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SOUTH AMERICA 12/09

Buenos Aires | Iguaza |  Mendosa | To Bariloche | Bariloche Day 1 | Bariloche Day 2 | To Ushuaia | Ushuaia
Voyage on the Beagle Day 1 | Voyage on the Beagle Day 2 | Santiago de Chile Day 1 | Santiago de Chile Day 2
Santiago to Quito | Galapagos Day 1 | Galapagos Day 2 | Galapagos Day 3
Return to Quito Day 1 | Return to Quito Day 2
(click any image to enlarge)

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20 December 2009      Quito/The Northern and Southern Hemispheres-simultaneously/and the Otavalo Market

This morning at 6AM we were awakened by a men's choir singing in the square outside the hotel. A few minutes later there were fireworks intermittently for about a half hour. I was up anyway, and Carol followed soon thereafter. Our wakeup call was for 7AM.

Today we left Quito to see one of the equator points and then to a market that has been around, in one form or another, for probably 1,000 years. Our first stop was at the Equator. Ecuador is the only place along the line of the equator that has mountains that allows for fixed observation points. (If you follow the equator around the rest of the world, it's all jungle or ocean.) Therefore, Ecuador is caller the center of the earth. After the obvious pictures, we were given a lecture by a guide at the place set up to display the 0° Meridian line. I (we?) learned a few facts that I was not aware of. From the Equator one is able to see both the Northern and Southern night sky, the full panoply of constellations. Further, the Earth does not spin north to south as I thought, but is oriented as if the Kamchatka Peninsula and Australian are at the top of the globe. True or not, it was very interesting.

We then drove through some gorgeous countryside to the town of Otavalo, a market town which sells fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and of course souvenirs. It was the local supermarket but without dry goods, only the vegetable and meat sections. There is also a handicraft section in the town which sells crafts made by the indigenous peoples (mostly descendants of the Incas). We both like the photo opportunities in the food markets. I found it interesting that vendors in the market were preparing vegetables for sale. Usually, the preparation of food is where money is made or saved in, say, restaurants. But in this market women were shucking corn and removing the kernels by hand, shelling peas, and cutting carrots. The clientele they sell to are people who are not much better off than themselves. A peculiar business model.

We then visited a refurbished hacienda, which was also a small hotel, and had a typical Ecuadorian meal. These people eat their main meal at lunch and a light meal for dinner. The food was different and OK.

It was predicted to rain while we were doing our equator and market visit, but it did not. It was also supposed to be cool, but it was not. The day was a great one for sightseeing.

21 December 2009      Quito to Solana via Houston

We leave tomorrow at ~4:30AM to fly to Houston and then to San Diego where we will be home by about 6PM. Interesting trip but very glad to be homeward bound.

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Buenos Aires | Iguaza |  Mendosa | To Bariloche | Bariloche Day 1 | Bariloche Day 2 | To Ushuaia | Ushuaia
Voyage on the Beagle Day 1 | Voyage on the Beagle Day 2 | Santiago de Chile Day 1 | Santiago de Chile Day 2
Santiago to Quito | Galapagos Day 1 | Galapagos Day 2 | Galapagos Day 3
Return to Quito Day 1 | Return to Quito Day 2


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC