Balance an Egg On a Nail
· by wendy
Buses are key in South America. You’ll get anywhere you want by jumping on one, even to the middle of the world. Today’s destination was located just an hour and a half bus ride north of Quito. Because we never know what we are looking for, we’re always a little antzy during the ride. We should relax because the bus driver’s assistant almost always looks out for us gringos. Usually, they look back at us, catch our eye and motion to us that it’s our stop. So nice of them….seriously.
On this bus trip, we were dropped off in the middle of a traffic circle wondering if this could really be Mitad del Mundo. In the distance we spotted something official looking and headed over. Being on the Equatorial line is fun, for no other reasons than to say you were there and to play the games. Dusty’s in the Northern Hemisphere, I’m in the Southern or I’m doing a handstand on the Equator with one foot in the Northern and the other in the Southern. Fun times!
The monument is ok, the line is more fun. We paid entrance to go inside. A hefty $3 price tag paid for entrance to a museum of sorts and the viewing platform at the top. Snapping an interesting photo from the top is the highlight of the 10 minutes we’re in the monument. Afterwards we go in search of the “real” Equatorial line.
Just a 5 minute walk down the road is the new line, supposedly found by U.S. military GPS twelve years ago and it is more accurate than the one we had just visited. Museo de Sitio Intinan is well worth the $3 entrance fee.An English speaking tour guide teaches us about the infamous “shrinking heads” indiginous people of Ecuador. They would capture their enemies and shrink their heads as a sign of disrespect. Here is a diagram of how it is done so you can practice on your enemies.
She also tells us about some animals of the Ecuadorian jungle such as anacondas, boa constrictors and special little fish. She says, “Be careful when you pee in the jungle because this fish will swim up your stream and into your body.” Not such fun times.
After a few more history lessons, we arrive at the games portion of the tour. The games include:
Balancing an egg on the equator…
Direction of water drainage….
And walking the line…
We’re not sure of the validity of each test. We heard that they pull the stopper out of the drain a certain way to make it flow certain directions. Also, why should it be more difficult to walk on the line if balancing an egg is easier on the line? I didn’t think of this question until after the tour. Oh well. It was fun to participate in the activities as well as being able to say we stood on the Equator!