I hate winter everywhere, but especially in Santiago. I won’t put you through the whole rant again, but for anyone who’s new I will leave it at freezing temperatures and no central heating. Add in some dampness and do the math as to why I am an unhappy camper as I sit bundled in my bed looking at my breath every time I exhale.
Then there’s the smog, which is just disgusting. I took this picture with my cell phone, and despite the poor quality you can see the thick brown band of gross. That’s in my lungs – lovely. It’s worse in winter because Santiago is more or less surrounded by mountains, and when the air is cold it settles right down in the valley instead of rising over the mountains to let us all breathe. Pedro de Valdivia, I curse you for founding this city here.
The one bright side, however, is the rain. Now, I don’t like winter, and I don’t particularly like being wet, so this might sound odd. But when it rains, all that smog clears out of the city, and instead of the familiar shortness of breath all of us who live in Santiago enjoy deep breaths of fresh air. It’s a nice change. On top of that, rain in the city means snow on the mountains.
And there isn’t much that’s prettier than the imposing Andes gleaming with fresh snow in the sunlight set off by a brilliant blue background or a sunset. Even if it’s apparently impossible for me to capture a decent picture of them that doesn’t involve telephone lines and random buildings. You’ll just have to come see them for yourself.
Last Saturday, it poured down, so all week we’ve been enjoying the aftermath. The smog’s back by now, unfortunately, but at sunset tonight the view was still pretty incredible.
More in this series
Saturday in Santiago