Journey to the centre of the world

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Friday, April 6, 2012

Hangover nonsense in the morning as usual, so we're not in a fit state to do anything.  We've managed to accumulate two English girls who want to visit the centre of the world today.  Apparently with Ecuador right on the Equator, you can visit latitude 00,00,00, and get your passport stamped to say you were there.  It sounds like an interesting day out, so after a fantastic breakfast at a place called The Magic Bean, we jump a cab to the site some 45 minutes outside the city centre.  The journey to the centre of the earth.  Complete with me looking like an extinct dinosaur.

It's a small visitor centre, but nonetheless fascinating, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best museums I've been to.  It's $4 in, which gets you an English speaking guide and an interesting tour through the exhibits, with some physics games on the equator line.  Our guide is as gay as a window, with a voice like Kenneth Williams crossed with a Ecuadorian hooker.  Paddy and myself can't help wetting ourselves laughing at the poor chap, but his patter is both informative and amusing.  "Don't worryyyyyy...the snake isn't's made of spooooonge..."

The most fun is had on the Equator line, in spite of a hoard of fat, loud, obnoxious, 40 something Americans.  Our camp guide takes us through a number of unbelievable experiments, the most fascinating being the whirlpool spin of water, clockwise on the north side, anti-clockwise on the south, and straight down the plug on the centre line.  The differences in force is amazing either side too, as well as the total inability to balance while walking on the equator.  We all manage to balance an egg on a nail, another demonstration of the forces present, and manage to get a certificate for our trouble.  All in all it's difficult to get your head around it; how different things are standing a foot either side of the earth's centre.  Powerful stuff indeed.

I'm sorely tempted by the Lama wall weaving hung in the obligatory tourist shop, handmade on site.  Once again it rears an uncomfortable feeling inside, about how I've not been obtaining things to make my future home a mini world museum in it's own right.  One of my parents friends has a wonderful collection of items from traveling, but I've never understood how to get them home, nor have I room to lug an Inca stone head around.  Perhaps I'll just buy everything from eBay and claim it's from navigating the world.  In the end I settle for three friendship bracelets for a dollar, which convinces me I'm less the tourist and more the traveler I've been striving to achieve.  Now I just need to buy more green and brown clothes made from hemp, grow my hair long and not wash for days.  One out of three isn't bad.

A shopping trip to locate a nose hair trimmer proves fruitless, and I opt instead for tweezers to get the job done.  However the attempt to remove the clump of offensive follicles results in streaming tears and howling, to the point that someone thinks I'm getting raped in a hostel bathroom.  I've given up, and live in hope that a potential girlfriend will love me for me, and see passed the nostril garden.  Either that or I'll find a woman with a similar problem.

It's an uneventful night out in town as we're saving ourselves for tomorrow.  It's the hostel's one year anniversary, and by all accounts it's shaping up to be a pretty crazy one.  Once again I fail to engage the interests of a young lady, so I'm kilting it up and going all out guns blazing on Saturday night.  I'll make my apologies now.

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