As much as I would like to believe that sun shines right out of my ass, it in fact does not. And I would like to believe that visiting an African country in October means the rain will stay at bay, simply because I want it to. In fact, it will probably rain while we are there. Not as much as in November and December, but part of travelling means forging forward with whatever plans you have, regardless of the weather. Prepared I must be.
Rain. Two things come to mind. Rain coat and umbrella. But wait, two things to carry? Not on this trip. Not carrying an umbrella. They are more often than not useless. The only place I was ever enamoured by the umbrella was in Japan. Why? Because they are available in every store, they are inexpensive, they are clear (natural light and less accidents), there are umbrella lock ups outside many buildings (like bike lock ups but different), and most stores offer long plastic bags at the door to protect your clothing and the floors from getting wet. And a recycle bin at the exit door. But I digressed to topics of a civilized people.
I gave the rain issue a great deal of thought. Most of the thought was around the black rain coat I took to Croatia, and the yellow MEC rain jacket I owned in the mountain for years. My issues? Its like wearing Saran Wrap. Talk about a sweatfest. Hideous. If you want to actually remain dry in rain, you need a water repellent jacket and that means your elbows are just as likely to sweat as your back and armpits. Dis-gust-ting. When you go inside you have to remove the thing immediately and then its wet, you’re wet, and sweaty. I mean honestly- who the hell needs sweaty wrists? Its just wrong.
So no rain coat. No umbrella. What to do?
A poncho. I got a rain poncho.
I got the bright red one, because if you are going to don a poncho, it had better be a fancy one. You gotta own that shit. Here is why I have gone the poncho route. (Everytime I say poncho I think of the brown, orange and white one with fringe I had as a kid in the late 60’s).
– folds into a tidy little package, and I love a tidy little package.
– I can slip it over myself and move it around, setting my arms free to breathe, and cool, wave at strange men or camels, or hide under it and remain dry.
– I can use it as a spare blanket if its cold when we camp in the Sahara. (GAH! It giggled again!)
– It will fit over my day bag without looking too dumb, or bumpy, or having to have my day bag OVER the jacket and getting wet.
So, in summary. Poncho it is. Versatile. A little campy. Bright red so I won’t get lost. Tidy little package.
Let’s just hope I never had to crack that thing open.