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Thank God winter is finally getting close. We had a hot summer in Lima and I can’t wait for the winter to finally arrive.

In Lima there are two seasons: cloudy and sunny. The cloudy season could be called winter. It lasts nine to ten months. It never rains; it is just completely cloudy all day, every day. It is also fairly chilly, but not cold like I remember from DC or New York. It is probably around 50 at night and 60 during the day. Then, in early to mid-January, the sun comes out and it is summer. The temperatures are 70-75 at night and 80-85 during the day. Hot, but nothing like DC’s 90+ days with 90% humidity.

The people here, though, are never satisfied. During the winter they continually say Que frio (How cold it is!) and during the summer Que calor (What a hot day!). I think back on a cold, snowy day in DC with slush and a blustery wind, or a hot, sweltering August day and just smile.

Lima is basically a beach town. Think of Ocean City with eight million people. All winter they sit around and wait for summer. Then, when the sun finally comes out, they all head to the beach. Most people work six days a week, so on Sundays during the summer all roads are clogged with people getting to the beach. The Pan American Highway is a long highway that runs the length of South America. After it passes through Lima it proceeds along the coast to the south on its way towards Chile. Since the Pacific Ocean off Lima is contaminated with waste, most people want to go to beach to the south. On Sunday mornings, therefore, all lanes of the Pan American Highway are used for south-bound traffic as people head to the clean beaches. During Sunday afternoons, all lanes are northbound as the people head home.

So winter is almost upon us. The clouds will soon be back, and the people will have to wait ten more months before the beaches are open again. As for me personally, I like the beach during the winter. It is usually deserted, and the gray skies make for a reflective time.

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