20th July 1835

Darwin Beagle Diary
During our whole stay the climate was far from pleasant; the ceaseless gloom which hangs over the country would render any landscape uninteresting. During 16 days I have only had one view of the Cordilleras behind Lima, which seen in stages through the openings of the clouds, bore a very grand aspect. — it is proverbial that rain never falls in this part of Peru; yet this is not correct, during nearly every day there is a thick drizzle or Scotch mist which is sufficient to make the streets muddy & ones clothese very damp. People are generally pleased to call this Peruvian dew. That much water does not fall is very manifest; the houses are covered with flat roofs, composed of hardened mud; on the mole ship-loads of wheat are piled up & thus kept for months without any cover. Lastly, the country is quite sterile, excepting where irrigated. The valley of the Rimac, however, wears as green a clothing as those in central Chili. I cannot say that I like what I have seen of Peru; in summer it is said that the Climate is much pleasanter; at all seasons of the year both inhabitants & foreigners suffer much from attacks of Ague.

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