• Day24

    On the equator

    November 4, 2016 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Arrived in Quito….. and what a surprise! Other places we had been to in South America showed signs of poverty and with no concern for the aesthetic appeal such as gardens and well maintained homes. In fact many houses appeared unfinished mainly due to the fact that they did not have to pay land taxes or rates until the home was finished, therefore houses were never complete. Flew into Quito to a near new airport, beautiful smooth roads into the city, and very attractive city too, set amongst quite steep hills (actually make that volcanos)

    Stayed at the Dan Carlton Hotel (very nice) and after the usual tour around the old town (another church, another market Square, another presidential palace, another statue on the hill – this one of Mary / Madonna, not Christ) we had a free day to do as we pleased. Fortunately we were aware that we were very close to the equator and our guide organised a group tour to the real equator. I say this because there are 2 equator points – one with the big monument etc. that was determined in the 1930’s but it's actually out by about 200m or around 7°. We went to the real equator (as determined by GPS) and it was really interesting. Standing on the equatorial line we saw the corealis effect demonstrated (not sure of the spelling but it is the direction water drains according to which hemisphere you are in). The guide filled a sink with water, placed it over the equator line, pulled the plug, and the water drained straight down. Repeated it just 2m in the northern side and the water drained in an anticlockwise direction, repeated on southern side and drained in a clockwise direction. (I may have mixed them up but you get the idea). Also the wind speed meters were spinning in opposite directions on either side of the equator and yet they were only about 5m apart. It is like one side cancels out the other. It is for this cancelling effect that Ecuador does not have hurricanes or cyclones or tornados (but they do have earthquakes and volcanos). It was all really fascinating and I'm glad we went.

    Nearly at the end of our South American trip… next stop Galapagos Islands.
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