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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Equator Cache near Quito, Ecuador






We were fortunate to host some friends from Shawnee, OK for a week. We traveled out to the "Mitad del Mundo" (Middle of the Earth) site. The place is full of shops and, according to the French, was designated as the true equator. Of course they did this long before GPS technology. They weren't off by more than a couple of hundred feet so who can complain about the work they did during the 1800's. Everyone lined up on the yellow painted line designating the equator for their pictures. Most enjoyable was our visit to the Intinan site, purporting to be the true equator line as verified by GPSr. The location is full of cultural and historical information about Ecuador, it's Amazonian tribes like the Shuar and the Waorani, exhibits with guinea pig (cuy) that you can see, snakes, etc. They take you out to their equator line and perform some exercises to demonstrate that they are the true equator. They drain water from a sink and show how it goes straight down the drain with no swirl right on the equator but goes one way when you are just a few feet to the south of the line and the exact opposite when you are few feet to the north. The cost for the guided tour was only $3.00 for adults and it was interesting. We had a great time. There is a virtual at the site that requires you to locate the true equator and take a picture of your GPSr zeroed out. The problem is that even with a 29 foot accuracy I show the equator as being outside the site in the parking lot next to the road. I got credit for The Fake Equator (GC934A) by sending in the photo of my GPSr but the difference between what my GPSr says and what the folks in the Intinan say is significant. I checked out some of the pictures taken and posted by others logging the find and it also shows that they marked the parking lot location as the true equator. I don't know for sure who is right. Either way I highly recommend the visit to the equator.
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