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April 2nd 2009
Published: April 2nd 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

Mitad del MundoMitad del MundoMitad del Mundo

On the visit out with Martha and Guido we went to the Equator Line where I had a foot in either hemisphere.
Thursday 2.03.09
I´m still in Quito; the best laid plans.... To get a tour to fit into my schedule I had to delay my flight to the Galapagos until tomorrow, otherwise I would have a wasted day travelling. As it is with the reschedule, I will be picked up from the airport and taken to the boat which I will be on for the next five days visiting the various islands. This means I will be out of cantact probably until Tuesday when the tour finishes and I stay on one of the islands for a further two days before flying back to Quito. I spent much of yesterday afternoon reorganising things; it took quite a while and was frequently interrupted by the World Cup qualifying match between Ecuador and Paraguay. They are fervent football supporters here and the streets, bars and any place with a large TV was crowded; the result was a draw!
This morning I went back to the Tourist Agency to finalise details - nobody is in a rush here so it took a little longer than expected. Afterwards I took a taxi to the TeleferiQo which takes you high up towards the Pinchincha Volcano. I ´wasn´t
Guido & MarthaGuido & MarthaGuido & Martha

Guido and Martha (friends of Adriana in London) took me out for the day to the Equator line. We first went to Pululahua, an extinct volcano crater which is now lush farmland. You can see it in the background.
quite eligible for the senior reduction in the fare- need to be over 65! The trip up was good with great views over the city - Quito is a long narrow city (22km by 3km) on a plateau. At the bottom of the cable car there was a large theme park, almost empty of people; likewise when I got to the top there were lots of restaurants/cafes with few people in them - prices were expensive. ´Walked and climbed further to the base of the volcano. The climbing was difficult - shortage of breath and particularly light headedness forced me to rest a few times, but got some good photos. The journey down was better; ´got a taxi back to the hostel and cooked a meal. As most in the hostel are leaving tomorrow we are all going out later for a meal and a few drinks ..... wonder if I´ll get an early night??

A Few Afterthoughts on Colombia:
I feel I wasn´t in Colombia long enough to consolidate my impressions or do it justice; however those I have of the country are positive enough to entice me back. It certainly is a country I would have liked
Temple of the SunTemple of the SunTemple of the Sun

This castle-like building, quite close to the Equator line, is an aecheological site dating back to the Incas. It´s now owned by one of Equador´s famous artists -Ortego, and houses many of his paintings.
to stay longer in. ..
1. The unfortunate introduction to the country made me somewhat wary and always on guard. Putting those experiences aside, it is a lovely country with very helpful, friendly people; they make nothing of putting themselves out to help you in whatever way they can. They are generally bubbly, lively and like a good time .. a little similar to the Brazilians.They love their music and dance, but don´t feel the need to have their music blaring everywhere. Likewise peddlers of pirate CDs and DVDs don´t play play their music loud.
2. There is a greater range and variety of food available in the shops. The shelves are full of a good choice at reasonable prices.
3. The people generally work hard and long hours, many for small salaries - average wage of just over $100 per month. They´re up early and generally go to bed early. Many of the poor eke out a living as best they can.
4. In comparison to Venezuela the land seems more fertile, lush and definately a lot cleaner; more evidence of affluence, organisation and effectiveness.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Guido Balancing an Egg on a NailGuido Balancing an Egg on a Nail
Guido Balancing an Egg on a Nail

Because we were on the equato line it was possible to balance an egg on a nail.... but it took steady hands!
Monument to the founders of the Equator LineMonument to the founders of the Equator Line
Monument to the founders of the Equator Line

This huge momument in tehbackground was erected to those who did the measurements to determine where the equator line is. Afer visiting Mitad del Mundo I went back to Martha and Guido´s place where we had lunch together.
Pichincha VolcanoPichincha Volcano
Pichincha Volcano

From the base of the active volcano nearest to Quito. Quite a climb even to get to the base -4,100 mts above sea level.

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