Blogs from Mitad del Mundo, North, Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo September 3rd 2013

Greetings from Baños where I'm finishing up a month of rest before heading back down to the coast for another hotel management stint. I have three more days of R&R before life revs up again! Thanks to a recommendation from a hotel guest who had stayed at Mandala with her family, I was invited to a beautiful Inn north of Quito to meet the owner and see about possibly working there. We hit it off instantly (both of us Jewish with family roots in NYC, we figure we could even be distant cousins going way back!). Betti & I have dozens of mutual friends & acquaintances here in Ecuador, so it was inevitable that we should meet someday. Casa Mojanda is a beautiful Inn located in the hills above Otavalo, Ecuador's most well-known market town. Along ... read more
Otavalo Animal Market
Laguna Mojanda
Cacaco Plantation

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo October 20th 2012

So today involved a trip to the middle of the world. In true explorer fashion taxis were ignored and local buses were the transport of the day. The Mitad Del Mundo is the place where in 1736 Charles-Marie de la Condamine made the measurements proving that this was the equatorial line – its not, GPS has since proved that latitude 0’00 lies about 300m north, but it was 1736 so I think he can be forgiven for being a bit off. It took a couple of hours, some walking and a change of buses to reach our destination from central Quito, but it was a lovely sunny day which felt right for an expedition to the Middle of the World! It’s massively touristy, with local dancing and singing shows, tonnes of handicraft shops and museums of ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo April 28th 2012

Saturday was a trip to the Equator line, about an hour and a half outside of Quito, and vey crowded public buses. The first bus we took was one of the extra long 'accordion' buses. According to the sign on the bus, it's capacity was 42 seated, 118 standing! Third World for you, everyone takes the bus, few get a seat. Did manage to get one on the second bus, though, as we got on on the first stop. A number of people got on and off again as the journey progressed, selling Catholic blessing cards, candies, snacks. There was also a blind beggar who was singing along to a portable radio, somewhat off-key. By far the nicest dressed gentleman on the bus, a businessman with a sharp suit and fancy watch, made a point to ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo October 9th 2011

Swishing water, balancing eggs and walking the line...yes, I was right on the equator, maybe?. Isabel and Luis Fernando were kind enough to take me for a day of sightseeing outside of Quito. First we went to Reserva Geobotanica Pululahua where I saw the volcanic crater. There are communities living inside the crater and of course there's a hotel. We did not walk down the trail...save that for next time. Next we went to Museo Solar Inti Nan. I really enjoyed learning about the indigenous cultures and viewing the exhibitions. The solar chronometer was cool (instrument that tells time by the rays of the sun). The water and energy demonstrations were fun too! The tour was in Spanish...I think I understand 90% of it...yippee. We then went to The Middle of the World City. We walked ... read more
llama
Arms and Fingers Up for Good Luck/Spirits
Happy Day!

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo June 9th 2011

Today marked the trip to the Mitad de Mundo. We left with Stephen, John, Sandra, Amanda, Lucho, Miguel, and his 11 year old daughter, Joanna. We drove to Pululahua, a dormant volcano. The caldera in the middle is the location of a small, poor, primarily agricultural village. Its elderly inhabitants must walk up the arduous path early every morning to the market above to sell their goods. No car, sometimes a burro by their side. The landscape was gorgeous. So much green, and the clouds dreamily floating amidst the mountains. We then arrived at the first Mitad del Mundo. Here marks the exact latitude, 0˚0˚0˚. We took a tour of the indigenous houses and the traditions of the people there and then began to make our way to the center of the earth. We performed various ... read more
Miguel and I
Joanna and I
Pululahua 2

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South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo February 14th 2011

Hace un mes estábamos en Costa Rica, celebrando el envío de la MVG a Ecuador. Aún la saga tenía un capítulo más, ilusamente pensé que sólo me restaría escribir en Ecuador el famoso, THE END; más no fue así. Dios tenía Su plan, Su tiempo, y Su manera de hacerlo. Después de depositar la mvg en el contenedor para ser enviado a Guayaquil, nos restaban cinco días, los que se supone serían los días de transito del barco. Así que teníamos cuatro días antes de volar a Quito y así ir al encuentro de la mvg, rápido y sin contratiempos. Era sólo una utopía, al parecer todos en Guayaquil lo sabían y nosotros éramos la excepción. Unos ángeles llamados Marilú y Fulvio (mi mamá tica de Costa Rica) que Dios envió para nuestro cuidado, al enterarse ... read more
Nuestros ángeles en puerto Caldera. Fulvio y mamá tica, Marilu.
Nuestro primer día sin la mvg.
Airport Inn

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo February 6th 2011

Well you can´t do Ecuador without doing the equator... Had a great day at the Equator hopping from one hemisphere to the next like a big kid. I took the trip with a fantastic Chilean couple (Jose & Conni). We had a great laugh and I´ve picked up some chileño Spanish which could well come in handy in the coming months! On our way back we passed the football stadium in Quito where fans were gathering for "El Gran Clasico" between Liga de Quito and Barcelona (Ecuador´s equivalent of the old firm derby). The fans were going crazy at each other and there were as many riot police as there were fans. So you could have been forgiven for thinking this was the build to the game...in fact, this was merely the queue to get tickets ... read more
Conni, Jose and a token Scotsman on the Equator
Equatorial Line
Plaza Sucre, Quito Old Town

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo January 20th 2011

The Equator. Middle earth so to speak. Did you know that if you take a raw egg with you that you can balance it on the head of a nail? Apparently you can and so we did! Ridiculous and a little nerdy? Yes. But I know you are jealous. (The following are a few pictures from the museum and other places right around the equator.)... read more
Balancing the egg!
Don't move!
My well-trained egg.

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo December 3rd 2010

Still scared to use the local buses around Quito we decided to take a taxi tour ($13) to the equator. Many people had told us the equator was a tourist trap but we were determined to get the line straddling picture! First stop on the tour was Pululahua Crater. After the taxi driver trying to talk to us in Spanish, we managed to figure out that he was saying “I’ll wait here, you walk up there and look.” The crater was a couple of houses in the valley between three mountains. It was very pretty but nothing real special. Second stop was the equator museum. Entry to the museum was $3, we didn’t know if this was a tour so we started walking around only to be shouted at 2 minutes later saying “Wait over here.” ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo July 16th 2010

Friday 16.7.2010 day 275 The Equator and Pulula Hua Volcano We got up at 8:00 and had bfast at the hostel then we walked down to the metro bus station and got the bus to Ofelia then we got on to a new bus to Mitad Del Mundo were the Equator line is. We had a bit of a look around the fake line then we took a tour to Pulula Hua Volcano which is active volcano but about 100 people live in the crater of it. There is even a small primary school with 12 students in the crater. There were lots of school students walking down and up to the town when we were there. It is about a 1.4 km walk but straight down. There is a road in but the locals do ... read more
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