Listening To The Silent Sounds of The Dessert in Peru


Driving from Lima to Punta San Juan, the bus made a stop in the deserts between the shore lines and the Andes mountains. There was nothing but a road with passing cars, mountains and sand doons in the distance and the hot sun drying out the landscape. This particular spot that we stopped at could have possibly been under water at one point. During the krutstious period about 60-80 million years ago, all the glaciers had melted and sea levels were 130 meters higher than they are not. There is no evidence that suggest that this particular area did have sea water but it certainly had some sort of a water. We know this because of the scarring of river beds. Now when ever it rains, water runs down from the near mountains and sand dunes and makes it to the valley where did our soundscape of flat land. Here, when the rain comes down, the valley is so exposed to the sun and heat, they water that is trickling creating little rivers and or streams dries out eventually. This is because the water does not have a chance to make any further because the sun evaporates it so quickly on the hot sand and also the permeability of the dry sand. This just does to show the exposure to the sun mixed with heat really does disappear quickly. Kind of like how I need a drink of water once we got out on the bus.

During a sound scape, we have to close our eyes and listen for the furthest sound we can here. To be aware of our surroundings, exposure, and thought while sitting in silence. During this sound scape, my thoughts we a bit all over the place. This first thought that came to mine was the sound of the passing cars. You could here their approach, what type of vehicle whether is was a 18 wheeler or a SUV,and how fast they were going. I found this sound to be my savior because the next thing I had noticed was when no cars were near, I heard absolutely nothing. My ears were searching hard for the smallest sound but all I could pick up was the locational breeze of the wind and the sand blasting the rocks in front of me. I did pick up the rocks and looked at all the different shapes and sizes laying around the rock. They were all different rocks possibly different minerals but all shared a similar feature. This edges looked like they were sanded down. I that realized that the blowing sand was sand blasting these rocks. Because of the sand blasting, you could tell what side the rock was sitting on in the sand. The bottom would be untouched by the sanding and the tops would be rounding. This was a cool observation and as I put the rock back in its place, I felt a large gust of wind pick up sand and it began to sand blast me. At that moment, I was just like all the other rocks. Helpless of the exposer to the environment. This land was constantly being reshaped by the sand and wind.

I can’t imagine what source of life could live out here. This exposer to the sun was extremely uncomfortable and without any source of water, I didn’t see how life was possible. While driving out to this stop, there are communities built up in this dessert. Houses and buildings are all made of material brought it. The sidewalks were covered in garbage and it all just looked sickly to me. This was, however, how some people have lived for for generations. In the heat all day with little water. I wonder where this did get there running water? Did they have electricity if they had cars? Many more questions popped in my head but the most appealing question to me was why would you want to live out in a place like this and how do you survive?


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