This was the first of six nights in Chapada Diamatina National Park of Lençois, Brazil. Night descends upon us, as I finish stringing up my portable elastic clothes line. It takes a bit of engineering to convince the two branches at either end of the clothes line to cooperate. I was now ready to clean myself before settling down for tonight’s outdoor dinner. Flor, our tour guide cum chef keeps an eagle eye on the wood fire.
Venturing Into The Unknown
I pick up the environmentally friendly bar of camping soap, towel, head torch and boxer underwear. It would be easier to put on the rest of my clothes, once I got back to the campsite instead of inundating my hands. Flor told everyone in the group that those who wanted a shower needed to go far away downstream. This is so we don’t end up drinking or cooking with the water we bathed in. With the head torch fastened, I start walking away from base camp. The terrain was uneven and mainly sloped downwards. It had occasional inclines to keep my feet placement honest.
Time To Get Wet
Once I thought I had gotten enough distance I began looking for an entry point into the slowly flowing river.The ground feels more muddy. I hobble over to a small clearing and squeeze past a couple of slimy rocks. The cool knee deep water initially stings my weary legs. The soap, towel and underwear are then carefully laid onto a dryish looking bit of rock which was sitting decently above the water line. I strip off my sweat and dirt covered shirt and hiking shorts. The skin on my back takes a deep breath upon being exposed to the direct air.
As naked as a life model I waddle deeper towards the centre of the river. I quickly dunk my head in. Using my lubricated hands I begin scrubbing my skin. This was my first time washing my completely naked body, in a very open,public, wild and natural environment. Oh boy let me tell you this; it sure did feel incredible! Why didn’t I get to do this earlier in life? Washing in a river is a simple mechanism. There are no taps to adjust and re-adjust, as you feel like a combination safe thief trying to reach the optimal temperature. You also don’t need to strategically change the placement of your body under the shower head. My body felt free which had the impact of making my mind feel calm and at ease.
Looking Deep Within
For some reason my mind decides to do some introspection. Actually that is all there is to do with the absence of electricity, mobile reception, wifi and television. The absence of any visual simulation clears up my mind. I feel my other senses increase to a higher ceiling. The sky is black except for a mini smiling moon and a handful of stars. Never before has sky gazing brought about such a glorious satisfaction. Here I am in the remote Brazillian wilderness butt naked and as glad as one can be. The cliche; the simplest things in life are the best things rings true. I highly recommend everyone experience showering in a river.