he said:
"We´re in the main channel here. Why is that important? Well, if I steer this way we´re in Uruguay. And if I steer this way we´re in Argentina. We´ve looked for the dotted line, but we can´t find it. It´s ridiculous to say ´this belongs to us and that belongs to them´. We belong to it.

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