Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Weather Report

It has now been four months since I first arrived in Baños and I think now that I am beginning to know and feel the city. The last three days have been unforgettable and I think that the rainy season is making its departure, little by little. Saturday dawned without a cloud in the sky. You can’t imagine the beauty of the green mountains and the blue sky you see at any direction of the compass. I went to the bridge on Bascun Creek to sit and look at Tungurahua. As I neared the creek I got my first view of the snow capped peak of the volcano and was amazed at how low was the level of the snow. The clouds came and went as usual. One minute the peak was clear and the next I could see nothing but clouds. They pass quickly however, and the scene was replayed many times. There has not been much activity for the last two or three weeks and I am sure that is why the snow level is so low.

In the afternoon the clouds again covered the city. In the early hours on Sunday it was raining again. Just a gentle rain that continued on and off until afternoon, when again the clouds cleared. It was the same on Monday and as the clouds cleared in the afternoon, I walked the city. Although it rains a lot there is never any water in the streets- The water is drained through underground pipes and create waterfalls that drop into the Pastaza River on the north side of the city.

In the evening I walked out on my terrace where I have a 270 degree view of the city. From the mountains to the north, across the Pastaza to the almost vertical verdant cliffs on the south is not more than a mile and a half in distance and from the pass on the East to the pass on the West is no more than two. The sun had just set over the western mountains but the sky was cloudless and bright. Each direction I turned I could see the green mountains in the twilight- I wished for a camera but I knew that no picture would be able to capture the beauty nor the emotions of the moment. To the east was the waterfall “Manta de la Virgen” and the lighted cross at Bellevista high above. Below and to the north was the Basilica in front of the main plaza with jewel like lights. The half moon directly overhead, and the lights, like giant stars,on the side of the mountain across the Pastaza, added to the magical scene..

This beautiful city, sitting on this ledge at the foot of the giant Tungurahua Volcano takes time to know and more time to feel a part of.


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