North or South?
Today we visited the Middle of the World! We drove around 45 minutes north of Quito to the area called La Mitad del Mundo. This is where the Geodesic Mission of the French Academy of Sciences were attempting to measure the shape of the earth. In the late 1970's, a monument was constructed to mark the point where the equator passes through the country according to the French Mission's data. Today the monument houses an interesting Ethnographical Museum and a painted yellow line down the east facing staircase and across the plaza is meant to mark the equator.
Of course the touristy thing to do is to stand on the line and have a picture taken. Naturally we all oblige! After some free time, our guides, Juan Carlos and Santiago, escort us the 15 minutes drive to the nearby Pululahua Volcanic Crater where we enjoy a nice lunch at El Crater Restaurant. We´ve booked the dining room with the best views (of course) and today the views are incredible. The sun is shining and there are blue skies. After a leisurely lunch which includes the option of figs and cheese (which some of us risk!), we start to board our coach and the clouds swirl up and over the crater´s edge. Timed to perfection for effect! In fact some guests believe Richard has staff down in the crater switching on smoke machines!