We're going to start this post off right, with the most fantastically fantastic photo of the trip so far. Photographic evidence that the equator is rather anti-climatic in person, and that, in Ecuador specifically, and Latin America generally, there are many, many women in tight pants, that maybe shouldn't be wearing tight pants.
This equatorial monument was pretty mellow and unimpressive, but did have the benefit of actually being on the equator, unlike tourist extravaganza "Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world)" north of Quito. There the "equator" sits about 30 yards off the actually line because of an inconveniently steep hill. Oh, and this monument was home to an organization devoted to all kinds of "equatorial research," though they weren't so good at explaining what said research actually consisted of. I was hoping to at least see some very scientific toilet flushing.
Huge dirt BMX track in the park just across from the apartment we rented in Quito. Awesome. Had me reliving all my youthful dirt bike fantasies engendered by watching "Rad" every time I could get my hands on it at Valley Video. For those of you who haven't seen "Rad," do yourself a favor and Netflix it, a high-point of 80's culture and features Bart Conner in all his toe-headed glory.
Climbing up towards Mt. Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador, topping out above 20,000ft. The PanAm runs up to about 12,000ft. I realized how silly the terrain is here the night before, when Kelly was talking to her mom and asked me how far we had to climb the next day. "Oh, not to bad...only a little more than 2,000ft" I replied, then though back to the start of our trip, when an impending 2,000ft climb would produce shivers of nervous excitement for a week beforehand. Now it's just another day.
Some of the locals offering themselves, llama, and donkey for photos for $1. They were giving pretty nasty looks to everyone who didn't want to pay. I probably wouldn't be a very happy camper either if my job was to exihibit my cultural heritage as a prop for tourist photos. Hooray for the globalized economy!