Adios quito

Trip Start Jan 04, 2010
Trip End Dec 23, 2010

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

well i wasn’t planning on another post until galapagos...but i had a great weekend checking out the sights.

saturday i took a tour to the ‘middle of the world’ with don carlos - the owner of travellers inn (my hotel), who is also a retired general of the ecuadorian army.  he was a great guide and spent several extra hours with us - gratis.  

first stop...the ‘real’ GPS-validated line of the equator.  very simple monument marking the equator, but a funny little museum built around it.  scattered throughout the museum were tests or validations if you will, showcasing the oddities of having no centripetal force (i think thats what he said) to contend with...balancing an egg on the head of a nail...watching water spin in two different directions when placed in the northern & southern hemispheres, trying to walk straight on the line of the equator, etc.  i don’t know...i’m a skeptic, so of course i’m guessing the whole thing is rigged...but many tourists seemed to have several ‘smart’ explanations to support the stuff.  i must have been asleep for 4 years in high school.  NOTHING scientific or historic ever rings a bell.  the coolest thing about the museum...well, two coolest things - guinea pigs and shrunken heads.  the guinea pig was the first domesticated animal, and according to this guide - it was kept in the home of the indigenous tribes because the g-pigs have an amazing sensitivity to energy.  if a person came into the home with negative energy...the pigs would squeal up a storm.  now that’s useful information!  could have used this before getting married!  don carlos said he had a very sick child (2 yrs old) and doctors told him there was nothing more they could do for him...he took his son to a shaman (although doubtful it would help, but desperate)...and the shaman brought out a guinea pig and waved him across the boys‘ body for about 1 hour...the guinea pig died on the spot...and the boy was healed.  strange...  the other tidbit i liked was a tiny little head mounted in a clear case.  there is a tribe in the amazon (along with one tribe in africa) famous for their unique ability to shrink heads.  i posted a how-to picture in case you’re interested.  years ago, after an important battle, the chief would cut the head off his enemy (preferably an important head), empty out the bones and brains and whatnot, sew the mouth, eyes, and ears shut...fill it with little rocks...boil it...and then set it in the sun to dry.  i know for a fact, there are faster ways to shrink a head.

ok, so then we hit the ‘historic’ site of the equator...which was only about 300 meters off from the GPS-calculated site.  some time, long, long ago...50 french men came to ecuador in search of the middle of the earth.  after many years, they determined it was exactly at the site in the picture (pretty good calculations with no GPS).  the monument is beautiful...doesn’t show in the pictures, but it’s truly beautiful.  it leaves you with a feeling that ‘something important’ was accomplished here.  i love one inscription on the side wall - it reads ‘blah, blah, the determination of the dimensions of the planet’.  pretty cool.

and one last thing...i’ll be quick - today we went to cotopaxi, the second tallest active volcano in the world (closest to the sun or some shizzle).  the scene was stunning...but we had to walk the last 500 meters and it was pure hell.  i think the elevation was somewhere between...good lord...i don’t remember...13,000 ft or 15000 ft.  anyhow, it wasn’t just the fact that you couldn’t breathe...and it wasn’t just the fact that the inclination was about 75 degrees (almost perpendicular!)...or the fact that it was was the fact that the entire route to the refugee camp was sand!  so with every step up you slid half-way back.  it was well worth the agony because they sold m&m’s at the camp.  the views were spectacular and many mountaineers (is that what they’re called) were heading down as we were heading up.  pretty famous little spot here in ecuador.  oh...and this thing is also a glacier (andes)...that is melting at an extremely rapid pace compared to past years (little or no snow and warmer climate).  they estimate that within  5 or 10 years it will have no snow (and i think it’s been a glacier for hundreds of years).

see you in galapagos!
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Ness on

You look great! Those pics are awesome! It looks pretty scarey for me. I don't think I could ever do what your doing. I am happy that you are. I miss you! Well be safe and have a wonderful journey..
Love ya ness

r mama on about re birth your body must be filled with exhilerating energy and only a certain percentage of people ever get to inhale miracles and wonders of our magnificent planet i am totally in awe of r journey. it will be wiith you always. getting back to ME my garden is looking alive and colors are fab. but still working on it. i luv and missss u lv ma

Chickie on

Wish I could be with you on this leg of the trip, but this is my last week at DSFCU and I am pinching pennies. Would rather be pinching something else ... ok maybe I will get a chance to pinch him while he is on leave. He got stateside on Sunday so we will connect this week. I will tell you all about it when you return. Until then, keep having a great time and enjoy everything!! Hugs - your bestest friend, Sharon

ma ma on

glad r still plogging along r cruise sounds great. had a lovely nite for ness birthday she seemed excited except she is also going backward on the age thing so i guess im only 50......great food but totally to expensive id say it cost $600 or 700 with tip WOW...Bob never hesitated nice for Phil for a chng. im going over there sun for a barbeque. lots of hugs and xxxx luv u ma

Dad on

We have been out of town so haven't been keeping up. Just got caught up with your travels. Sounds like you are doing great and you are looking good. Things fine here in Tennessee, finally getting warmer. Keep up all the wonderful writing and pictures, they are awsome, but most of all stay safe. Watch out for the bull fighters, HaHa.
Luv You, Dad

treydavis on

I may not comment much. But Im here reading and following you. luv Ya

mae ma on

hi honey hope things are good and u are on your cruise i know when u can u will let me know. very windy today my poor flowers are blowing spreading seeds. yoga in the i have to be rested ha ha talk later luv ya moocho maxxxxxxxxxx

nessy on

Hi My Beautiful one.

Just wanted to say I Love ya!!!

a miss ya day on

honey i got to see all r pics no problem there are no words to say how simly beautiful they are i am totally fasinated. Its beyond imagination how different parts of the world grab u what a lucky girl u are and blessed. i hav the spanish music channnel on but it makes me lonely 4 u so i think i will end up at arizonza charlies later today lov n miss u my butterfly luv ya ma xxxxxxxxxx

shideh on

but was it as fun as the hike up to Sandia Peak? Haha

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