We missed our opportunity to balance on the Equator in Kenya. It was 2008 and civil unrest had broken out while we were cycling from Cairo to Cape Town. When we got to the border via Ethiopia, we had to turn back and fly to Tanzania. No Equator crossing for us.
In Indonesia we had another chance to cross the Equator, but instead we chose to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta thus going right over ground zero in the air. We were still very excited to be in the other half of the world, but we always wanted that photograph with us straddling the equator.
We almost missed our opportunity again in Quito. We just arrived home from the Galapagos. I had caught one of those terrible colds that happens when you turn the air conditioner on too high and it was pouring rain outside. Needless to say, we weren't very motivated, so we went back to bed instead.
Will We Ever Make it to the Equator?
We had made plans the day earlier to catch a cab to the equator with one of our travel mates, but when the morning came, none of us were up to going. Oh, well, I guess we were never meant to walk that line.
But something miraculous happened.
As we were driving out of town a couple of days later with our guide from Urban Adventures, he told us that we could stop at the Equator if we liked. There was another popular spot to see the meridian of all meridian's. We said, let's do it.
There is something very exciting about being at the exact centre of the world. In Ecuador, we were also standing at the highest point on the Equator. Cotopaxi reaches a height of 5798 meters (19,342 feet) making it the only place on the Equator that has snow. Even where we stood, there was a chill in the air. It may have been hot in the Galapagos, but high in the Andes Mountains it is definitely a cooler experience.
Right behind the pole, directly along the line of the equator is Cotopaxi. You can't see it as it was shrouded in cloud, but this high mountain is the only place on earth where there is snow directly on the equator. Pretty cool eh! You can climb this mountain as well. Something we will have to try our hand at one day as we really dug Ecuador and want to come back.
Time to learn a thing or two
We listened and learned.
- Originally, the equator was located at a different position. With the invention of GPS, it has been moved to the right location now and he had the co-ordinates on a map to prove it to us.
- The world uses the wrong map. Our world map really should be as the one pictured above. We should be looking at the world sideways to have a true picture of how it all works. I didn't understand a thing. I always thought the equator divided the world into North and South, but this guy states that it should be like this. Huh?
- The ancient Andean World worshipped the sun and had great knowledge of the celestial bodies. They built ceremonial and ritual sites right along the Equator.
- The site that we visited is actually one giant sun dial. We had a bit of an overcast day so we couldn't actually see it in action, but never the less, it looked impressive.
- This location on the Equator is the best place for scientists to study the sky equally from the north and the south. Could it be that if we stayed until night we could view the Souther Cross and the North Star all at once?
We Then Took Pictures
We couldn't get enough of taking cheesy photographs on the Equator. After all, it took us over a decade of travel and over 60 countries before we finally made it to the actual equator. You never know when we'll get back!
Deb doing the exact same thing only Standing!
A Heck, Let's get one more shot of this baby! We were at the Equator!
We had such a great day trip out of Quito with Urban Adventures. We did so much more than a quick stop at the Equator and we'll be sharing that with you in the coming days.