Thunder & Lightning

Photo credit:  Javsama

As part of my site inspection in Peru, we spent two nights in Cusco, which is also known as the “Gateway to Machu Picchu”. Cusco is in the mountainous part of Peru and is 11,152 feet in elevation (this is actually HIGHER than Machu Picchu).  While there are certainly spots on the globe higher than this (Kilimanjaro, Mount Everest), Cusco routinely makes the list as one of the highest altitude cities on the planet.  Many of the hotels in Cusco pump extra oxygen into the rooms and almost every establishment of any kind (shops, restaurants, hotels) have access to oxygen tanks, just in case.  If you search the internet, you’ll find a massive amount of information about altitude sickness, what causes it, what you can do about it.

But nowhere are you warned about the thunderstorms. In the mountains and tropical areas of Peru, it’s rainy season right now.  That means a lot of gray days and in Cusco, thunderstorms – three to four a week for a few months.  We experienced a thunderstorm the first afternoon we were there and let me tell you, when you are 11,000 feet up, the thunder and the lightning is MUCH closer to you than down in  the lower climes.  It’s hard to describe the visceral feeling that goes through you when the lightning seems just on the other side of the street from you and the thunder crackles and booms loud enough that you cover your ears.  We were touring a couple of convents during the storm, both with large courtyards and covered walkways; we weren’t actually standing out in the rain (which was intense as well) but close enough that the storm felt startlingly  close by.

The next day, I got to spend a couple of hours with the tour guide all to myself (a serious perk in my estimation) and he told me that in the Andes, the god of thunder is the most popular weather god as he is associated with the health of agriculture and crops. He is not known as Thor there, but as Illapa (pronounced E-yapa) and he even has his own holiday – July 25.  Apparently he is the keeper of the Milky Way which he keeps in a jug and pours out to make the rain.  Did I mention that on a clear night in Cusco, the Milky Way is very bright and visible?

So I came home from my trip with a robust appreciation of the god of thunder and lightning. When thunderstorms season rolls around next year, I’ll have to try to enjoy it more.

Any gods or goddesses that “speak” to you?

40 thoughts on “Thunder & Lightning”

    1. I had a very hard time not laughing at the dogs when they went out this morning. Little white one went skidding across the patio and was really only stopped by a low berm of snow. Poor thing.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Not laughing here. When you have a 15-year-old dog with neuropathy in her back legs you have to scooch down the steps while holding onto the railing, get her to come close enough to grab her collar and then gently assist her up the back steps. I tried some boiling water on the back steps but it’s a little too chilly out for that.

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      2. my macho dogs defy ice gods and chase skiddy squirrels across the fence the squirrels use as an escape route on the other days

        they were in heaven flying through the crust of the backyard track to chase the daily motivation

        i had hoped to teach them skijoring this winter before my back suggested otherwise

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Rise and Shoot a Thunderbolt, Baboons,

    My favorite Goddess is Demeter (Greek)/Ceres(Roman), of agriculture. I may have to sculpt her for my garden. There is a thought.

    I am avoiding the god/goddess of ice today, by staying over in Iowa at my sister’s house an extra day to avoid the mess covering Nebraska and I-80 and delaying our trip a bit. The thought of icy rain/winters mix covering I-80 across the Great Plains, fcombined with all the semi truck traffic was too treacherous for our driving tastes.

    Yesterday we went to visit my mother in her Memory Care Unit. When we arrived and it was time to enter the keypad code, I found it was disabled. The story is worthy of a bad TV show script. A resident in Independent Assisted Living had a friend in Memory Care. After some evil machinations, that person got the door code and used it to illicitly free his/her friend in Memory Care! Yes, it was a Jail Break. The escapees were apprehended after a Freedom Spree. So now they have gone to a doorbell, and screening every visitor at the door.

    We are taking my mom to lunch (with permissions) and going to view a movie while we wait for the storm to move on.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We fly into Sioux Falls Monday evening, so I hope most of the mess is over by then. All we need to do is get to Bismarck Monday midday.

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      1. yep
        i’ll give that one a fun go to but not an ice storm journey out

        little women looks great

        two popes on amazon allows home watching
        as does the irishman but to a different movie watcher demographic

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning.
    I don’t know much about that area and didn’t know about altitude and storms. That’s kinda neat.
    I love Thunder storms (when I don’t have to go fix damage after them).
    I remember being out in a pasture during a storm that felt like what you describe; thunder so loud and intense it felt like I was right in it. I’ve never forgotten that.

    Every time you’ve written about Cusco lately I think about the movie “The Emperors New Groove”. While not named, it is set in that area. And the Emperor is named Kuzco.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. The Norse pantheon has a certain appeal – the Valkyrie get fun names to go with all their spear carrying and carting warriors off to Valhalla. Loki is fun, though technically he’s not really a god. Really though, my favorite of the Norse mythical creatures are a bit more recent and not as fierce – the Nisse. They can be little tricksters and do awful things, but they can also be helpful. I would gladly leave out treats for a nisse – alas, they seem to prefer farms to the city, so my only hope is to attract the nisse that may have lived in the area when this was still farmland…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I left out rice pudding for the tomten on Christmas Eve. Daughter gave me a tomten figure that has opposable thumbs. Think of the mischief he could do were he hungry or unhappy!

      Liked by 4 people

  4. We are just sitting here, west of the storm system, watching the storm from afar, sort of like watching a good play, accompanied by the god of speculation.

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  5. I was supposed to get together with friends for brunch this morning at the Original Pancake House in Roseville. The goddess of ice thwarted me only a block and a half from my house. So now I am the goddess of vacuuming while watching the rain coming down.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I have been resting in the paws of the great catnap god, feeling peaceful and relaxed for the first time in weeks. Husband wasn’t home from the rez until after midnight last night.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Evening –

    Just finishing up another Christmas gathering. Our son and daughter-in-law waited until about 3:00 PM before driving down to Rochester. Said there was a lot of accidents and cars on 494 but once on 52 it wasn’t an issue. Roads here in town are fine for now.
    Our farm yard, well, that’s a different story. Aim for patches of gravel or grass and walk in the snow as much as possible. We’ll see what happens the next few days.

    I find it really interesting; so many families play games when they get together. My family has never done that. We just all sit and talk. The cousins may end up together and my siblings talk and there will be shiftings as people munch and drift in and out of stories. But we all sure have a good time talking. I’ve always liked that about us.

    Son and DiL just left to head back to the cities. Getting out of our place is the tricky bit. Shift to 4WD Low and aim for the gravel and edges. They drove right out. Glad he had all those years of practice growing up.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well after my appeals to the guise of vacuuming, vacuuming did actually happened at my house last night. So now I’m thinking I should appeal to the goddess of Cash??

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Is there a god/goddess of travel? Want to thank them for getting our train back to Winona without incident, thought there was a rerouting between Minot and Fargo to avoid something nasty.

    Here whatever happened yesterday has melted, and the sun peeked out momentarily but is gone again. I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on in the next day or so… and hope to send you a post, Renee…

    Liked by 3 people

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