Loading Map...

Straddling the hemispheres on the equator line

Written on: Saturday August 9th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

Only 30 minutes from Quito is the equator, after which Ecuador is named.  So we went out one afternoon to stand one foot each side of the line and get the obligatory photo.
Turns out there are TWO lines!  The original line is 250 metres away from the actual equator - GPS technology recently exposed the mistaken calculation made by the French 100 years ago (but I don't think they did too badly considering their tools for the job).  Both lines have museums and monuments - the new (and real) site is way better, with experients to amaze in lessons of centrifugal force.   We saw it with our own eyes, that water drains down the sinkhole CLOCKWISE in the northern hemisphere and ANTI CLOCKWISE in the southern hemisphere.  This happened just 5 metres apart, but on each side of the equator line.  On the equator line itself, it went straight down the plughole.  I would appreciate someone in NZ and someone in England checking out their sink holes and verifying this for me!
We went to the old line and monument, just cause we were so close.  It was a pretty gaudy place, complete with concrete dolphins in fountains, and where all the souvenir vendors and ice cream sellers have shacked up.  We met a big jolly American from Texas with a tour group, and unwittingly shattered his world when he found out they weren't at the real equator line - their tour obviously didn't have time to do both sites, and hadn´t told them about the 'real' equator because the false line makes a better photo opportunity.    "Hey Marrda, waidill ya hear this - we´ve bun duped!"
Ahhh, the joy of shattering the lives of group tourists!