We’ve come full circle now back to Quito preparing for our return to the US for a bit. For the first couple of days it was cold and rainy here but since has been nicer. We met up with some new friends that we first met when we got to Quito back in December 2010. We met them at the L’Auberge Inn where we were staying. They had arrived the same day we did and were also planning to stay in Ecuador for 3 months. We talked about what sort of plans we had for our trips and we agreed to keep in touch and trade information as we went along.
So when we arrived back in Quito, they were here also and we managed to get together. They had also found a different place to stay very close by to the L’Auberge and we really liked it so we relocated to it, Casa Bambu. They had finished their trip to the Galapagos so we all exchanged stories and impressions from our time in Ecuador. They’re very nice people from British Columbia and we have really enjoyed meeting them and hope to keep in touch.
Since being back in Quito, we’ve revisited some of our favorite spots from our earlier time here and made a point to visit some new spots. One of the new spots is a tourist “must do”, La Mitad del Mundo. This is the official site that marks the equator…sort of. It’s a small “city” that lies just to the north of Quito. Apparently, except for this part of Ecuador, the land masses through which the equator runs are mostly inaccessible, or were back when a team of French scientists set out to measure and mark the actual location during the mid 1700’s. So they chose Ecuador. We made the trip, we looked at the exhibits and we took the requisite photos standing on and on either side of the equator. Except, this isn’t the actual equator. More modern instruments and GPS have established the actual equator to be about 240 meters to the north, right on the remains of a 1,000 year old civilization about which little is known except that possibly they knew the location of the equator.
Another new spot for us was to take a ride on the TeleferiQo (not sure why they spell it that way). It’s a multi-million dollar sky tram that takes you on a 2.5km ride up the flanks of Vulcan Pinchincha to the top of Cruz Loma which is at 4,100 meters (about 12,300 feet). From there you can have a super view of Quito and see how it fills the valley and just seems to go on forever north and south. But, this time of year it’s hard to find a day when the view isn’t at least partially obscured by clouds.
We’ve had a great time here in Ecuador, but our time is up and we’re heading back to the U.S. soon for a little break and to prepare for our next road trip.