South America – The Middle of the World

After I confirmed and paid my Galapagos trip, I wanted to go to the equator. I had asked the hostel receptionist how to bus to the Mitad del Mundo, because all my running around to the bank and travel and CarpeDM had left me without my previously arranged group of new friends to go with. They all left at 10:30am by bus, and it was now 12:30pm.

But lovely Gina from the Community Hostel pointed me to Laura and Chem, a couple of lively and friendly Brits who welcomed me to their middle of the world day trip. A few bonuses came with me joining this team:

Bonus 1 – Their awesome British accents make me feel really regal.

Bonus 2 – Chem speaks amazing Spanish, so it was really nice to get a break from the translating pressure.

Bonus 3 – They are great people and really fun!

So, the equator is actually about a 45 minute, $15 USD taxi ride (or 1.5-2 hour, $0.80 USD crammed bus ride) from Quito. It kind of feels like its IN Quito though, since the city is all just urban sprawl.

When you get there, it’s pretty cool to realize that you are in the middle of the planet.

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There’s a lot of debate about the real vs fake equator, but in the end we learned it’s all the same line. The difference in the “spots” is this: the beginning of the line is where the early people first identified the equator, but now we know that exact 0,0,0 is about 1km further along the same equatorial line.

It’s all the equator though; there’s no fake one. The guards stared at me like I was an alien when I asked them where the fake equator was … so ya, I guess if you come here don’t do that …

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Other fun things to do at the equator:

  • Balance an egg on the line
  • Do fun experiments at the museum, including flushing water in different directions on either side of the line (WHAT?!)
  • Put your feet in both hemispheres
  • Get your passport stamped at the little shop
  • Mail an actual postcard from the centre of the world

Too bad I don’t know anyone’s addresses by heart … I guess if you want a postcard you’ll have to comment or send me a note! Tomorrow we go to Otovalo and the famous textile market.

It’s a pretty cool little place, so far, this Ecuador place.

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