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Aaah - the Rainy Season in Quito - What it can be like

Hi

I have traveled twice to Costa Rica in the rainy season and never put on my rain poncho.

A year ago, in February, we were in Peru during the rainy season and other than one hour and a half spent with a truck, mired axle deep in mud, on a dirt road, far from any remnants of civilization, in the middle of the Amazon basin (on our way to catch an airplane for the first leg of our journey home), we were not impacted by rain. (But yes that last episode was memorable - we made the plane with 10 minutes to spare)

A year previous we had been in Ecuador during the rainy season (February) and the sun had been so strong, we wished we had packed more short sleeve shirts.

But all good thing must come to an end, and yes, now I know what it is like to spend two weeks without sun and with frequent periods of rain. I was in Quito for a little over two weeks at the end of April / very early May.

Most mornings started foggy or cloudy (foggy usually meant that there had been torrential rain during the night). The fog would lift to become cloudy or if we started at cloudy, we might actually see a few breaks of blue sky in the morning. By noon however the skies would definately be cloudy and generally somewhere in the distance you could spot a very dark area where it was currently raining. Eventually this spot would find us, whereever we were, sometimes with thunder and lightning.

People often take the Teleferico up Pinchincha, hoping on a good day, to get a glimpse of Cotapaxi (the magnificent snow capped volcano) in the distance. During these two weeks you were lucky if you could see the teleferico on Pinchincha.

And it was cold! Quito has a wonderfully temperate climate year round, so no need for heat or AC, but after multiple 50 degree days with no sun and with rain, it is just plain cold. My teacher (I was at language school) resorted to wearing gloves in the classroom.

Now this might seem like one big complaint, but it isn't. I had a wonderful time and rarely got wet. Once or twice I had to scamper for shelter at a cafe for a while, but eventually the shower would move on and so would I (in the opposite direction)

Even in the midst of this, there was one night, when I was staying in a hacienda near Machachi, where the sky cleared completely for about four hours. Machachi is about an hour and a half south of Quito, and where we were there was almost no light pollution. We were treated to a beautiful view of the stars, especially the milky way.

I spent a weekend at Bellavista, and it rained during our first afternoon nature walk. We all had ponchos and rubber boots so we were fine and all this rain meant wonderful flowers / orchids / ferns / waterfalls - which you don't get to see during the dry season.

When a thunderstorm coming in from the south, overtook Parque Elijido on Sunday afternoon, I quickly hopped on the Ecovia (the north-south trolley line) heading north and was pleased to learn that the Ecovia travels faster than the thunder storm.

My pentultimate day in Quito we actually had a beautiful clear blue sky in the morning and a bright cloudy afternoon and of course the last day was beautifully clear with just a few powderpuffs in the afternoon - Summer had arrived in Quito just as I departed.

Now I got to experience two weeks of daily rain, but it was not continual rain (though they said the week before they had had a few days of constant rain) but I also had the chance of having very nice somewhat sunny days, because these do occur during the rainy season also. (They just didn't occur this time)

Well this is all for now

Pamela

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