Equating the Equator

Ecuador means “equator” in English. If you, like me, have always equated the equator as having a temperaure just slightly north of Hades…you, like me, would be wrong — kind of.

The weather in Quito is pretty much the same 365. The mornings start out cloudy and cool enough for a jacket –the locals, however, will be scarfed and bundled up like they’re in Chicago. God knows what they’d do if they were actually any where near Chicago or its environs. I’m thinking full-on polar gear…anyway….

If it’s not raining, the clouds clear in late morning and the sun makes a grand entrance. Start shedding your jacket because it’s about to get toasty if any part of you is exposed to sunlight. Even though the temperature is low 70s, direct sun BURNS right through your clothes here at the middle of the earth. I carry an umbrella at all times –having DNA optimized a few millenia ago for Northern Europe — for staying dry in rain and creating a portable shade from the unforgiving sun.

The good news is there always seems to be a slight breeze rolling down the slopes of the volcano and surrounding mountains.
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We spent this morning, our last in Quito, on a three-hour bus tour. Quito, population 2+ million, isn’t a vast city, but the downtown traffic is metro Atlanta-terrible. Thus, a ride around Quito is even worse than trying to get to Hartsfield International Airport from Waleska during rush hour.

The views were nice, however.
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The lady with the selfie stick (I really hate those things, by the way!) is from Australia. She rotated between the selfie stick and a serious 35mm. Every time she whipped out the 35mm, everyone around her raised their smartphones and pointed in unison at whatever she was shooting and snapped one off. I dubbed it “herd photography.”

Of course, we couldn’t leave Quito without checking out the biggest basilica in town. The National Cathedral, a stunning copy of Notre Dame, was just completed about 30 years ago.
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The gothic beauty contains a chapel that is a lovely replica of King Louis’s Saint Chapelle in Paris.
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But my favorite aspect of this grand cathedral was the “gargoyles.” The standard gargoyles found on European cathedrals were supplanted by native creatures — alligators, Galapagos turtles and dragons, etc.
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Now, we’re off to enjoy Carnival in Quenca! Adios Quito.

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2 Responses to Equating the Equator

  1. Heather says:

    Herd photography…so funny! Love the photos! Happy adventures!

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