The middle of no where
12/20/2012 - 12/23/2012
Originally I didn't have any plans to stay in Ecuador. I just had 2 extra days and wanted to get away from Colombia as soon as I could (see last post). I was going to hike at 4000m later (that's 13,000ft for those who doesn't know what the metric system is, yes you America) and didn't want to look like a drunk bastard while hiking, I thought, what the heck, I will use Ecuador as a stepping stone for altitude acclimatization. Sorry Ecuador, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I promise I will come back once I get a chance... I promise.
(Click on the photos for bigger version and even more photos!)
First stop? You guessed it. Food. Unlike last time with the empanadas, I went to a local supermarket to make sure I get the real deal. For $1.50 (yes that's a 1 not a 7), you get a delicious, handmade, freshly cooked, healthy, organic, fair trade, kosher, grass fed, open range full breakfast without any preservatives, artificial fertilizers, pesticides, gmo, or stains on your conscience. Ok, at least it was delicious... probably because I was also hungry at the time.
Quito was a little hilly, which was good because I got to improve my non existent cardio. I had to stop every few steps, especially when going uphill. It was a good thing that I had my camera with me, I could pretended to take a few pictures every few steps, like I was doing some sort of artsy project.
Walking in the main town square, I saw a group of people encircling a few masked men running around chased by a women. At first I thought it was just a demonstration of how men were treated in a typical Ecuadorian family setting, but it turned out to be an Ecuadorian version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, or at least from what I could understand.
What's the point of visiting Ecuador if you don't actually visit the equator line? Well, after 1.5 hrs and $2 on the local transportation, I have arrived at the CENTER OF THE WORLD!! Which was accompanied by great fanfare and a huge monument. There was a small astronomy museum that played Star Trek music on the side as you walked in, which had nothing to do with the monument and costed $2 extra (remember, that amazing breakfast was only $1.50). As I was taking self portraits standing proudly on the line, I over heard that this place is actually not the equator line... apparently pre-GPS era calculation was off by 240m (a little more than 2 American football fields). What would we do without GPS these days? How many tourist would've been spared by the disappointment that they didn't actually stand on the equator line? I did go to the "real" one behind the walls through a little alley, but apparently that one is not super exact either =/
It was a short trip, even for blitzing standard, but it was a great experience. With such destinations yet to be visited like Cotopaxi, Galapagos Islands, Baños, and Maquipucuna, I will need to return to this place once I have the money.... and the time.