Quito and the Center of the World

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November 21st 2011
Published: December 30th 2011
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So to be fair I did not get a very good idea of what Quito was like. After the 10 hour delay caused by the late bus Chev and I hardly had anytime to explore the city. We stayed at a very cool guesthouse, Treehouse and met some cool people there which was nice. We also went on a couple adventures while in the capital of Ecuador. The first was going up the gondola, the Teleferico, which is found in the city and goes up to a local mountain to an altitude of 4100m. We rode up in the afternoon of the first real day we were there and the view was spectacular until the fog rolled in and we were literally standing inside a cloud. It was still very calming and surreal and resulted in a lot of deep conversation between Chev and I about what we wanted in life and on this trip. It was also th first time I felt the affects of the high altitude. I was light headed and a bit dizzy from just a short walk. The second expedition we went on was to the Mitad del Mundo, otherwise known as the mother f-ing equator! This of course is a must if you are in Ecuador. The equator is about an hour outside of Quito by bus and there is a giant monument, placed there by the French in the 1700's, to mark the change between the northern and southern hemisphere. The funny thing is that the monument is actually too far south by about 200 m south of the actual equator as found by modern gps. We paid the $2 dollars to get in to the monument park and wondered around in the arid heat enjoying the sun, as we had just spent the last week or so in the chilly city of Bogota or on a bus. We went to the equatorial line and of course took a series of photos of us on one side, then the other, then jumping over the line and then standing on both sides. All very touristy. There are a lot of museums around the monument but weren't really interested in any of them. We were on the lookout for the actual equatorial line and museum which we eventually found with after some confusing conversations in Spanish. The museum was this weird little outdoor mish mash of stuff but with the most amazing tour. It was $3 and we learned a little about the history of Ecuador, the jungle, how some tribes used to shrink heads, about burial practices and of course about the equator. There was a demonstration showing how water spins down the drain clockwise in the southern hemisphere, counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and goes straight down the drain on the equator. Also I balanced an egg on a nail on the equator and learned I weigh 1 kg less due to reduced resistance. It was all very cool.


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