Monday, April 29, 2013

At the Middle of the Earth

One of our days in Quito took us to latitude 0.  There are two locations to visit--the first is the one originally designated as 0 latitude.  The French figured out where it was in 1736.  GPS established the actual location within sight of the first one.  It's pretty amazing when you consider how hard it must have been back then to try to figure it out.

At any rate, I went to the new one.  It's not nearly as impressive as the old one (which I will definitely go visit someday) but it's funky and fun and I'm a big fan of funky and fun.

They had a ton of these fabulous pots.  Some of them are burial urns.  They put the bones of the dead person in them.  Some of them were for water or other things--I was never sure which was which but since I wasn't going to use them, it didn't matter.

The bright yellow sign in the middle of the photo is a lovely set for taking pictures.  It's at the beginning of the tour.

Nothing special--I just loved the look and the colors.

The guy who operates this loom was on a break when I took this picture.  I really love some of these weavings.  It's very traditional to show indigenous people from the back rather than the front.  It's not like they feel a camera will steal their souls or anything, they are just very private.  The lower right shows a condor.  There's a condor park around here--it's on my list of things to see one of these days.  Maybe one of the people I know who is coming here for a vacation will want to go up there with me.

One good reason not to go to the Amazon--those are typical spiders.  They were bigger than my whole hand spread out.  I don't freak out over spiders anymore but that doesn't mean I like them.

The steps to making a shrunken head.  They have a real one on display.  Charming.

Always a good fashion statement for the discriminating Amazonian tribesman.  I've been assured they don't do that anymore.  I'm not positive I believe it but I know they don't do it indiscriminately.  They only use(d) it as a form of severe punishment for committing capital crimes.
I didn't know there were totem poles down here but there are--in all kinds of different styles.  This one is similar to the ones on Easter Island.

Tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, fat ones

This one is carved from a single tree.  I love it...almost as much as..
...this one.  I wish I could have gotten a little closer to this one.  It's amazing.

All these carved eggs are here for a reason.  One of the things you are supposed to be able to do at 0 latitude is balance an egg on end...

...and sure enough, you can!  This egg is balanced on a nail head.  They also demonstrated water swirling clockwise above the equator and counter-clockwise south of the equator.  It was pretty impressive.

This is an actual building moved here from its original site.  It was built in 1875 out of mud, straw, and wood.  The thatch on the roof is replaced periodically but that's all.  I love this kind of thing.

It was a fun day.  Next up, another museum--of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment