Total distance travelled: 44,913.9 kilometres (27,896.83 miles)
Maxwell Smart is oft quoted with the line “Missed it by that much.”
Well it turns out that Ecuador, which not surprisingly (at least with its name) is dissected by the Equator, has been helping tourists do the same for many years.
Again not surprisingly, Ecuador has tried to cash in on this fact with a bit of a tourist trap called Mitad del Mundo.
It’s essentially a large monument, complete with equatorial line (seriously, a bright yellow line) just perfect for corny photos.
We figured that it was worth a visit, despite how corny it may prove, so thus found ourselves on a bus from Quito’s Trolebus terminus headed towards a location in 1 of only 11 countries in the world through which the Equator actually passes.
We arrived with low expectations, and as such, were therefore disappointed only by the fact that our entrance fee did not grant us access to the viewing platform atop the monument (apparently a museum ticket is required for that).
After some failed attempts at photography (with us holding the globe atop the monument) we settled for the tried and true shot of us straddling the big yellow line that marks the Equator.
Or does it?
For all the folk who do, or simply want to believe that it does, the reality is, it doesn’t.
Sadly, it apparently misses the mark, with the actually Equatorial line sitting about 240 metres to the north.
Yep, back in 1936 when the monument was erected, they really did “miss it by that much!”
Oh well, we can’t always get it right!
We didn’t walk away disconsolate, after all, we knew that it was incorrect before we actually made our visit (although we thought it was closer to 100 metres off).
An ice-cream sandwich later, on what was a hot day made sure the spirits certainly remained high, and we sat down to watch with amusement some more foam fights as part of the Carnival festivities.
* It costs a ridiculously cheap $0.40 US per person each way to get to Mitad del Mundo by city metrobus.
* Higher priced tickets will include access to the Planetarium and Museum (for a view from the top you need a Museum ticket), however basic access to Mitad del Mundo cost us $3.50 US per person.