Tina, Amanda and I in front of Mital del Mundo (Note: May not be actual equator :))
This was another of those days where you wake up in the morning not entirely sure what you're going to do for the day, but pretty confident it will all work out, and sure enough it did! Around the breakfast table at Secret Garden I met up with Tina, Amanda and Nick who were all thinking of heading out to Mital del Mundo, otherwise known as the centre of the world, or the equator monument.
Now admittedly it's a bit of a touristy thing to do, but I'd say the photos on the equator line were just a good photo op, it was more the other parts of the day that made it really enjoyable.
For starters the journey to get there was an effort in itself, I think Nick and I were both appreciative of the fact that Tina (actually called Kirsten, from Hamburg Germany) and Amanda (denver, Colorado) had more than the guidebook style Spanish that I make use of, we were constantly checking if buses were right, or if we were at the right stop, or if the bus had gone too far.
Some dancing in the square near the monument
If you happen to be on an Ecuadorean bus and someone comes down the aisle selling frozen yoghurt ice blocks, I highly recommend them! Riding the bus, well pretty much ALL over town, I think we really got a feel for Quito. Now I can understand the constant stream of vendors trying sell mandarinas and other foods, but I'm still not sure how many of the kids selling giant, colourful kites to the passing cars get on :)
So after an eventful few hours of bus travel we did make it out to Mital del Mundo. The important thing to note with this is that for the giant monument itself, the French got it wrong by about 200 metres, so whilst it makes a good photo it's technically not the equator!
The highlight of the area has to be the museum Inti Nan which is on the ACTUAL equator (it's been tested with GPS).
Balancing eggs on a screw is another equator trick (you even get a certificate! I know, I was excited too)
Here is where you can do all the little tests like tip water down a sink and see it go clockwise, then move the sink about 2 metres, and sure enough it's going the other way! The strangest one is kind of hard to describe, you'll have to ask me to give a demo of the 'overpowering another person on the equator' trick. The museum also gave a bit of background on the indigenous people of the area so I think the $3 for a guide is well worth it (I bet you didn't know that guinea pigs absorbed bad spirits!). A great moment here was where they let us have some shots with blowdarts, I wouldn't say I'm an expert blowdarter though, since my attempt flew wide of the target and almost took out an American tourist behind. After all, I only hunt the most dangerous animal of them all....man (obscure Simpsons reference ;) ) I would have liked to explain that one on travel insurance though (So tell us again why you had the native head-dress on as you shot him ?)