So we arrived in Quito, Ecuador around 3 or 4 o´clock in the afternoon. We were both pretty tired but we had signed up for a tour around the great Ecuadorian city of Quito. They actually use the American Dollar here, so we exchanged all our money to dollars prior to arriving. We had an english speaking guide who owns a taxi here and lived in ¨The Hat of America¨ (Canada, haha hope you canadians are reading this) for 32 years.
We drove a little bit during rush hour as he explained how every single sunday the city shuts down the main street for almost 4 miles. Everybody just hangs out in the streets on sundays: Riding bikes, roller-blading, drinking, playing music, and whatever floats the Ecuadorian boat. They are very nice people here and suprisingly there are a lot of Americans here. He even mentioned there is a town right outside Quito they call ¨Little America¨. We walked around the main plaza, entering some pretty amazing churches.
Seems like with each church they were trying to outdo the last.
Quito is definitely not as dangerous as the world thinks it is, at this moment in time. It is actually the opposite. Obviously there are poorer areas where there is crime and violence, however, since the new president has come into office, he has done great things for this country. I think our guide said he has almost a 75% approval rating. That´s almost as good as Dubya Bush and Bobama.
We had a short tour and went back to our hotel. Shortly thereafter we had a reservation for dinner at an authentic Ecuadorian restaraunt called Apioche. We shared a half glass of - what we thought when ordering at the time was bubbly - white wine to start. I had a grilled beef with passion fruit sauce to "wet my appetite," as papa says and it was fantastic. We then got another full bottle of wine and ordered dinner, which we both inhaled the grilled chicken with some sauces and potatoes. In retrospect, may not have been the best idea for papa. It was a great dinner, we just stayed there for a while and listened to a guy playing an acoustic and singing some spanish songs.
The next day....
We woke up and met our same guide (I can´t remember his name!!!) and he took us to the ¨Middle of the World¨. Qui - stands for middle, while To - stands for world.... PUT THEM TOGETHER AND WHAT DO YOU GET? It was about a 40 minute drive outside the city. This was a very cool place, obviously, because you are standing at Latitude 0° 0´ 0¨ .
There are a lot of things most people won't expect about this particular spot in the world . . . And I will be your yoda.
While we stood on the line, another guide who took us through the museum, explained that 30 kilometers North & South is considered the Equator, but we were actually standing at 0 seconds.... DIRECTLY IN THE MIDDLE.
Going into the spring equinox (not to be confused with the solstice) there are no shadows as this place, simply because the sun is directly above.
He did some very cool experiments for us. He balanced an egg on a nail and nobody else, me included, were succesful. I could have done it, but I just didn´t feel like it...
He had us walk on the middle line with our eyes closed, it was way harder than you think, and I have pretty good balance. The reason for this is your body is about 2/3 water, so when your eyes are closed, your body depends on the balance of liquid within the inner ear. If you try this anywhere but here you will most likely be able to do it, sober of course. This is because there are natural forces acting against you, in which, your body is able to counter-act. When standing on this line the force is pulling straight down. Unless you have impecable balance, it is impossible to even walk 10 feet.
Another cool experiment was the water experiment. Whoever argued with me about the water spinning opposite directions from the Northern vs. Southern Hemisphere is WRONG. it does spin opposite directions.
Don´t worry I won´t embarass you on my blog. He had a sink that he filled with water directly over the 0 line. When he pulled the plug, the water just got sucked down the drain straight. He moved it to the Southern Hemisphere, and the water spun clockwise. Northern Hemisphere spun counterclockwise. I thought this was just the coolest thing in the world, plus it reaffirmed my initial beliefs. I officially believe none of what people tell me.
We came back to the hotel, and off to the Galapagos to see some BOOBIES!!
Blue-footed boobies that is.
Also, I really apologize for not posting pictures. I try almost every day and it gives me a god damn headache because the computers at these hotels shouldn't even be considered machines. It pisses me off every time I try to do it, so I have kind of given up. If I come across a computer with a solid picture program, I will add some pictures to the blog, otherwise you will have to suffer.
Tonight is going to be an awesome sight to see because here in Quito they have a cool tradition. Every year they fill these big dolls with saw dust and put masks on them of people who were significant throughout the year, both good and bad. At midnight, everybody lights their doll on fire and celebrates the New Year!
Of course the street is closed and supposedly are flooded with people partying, dancing, and being drunk. We won´t be able to get the full experience because we leave tomorrow morning at 5 am. That sucks, but oh well...
Off to the Galapagos Islands.