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Winter in Lima

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well I´m officially calling it, it´s winter in Lima!  As the days become shorter and the grey clouds begin to dominate the sky, the people of Lima begin to settle in for the harsh (by Limeñan standards) months to come.  With the change in climate I can finally put on my winter clothing I brought from Portland, which makes up about 70% of my wardrobe.  The early mornings are chilly with light winter winds that make every bone in your body tremble as you huddle in your bus seat desperately trying to stay warm all while trying to ignore that the only seat available to you was next to a window which is missing both panes of glass (god knows how they wound up broken!).  By mid day the suns warmth manages to permeate enough through the dense grey blanket of clouds so as to bring your body temperature back to a manageable level.  In terms of photography, the days cloud cover casts a blue tint over every conceivable color only to intensify the cold felt by everyone who wanders the streets.  The evenings come quick and it´s hard to fight the feeling of perpetual drowsiness one must battle with on a daily basis just to make it through the week. Yet in spite of all the winter weather the weekend nights are just as busy as ever, fulbito (mini soccer) matches continue to be played in every district, and the dedicated and hardcore surfing aficionados, dressed in their wetsuits ride the waves through the fog and light rain, all evidence of a city in pure defiance of the season.

Gone is any remote trace of summer, as people suit up in warm clothing and ditch the shorts and sandals.  Along the coast all the large commercial billboards have been removed and put away until next year when they will be put back up to greet the thousands of Peruvians and tourists who drive up and down the Panamericana Sur highway visiting the popular beaches like Asia, Puerto Viejo, Punta Hermosa, and Leon Dormido.  Gone are the street vending raspadilla (fruit flavored shaved ice cones) carts which seemed to innundate city with there delicious and refreshingly cool fruit flavors made from 100% all natural fruit pulp!  No more beach parties or wild summer nights of drunken debauchery and Pisco induced Plan B mistakes.  Probably the only thing I don´t miss about summer is the dread of having to ride in an old, rundown and dirty bus or micro, which turn passengers into living Limeños a la brasa (think Pollo a la Brasa)!  Try siting in a heat-stroke inducing sweat bath for more than an hour in rush hour traffic all while cramped up with 30 to 40 other complete strangers all generating an equally proportionate amount of body heat and sweat.  Add to this equation the collaborated body odor and the door man yelling at every one to move to the back when clearly there is no room as another wave of passengers attempt to break a Guiness World Record.

Among tourists traveling abroad to Peru there seems to be this misconception about Lima as a city similar to Los Angeles, a city that experiences a perpetual summer.  Many are quite surprised when they travel to Lima only to discover the winter season that dominates close to half of the year, not something one would expect from a South American coastal city.  Luckily for many travelers the winter is still rather tolerable thanks in part to the lack of rainfall (the worst one will experience is a light drizzle from time to time) Lima receives each year.  In general, I would describe Lima's climate as being rather mild, despite being a city located in a coastal desert.  Lima's winter usually sees average temperatures ranging from 12 °C (54 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F), which is rather manageable, especially if you come from the Pacific Northwest or any other region up north.  July through September are by far the coldest and wettest months during the winter season.  

3 comments

  1. Kelly Says:
  2. I could stand the cold - it's the fog that gets me. I need little gloves with the fingers cut out for working at the computer!

     
  3. i read this.

     
  4. jajaja,

    Very funny Bridget, well at least you commented

    Thanks

     

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A travel blog about living abroad in Lima, Peru and my travels to cities like Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Inti Aperture is a blog about travel, Peruvian food, culture, adventure, jobs, tourism, travel, news, teaching English, photography, and living abroad, making it a perfect resource for the traveling expat.
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