Posted by: Rob Viens | July 10, 2013

A Preference for Extreme Climates

On the 9th Darwin was back in Montevideo for at least a few days, though he had contrasting reactions about being back in the capital.  I guess he was at least glad to be out of the “forlorn streets of Maldonado”, and hey, there where no revolutions going on:

“A fine breeze carried us into the harbor of M: Video by seven oclock. — The same wind brought a packet; with a letter for me dated May. —1 After breakfast went on shore, to purchase numberless little &cs &cs. — M: Video has an air of great wealth & business, after the forlorn deserted streets of Maldonado.” (July 9)

“So much wind & rain, could not go on shore. — The climate here is detestable; one feels it the more from the exposed anchorage where, we are pitching amongst the hillocks of muddy water.” (July 10)

The letter was from his sister Catherine – mostly some local gossip and updates about the family.  It does mention Emma Wedgewood again, interestingly.

After much complaining about the weather over the last couple years, it is interesting to see Darwin expressing an interest in climate extremes – in particular, longing for the climate of Tierra del Fuego! A year ago he couldn’t help but pine over the tropics and now he wants to go back to Drake’s Passage:

“I must say I like extremes in climate. For the last year the summer of Tierra del F & the winter of the Rio Plata, the weather to us have been much the same. Constant gloomy sky, with much wind & rain, & the temperature raw & cold, but never sufficiently so to dry the atmosphere. My heart has revelled with delight to hear the orders for getting 12 months provisions ready for our next visit.” (July 10)

So what do you prefer?  Here is the current weather conditions from several of Darwin’s recent stops (via Weather Underground). I added London, which interestingly falls right in the middle of all these “extremes”.  In addition, I provided links to posts on the local climate conditions.

London, England
Find more about Weather in London, UK
Click for weather forecast

Cape Verde (Sal) – Cape Verde – Not So Bad After All
Find more about Weather in Sal, CV
Click for weather forecast

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Torrents of Rain in Rio
Find more about Weather in Rio De Janeiro, BZ
Click for weather forecast

Montevideo, Uruguay – see “Boisterous” Weather in Montevideo
Find more about Weather in Montevideo, UY
Click for weather forecast

Tierra del Fuego (Ushuaia, Argentina) – see A “Singularly Uncongenial” Climate
Find more about Weather in Ushuaia, AG
Click for weather forecast

Really Charles – are you sure you’d rather be in Tierra del Fuego? (RJV)

PS – Since the weather reports will change by the time you read this, I can tell you that as of this posting at 10 pm PDT (night at all the sites) on July 10, 2013, all the temperatures are between 63 and 73°F, except London which is 54°F and Tierra del Fuego which is 37°F (and rainy).


  1. Too lazy to convert °F to °C but “clear” sounds good, so I’d take London.

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