South America: Standing on both hemispheres

I finally uploaded some pictures. Most of them are on Facebook, some of them here. Fortunately, the Internet connection here is better than at camp (which is basically every connection) and better than in the States generally. I don't understand how the country that gave a birth companies such as Google can have such shitty connectivity.

After lunch I went check out the equatorial monument and used the public transportation. I took two buses, the journey took over an hour and I paid $.40 in total. It was absolutely safe. I think that all the safety recommandations on the Internet exaggerated. I don't say I cannot get robbed here. It can happen anywhere if you are on a wrong place at a wrong time, but I feel safer here than in NYC. Going on the bus was interesting experience itself. There were always two employees. One driver and one kind of a conducter who was going back and forth and collecting money from passengers. Doors were always open and passengers jumped on even when the bus was still moving. And not only passengers. Street salesmen jumped on, too, and sold absolutely everything – icecream, AA batteries, snacks, candies,… They spent on the bus just little time and jumped off when the bus stopped on the next lights.

The equator is a big thing in Ecuador. The country is named after it. There was a famous French expedition in this area in 18th century. They were supposed to do measurements and experiments on the equatorial line and they were supposed to do it in two years. But many things went wrong. One of the members died of malaria, another one was killed by a local mob after he'd had "fun" with his girlfriend etc. The expedition took seven years in the end. It had very important outcomes though. Based on the measurements of the expedition, a meter as a unit of lenght was defined. Originally, one meter was 1/10000000 of the distance between the poles and the equator.

The French located the equatorial line wrong, about 150 m away from the actual line. It's interesting that local Indians knew the actual location, but the French scientist didn't want to listen to them. A big monument was built on the wrong line and there is a whole amusement park around it, with restaurants, souvenir shops etc. I took a picture of me on the line, but I knew it wasn't the actual line, so I was looking around. My cell phone couldn't locate my position and there was nothing such as a new line in the park. So I went outside the park and found another park where it was. The equitorial line located by GPS. There was a guy demonstrating a very interesting experiment. He had a sink with a drain in the middle. When he put the sink on the equatorial line and poured water in it the water went down the drain straight. When he put it a few meters away from the line the water made a whirlpool and circulated clockwise. When he put it on the other side it circulated the other way. It was a special place in more ways. For example, there was a planetarium because you can watch the sky of both the northern and the southern hemisphere here.

When I got back to the hostel I spoke with the older American who's staying in the same room as I'm. We talked about many topics and he had conspiracy theories on all of them. Looks like that guy believes every single conspiracy theory which's been made (up).

Tomorrow, I'm leaving Quito and heading to south. My next destination is Latacunga near Cotopaxi volcano.

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