Day 6: Mitad Del Mundo
On Day 6 of our dialogue we took a short drive outside the city of Quito to Mitad del Mundo. Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, meaning the Middle of the World City in Spanish, is where the Monument to the Equator is located, which highlights the approximate location of the Equator fixed by the eighteenth century Franco-Spanish Geodesic Mission. Before visiting the monument we had the awesome opportunity to visit and hike the Pululahua Crater. Before starting our trek down to the crater, David and Jean explained to us a little bit about the crater and its origin, describing the crater to mean “a cloud of fog” that was created from the collapse of a volcano and where a small village is now located. As we started to descend down the mountain to the crater, some of us made the entire steep trek down to the village while others stopped along the way to take in the beautiful scenery. As we stood along the mountain we were able to palpably see the clouds roll through the peaks of the mountains and eventually over us. The mountains were beautiful, but it was a completely different and humbling experience to stand within the clouds as they rolled through.
Lunch followed our visit to the crater, where we split into groups at different restaurants and the most adventurous eaters had the opportunity to try cuy; roasted guinea pig. After lunch we wandered to the Monument to the Ecuador and its surrounding exhibits as a group. We each took our own extreme tourist photos with a foot on either side of the supposed “Latitude Zero” line, even after learning that the line did not represent the actual Equator because the French and Spaniards miscalculated the location of it on their eighteenth century mission by over 200 meters. With our remaining time we wandered through some of the exhibits and got our last glimpses of the clouds intersecting the mountaintops before loading the bus back to our hotel in Quito.
Tomorrow is our last day in Quito on this end of the trip and I know a lot of us are looking forward to having some free time to roam around and either revisit places we loved or visit new and exciting parts of the city. I can’t wait to see what the next parts of this journey hold!