From Quito to Otavalo, Ecuador

15 12 2009

Check out this sweet bicycle wheel antenna I found in the Ecuadorian campo! Resourcefulness, recycleness, AND style.

THE EQUATOR

Jumping at the "fake" equator, according to Lonely Planet

The two most famous equator monuments/museums are located off my path, so I bussed to them with a few new friends (one of which, Aussie Anthony, had his camera stolen the next day at knife-point in broad daylight) and then we returned to Quito, where my bike was safely double-locked in El Cafecito’s garage.

But not to worry, this doesn’t mean I missed my opportunity to bicycle across the Equator. Everybody is trying to make a buck, which means equator monuments abound.

Where the Panamerican Highway meets the Equator

I assumed there would be at least a third equator monument on the Panamerican highway. There was. I paid a dollar, shot my photos and videos, and continued northward.

So far, two of the three monuments claim all the others are poorly marked, and that their own monument is REALLY on the equator.

Standing an egg upright on the head of a nail

I must say, however, I trust the interesting Inti Nan museum because I made an egg stand upright on the head of a nail and because, using a portable tub of still water I witnessed water drain in different directions on each side of the Equatorial Line. Truly surprising!

The two days of riding, approximately 130 kilometers from Quito to Otavalo, were typical beautiful Ecuadorian riding days: Green hills (did I say hills? Make that gigantic, heart-pounding mountain climbs and face-stretching descents! I am STILL in the Andes, the longest and second highest mountain range on Earth), volcanoes, swiss-cheese volcanic rock cliffs, waterfalls, delicious $1.50 meals with hearty soups, friendly folks, and fire station campsites.

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