Touristy stuff around Quito.

Quito Travel Blog

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The monument at La Mitad Del Mundo. The "O" stands for west in spanish.

Hello all,

Today I was determined to get to TeleferiQo, the 4,100 metre high tram overlooking Quito.  Also, since I plan of leaving Quito tomorrow, I figured I had to go to La Mitad Del Mundo.  La Mitad Del Mundo is the government tourist sight that islocated on the equator.  It is about 15 miles north of town, and I was armed with information on how to reach the place with public transportation.

I left the hotel at around 10:30am, and commenced to walk, trolley, bus, walk and bus it up to the sight for almost two hours.  Upon reaching La Mitad Del Mundo I paid the admission fee and checked out the area.  The huge monument is impressive, and the monument is surrounded by a small park that is set up like a local Ecuadorian village.

The globe atop the monument.
  There were a decent amount of tourists there, all taking the obligitory pictures of themselves straddling the equator.

I think that most of them proably knew that because of current GPS technology it has been proven that the actual equator is 240 meters away, but it's a fun thing to do anyway.  I took a bunch of pics and then headed for the site of the actual equator (allegedly).  It was a left turn on the main road and a short walk past another solar museum (confusing) before reaching the road to Museo Solar Inti Nan.  This was a smaller private sight that also had exhibitions detailing how important the sun was to pre-Incan Ecuadorian cultures.

The tour guide took me through a series of demonstrations about how the equator effects certain things.

Me at the real equator (so they say). Museo Solar Inti-Nan.
  It was very interesting, although suspect from a scientific point of view according to most sources.  There was also a section on the Amazon which was very interesting, as I plan on visiting that area soon.  They then hooked my up with a blow gun and let me shoot at a target.  It got away from me a bit, and travelled about 15 metres behid the target.  I think it missed all the people around and landed in some bushes.  Ooops.

I then headed back to Quito, and I figured that I would go directly to TeleferiQo.  Well, to say the least this turned into a mess.  I ended up waiting for a shuttle for 75 minutes at the bus station, and had to take the bus and a taxi instead.  Once reaching TeleferiQo it started raining, and the top of the tram was covered in clouds.

Some Guinea Pigs that may ,or may not, be somebody's dinner.
  I went up anyway, figuring that I would at least enjoy the experience.  The tram was only $4, and it it travelled 2.5 kilometres up the side of Volcan Pichincha.  There were some very impressive views until becoming totally obscured by cloud cover.

I had a cup of coffee at the top, and hung around thinking that maybe things would clear up a bit.  No such luck.  But it did start to rain again.  Then it started to hail!  It did clear up a bit after the storm, but not enough to make any difference.  I headed back down and did manage to get some pics from the raindrop covered tram, and at the base station, which also has an amusement park.

After a frustrating conversation with the shuttle driver, who was trying to rip me off, I had a 'Gringo moment'.

View of Quito halfway up TeleferiQo. This was before entering the clouds.
  Unable to express my displeasure adequately in spanish, I gave the whole area a lesson in english profanity and took off walking.  Now understand, I had a general idea of where I was.  Quito is easy to get your bearings in because it is surrounded by mountains, so that's a plus.  But I was at least 5 kilometres from the hotel with no map in my possesion.  It was also getting dark, and still theatening rain.

After walking for about 45 minutes, I was amazed to pop out at the exact spot I used to pick up the Trole.  I have no idea how it happened, but I do consider my navigation skills to be one of my strengths.  I got back to the hotel and got online.  I proceded to vent at my friend Henry via Yahoo! Instant Messenger for about 45 minutes until I felt better.

The view from the top of TeleferiQo.
  By the way, I do understand how illogical it is for me to become enraged over maybe a $6 difference in price, but I do usually handle things better.  I think that instead of the 15 hour bus tomorrow, I may treat myself to a flight to Loja, in the south.  That will help to clear my head for the upcoming Amazonian hardships.

Maybe my anger is one of the side effects of the anti-Malarial medication I started taking.  If you have a few minutes check out the list of possible side effects of Mefloquine on Wikipedia or something.  Some really scary stuff.

I calmed myself down with a nice bowl of Pho at a Vietnamese place in the Mariscal, and then watched a bizzare street performance before heading to bed.  Better luck tomorrow.

Laer, Phil

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The monument at La Mitad Del Mundo…
The monument at La Mitad Del Mund…
The globe atop the monument.
The globe atop the monument.
Me at the real equator (so they sa…
Me at the real equator (so they s…
Some Guinea Pigs that may ,or may …
Some Guinea Pigs that may ,or may…
View of Quito halfway up TeleferiQ…
View of Quito halfway up Teleferi…
The view from the top of TeleferiQ…
The view from the top of Teleferi…
View from the base of TeleferiQo. …
View from the base of TeleferiQo.…
photo by: Bluetraveler