Where We Be
|We paid our $2 entry fee and walked up to the 30-meter-high Mitad del Mundo monument
|We had met Edgar, who owns and manages the restaurant along with his father and brother, while on our Galapagos cruise. He invited us to join
him for a meal here if we ever made it to Mitad del Mundo, but we had no idea how lovely the restaurant would be until we saw it with our own eyes.
|The restaurant is big enough to seat 350 people and host large wedding parties
|We ate the best empanadas of our lives here, and the traditional locro soup was delicious too
|This is the nicest restaurant we visited in Ecuador. It has a gorgeous acacia tree trained to provide a leafy “ceiling” in the garden dining area.
|We lucked out and got a sunny last day in Ecuador
|We said hi to the "tourist llamas"
|And we celebrated all those zeros
|Then we left the monument site -- which is like a little town unto itself -- and headed to Cochabamba Restaurant about a hundred yards outside the entrance
Our last stop before heading home was Mitad
del Mundo, which means "Middle of the World."
It marks where the equator passes through the
country at Latitude 000. Original calculations
performed in 1743 (and afterwards) showed the
equator line exactly here, although more recent
GPS data puts the line 240 meters north of the
marked line. In any case, it’s safe to say you’re
pretty darn close to the equator when you visit
this monument, and it's the obvious place to
celebrate that fact. We felt we couldn’t leave
Ecuador – a country named for the equator,
after all – without paying quick tribute to this
tourist mecca. The truth is, it's surprisingly easy
to forget you're on the equator when you visit
Ecuador because so many cities ride the high
mountainous spine of the country and have a
temperate climate as a result. It's only when you
dip down to the coast or visit the Amazon Basin
that you rediscover the equatorial heat.