Monument to La Mitad
Had a bit of a sleep-in as no school today. After a long breakfast and discussion, it was decided that Maria Jose and I would go to the place called El Mitad del Mundo (the middle of the world), where the equator crosses Ecuador just north of Quito. As Hayley was going into Quito, we set off together in a taxi. It turned out that the main highway, that we needed to go on into town, was closed, so the usual 10 to15 minutes in the taxi turned out to be well over ½ an hour. Maria Jose and I eventually took two buses and arrived at La Mitad after 1 o’clock.
Walked around and chose somewhere to have lunch.
Wine, soft drink, empanada for me and bigger meal for Maria Jose and two large ice-cream sundaes came to around USD11. Then we went to the museum which had interesting information on the many races that inhabit Ecuador. There are around 14 different tribes and they speak different versions of Quechua, the language of the Incas. There were numerous small stalls with the usual artefacts and I actually bought a couple of very small gifts. We left around 5:30 and caught a bus back into town. It was dark by the time we got there and the bus hadn’t taken us to where we expected, so we took a taxi home from I’m not sure where; USD8.
View from monument, on the equator. Red line is equator. Note N and S for north and south
Mariana and Jean Pierre were out when we arrived home around 8 and didn’t return before I went to bed.
Today’s trivia: Have I told you about all the people who get on the buses to sell things? On one bus today we had three sellers.
The first was selling icypoles for USD0.10. The second was selling unlabelled packets of chips and peanuts for USD0.50. The third was selling small recipe books for, I think, USD1.00. On another bus we were offered DVDs for USD1.00 and chocolates, also USD1.00. The people selling the more exotic articles, eg recipe books, and DVDs always start off with a rehearsed spiel at the top of their voices, telling you how wonderful their product is, how much you need it and how it will improve your life, etc. They often have to compete not only with people talking, but also with the Latin American music that is played on the buses. No wonder people are so hyped up; perhaps they could try classical music on the buses ;-)
Dancers in central plaza, La Mitad