Sunday, October 16, 2016

Off to a New Continent, for Me

So, where am I going? I took off from Phoenix -

And went over Miami Beach, before landing at Miami -

To change planes and head due south, just over the equator, to Quito, Ecuador! This is my first time in South America. I arrived well after dark and was amazed at all the street lights that this city has!

It's an incredibly huge city - almost 3 million people in a valley almost 30 miles long!

Overlooking the city is the active volcano, Cotopaxi. But don't worry - it hasn't erupted in almost a year!

I'm here to go on a Road Scholar tour with my friend, Rosemary. But we got here a day early to help get used to the altitude. So what to do?

I arranged a trip for us to the equator, which isn't too far away. Our guide picked us up at our hotel for our private tour.

At the equator, the museum guide took over. She showed us their sun dial, very unique because the sun is directly overhead. Half of the year, this side is used, and the other side is used the rest of the year. Unfortunately, the sun wasn't shining when we were there...

She showed us a real shrunken head, and a mural showing in great detail how a shrunken head is made. Not sure what this has to do with the equator...

We also saw some guinea pigs, which are a real delicacy here in Ecuador. Maybe this was dinner...

But finally we got to the real equator, where Rosemary and I posed on each side.

Then they have various scientific experiments that you can perform. They give you a certificate if you can balance an egg on the head of a nail, but I couldn't do it.

Then they have you walk heel-to-toe on the equator, which is unbelievably difficult. If you lean at all to one side, you fall over.

But here's the experiment I was really looking forward to -

Water discharged from a sink on the equator goes straight down.

Water just 5 feet away, south of the equator, the water goes clockwise.

And on the north side, the water goes counter-clockwise.

I was just amazed that such a small distance made such a huge difference.

We then visited the official monument for the center of the earth. This is the classic photo that everyone does. Unfortunately, after building this big monument, they discovered that it wasn't really on the equator...

One last stop - we went to see Pululahua, an active volcano with houses in it. Are they crazy?

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  1. Wow, what an interesting place - I love the pictures! Have a great time! :)

  2. Shrunken head directions? Rather strange. Have a fantastic time.

  3. What fun! Lookling forward to more great pictures!

  4. Wow! What an adventure you are having. 😊

  5. Oh boy! The posts I have been waiting for! Looking forward to more!

  6. I hope the volcano doesn't erupt while you are down ther. We would surely miss you.

  7. Now you've verified the legend that toilets below the Equator flush clockwise. I was under the impression it was an old wives tail. Silly me, now I know better thanks to you! :cD

  8. Have a terrific time ... we loved Ecuador.

  9. Shrunken heads OMG I remember seeing such things on Tarzen King of the Jungle tv show when I was a kid...Awesome stuff!


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