the equator

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October 1st 2009
Published: October 1st 2009
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The Sunday we left mindo at 6 30 in the morning and arrived at mitad del mundo at about 8 am. After the lush cloud forest to be on an arid dusty plain in the hot hot sun wasn’t particularly pleasant! After some faffing with the guide book we decided to get a taxi to two lots of inca ruins and not go into the complex built around the fake mitad del mundo {where the French thought it was} So we first went to a pre incan platform built by the ancient peoples who had correctly calculated where the equator is. It lines up there with the top a volcano in the distance. We met some archaeologists who were measuring things in preparation for the equinox. It was an awe ispiring feeling to be stood on the equator where for hundreds if not thousands of years rituals were carried out...
After that ruin we went to the ruin of an incan fort. A bit unimpressive for me, especially after macchu picchu..its really just a series of walls, but it felt cultural! On the way we saw a procession for the celebration of the tree god, weirdly fused with Christianity..with Jesus replacing the tree God. Apparently this has happened with a lot of the old customs and festivals. They were wearing beautiful bright ponchos and playing music and wearing masked and hairy chaps..generally having a good time!
Then it was back to the mitad del mund oand a museum on the actual equator, where mum over paid the cheeky taxi man whilst i looked at the llamas. The museum started off terribly. Over pirced..3 dollars each and with a drab collection of freplica huts and pickled snakes from the Amazon. It perked up a bit with some shrunken heads. Finally you reach the bit thats fun..the equator line {calculated by GPS!!!} and along it there are various experiments, like a sun burner that burns down a line, a special sundial, balancing an egg on a nail {neither of us managed etc. Most fun was testing your strength on and off the line ..meant to be weaker on it because of the forces...not convinced though. Watching a bowl of water drain one way then the other and finally when placed on the equator straight down with no vortex. And best of all is trying to balance along the line..apparently its more difficult because the opposing forces pull you each way...i fell into the north hemisphere..home is where the force is! Anyway, all good fun....
Back in Quito it was time for one of the nicest Indians I have had..beautifully home made non greasy samosass..mum had a lovely curry mine was wierd and i didn’t like it but it was my own fault for choosing banana and coconut!


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