Slow start to the morning – woke up to find a steady drizzle of rain outside.
At the moment, it is one of the two annual “wet” seasons here in Cali. Different regions of Colombia have enormous differences in altitude and along with those differences come different climates.
Apparently Colombians tend to describe their country in terms of these climate zones – the low-lying “hot” zone, the mid-range “temperate” zone and the high up “cold zone”. At around 1000m above sea-level, Cali is in the temperate zone, while Bogota at over 2,600m is in the cold zone.
Being so close to the equator, the weather is largely the same all year round, although the temperate zone is still influenced by humid air flowing in from the Pacific Ocean.
Twice a year from March to May and from October to November, the rainfall increases in Cali to form their “wet season” (also referred to as “winter” by the locals. The mountains to the west of the city range in height from around 2,000m in the north to around 4,000m in the south. As as result, the difference in rainfall to different parts of the city can be quite dramatic, with the north-west of the city being typically a lot drier than the south-west part. Apparently, average annual rainfall in some areas is around 900mm, while in others it is as high as 1,800mm!
Our visit to Cali in 2009 started at the end of the wet season (we arrived mid-May), thus the first week we were here it did rain a bit, but then the remainder of the visit was hot and mostly dry.
This time, since we are here a month earlier, we have pretty much the whole wet season to enjoy. We have found the temperatures quite a bit cooler this trip – indeed, it almost feels cold at times when the breeze blows (although the humidity levels keep the air feeling warmer – I’m still in shorts and tshirt, only once was I tempted to put on long pants!).
It has also rained a lot more than on our last trip – however the rain seems to fall mostly at night, or at worst in the early morning, clearing to fine days. Some days are just dull and overcast without any rain at all.
So we hoped that today the rain would clear soon after breakfast, but it seemed that the drizzle had set in and so we abandoned any plans to go for a walk. I ended up spending some time on the front porch with Andres in the morning before getting some more work done just before lunch.
I did manage to take some photos of our room just after it had been cleaned – much better than taking some just before it gets cleaned!
After lunch we all had sleeps – although Nicol was very grizzly and only slept for short periods. By late afternoon, the rain had cleared and left us with a blue sky and clean air, so we decided to go for a walk.
Andres wanted to go and visit the River Cats again, so we walked there and had a look around before heading further upstream along the Cali River. We crossed the river at the next bridge and then headed back towards the hotel. We stopped to pick up some supplies at a small supermarket on the way before walking back to the hotel.