written by Hannah
We decide to extend our stay in Quito for one more night. We spend the time doing some more sightseeing. There are several markets in Quito, some are for tourists, others for local people. The second kind is mainly for food. Marius can delight in any kitchen and tries juices, fast food and fruits, I’m a little more reserved. I was told too many scary stories of rotten stomachs and diarrhea. But I can not resist the fruit: many of them we have never seen before. But there are also chicken feet and grilled pigs, which, as a whole and uncooled, have their sad existence on the mostly dirty counters.
The equator in Ecuador
Quito means middle of the world, since the city is located at the highest point of the equator. There are two monuments in Quito for the Equator, one was built in 1979. Later people found out that it is about 250 m too far south, since the French had made a measurement error in 1736. Today it’s a tourist trap with dozens of shops selling all the same, loud Spanish music and a $ 5 entry fee.
The indigenous peoples of South America have identified the real equator over a thousand years ago without technical aids. The lesser-known, small museum is within walking distance of the pompous monument and more pristine. The guide also teaches about the indigenous people of South America. On the real equator line, you can do experiments, such as draining water that swirls to the left in the northern hemisphere, running straight down the line on the equator and, going a few steps further, to the right in the southern hemisphere. Anyone who manages to balance an egg on a needle even gets a diploma from the tour guide.
The city from above
On Monday, we set off for the first time to crack the 4000 m, but only by cable railway. This brings us to one of the city’s surrounding mountains and opens up a phenomenal view over Quito. From the top we also see how the town nestles in the valley, which stretches from the right horizon to the left. The further you look up the mountain slopes, the more scattered are the houses to discover. City and nature nestle here directly to each other. It is still early in the morning and still the mountain peak is not overrun. From the viewing platform you can hike to the neighboring mountains. The first part of the way we go up and explore the area. The clouds above our heads are moving very fast, changing their shape and then disappearing. Because we are on such a high point, we can see them much better. The sun is burning hot up here. The weather is changing fast, the sky is getting dark, but rain is not in sight. It’s getting cold, but that’s only up here, because in the valley I can see the heat flicker over the city.
And on Tuesday it really starts! We finally get on the bike and leave Quito to the south.