Our daughter in New Jersey hasn’t seen her yard for months because it’s covered with snow. Our son in North Carolina finished raking leaves a while back just in time to get out the overcoats in preparation for the frigid weather ahead.
My wife Cynthia and I, we’re weather junkies, who, like Goldilocks, want our weather “just right”…not too hot and not too cold…
The thermometer was already getting close to 100 F when we left Las Vegas for Cuenca, Ecuador almost six years ago. We’d had enough of that scorching heat—as well as the humidity and chilly winters in the southeast where we previously lived…
Besides the attractive cost of living, the mild climate of Cuenca was one of our major reasons for moving here. We wake up every day with no threat of natural disasters or thoughts about wildly fluctuating temperatures. The temperatures in Cuenca range from average highs of 70 F to lows of 50 F. Relative humidity is usually around 75%. Rainfall amounts to 2.5 inches per month. Please remember these are averages. Within any given period of time a lot of something can be happening—clouds and coolness or sun and warmth.
When you’re home in front of your computer dreaming of escaping to an ideal climate you don’t conjure up images of shoveling snow or sweating bullets. No, you picture “perfection.” The skies are blue—the temperature is perfect— birds are singing—the grass is green and the flowers are blooming. You tune out getting soaked in a downpour and getting bit by mosquitoes.
In truth the spring season from beginning to end often manifests all sorts of volatile, unpredictable weather patterns. And so does Cuenca. On a daily basis. A joke among locals is, “If you don’t like Cuenca’s weather, just wait an hour.”
What’s a “typical” day like? You may wake up to overcast skies and chilly temperatures. By mid-morning the sky is sunny with the odd cloud.
Homes in Cuenca have no heating or air conditioning—because they don’t need it. This is great news regarding your utility bills. There will be days that the weather is overcast, you’ll find it hard to find anywhere on the planet that the weather is perfect every day. The best way to solve this problem is to wear layers. This way when the good weather returns—and it will—all you need to do is shed a layer and enjoy.
I met an expat couple last week who were scouting Cuenca as a possible retirement destination. It was a somewhat cool evening and the guy said, “I don’t think this place is right for me. I need somewhere that’s warmer.”
I replied, “You can be warmer living an hour from here. But you’ll have to contend with humidity and bugs. I prefer living in Cuenca and putting on a sweater when I need to. Think about what’s most important to you.”
“Huh, I hadn’t thought of that,” he admitted.
So, yes, Cuenca does in fact enjoy year-round spring-like weather. And, no, every day is not “perfect.” But if you move here you will never find yourself dripping with perspiration, annoying insects are nowhere to be found, and you can leave the snowshoes at home.
For my wife and me that’s “just right.”
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