Zero Degrees... Latitude

Zero Degrees… Latitude

It’s a bit strange how crossing an imaginary line can sometimes be such a big deal.
As a traveler I don’t like the idea of borders.
They’re just human invented lines to define which land is for whom and to keep people in their imaginary cases.
And if they can’t keep them, at least they can track them in order to bring them back when necessary.
Living in the European Schengen area I’m – luckily – not bothered with borders that much. We don’t have border controls anymore, so borders became something unreal to me.
On the other hand… I also like to collect the stamps and count the countries…

The equator, although also invented by mankind, may be a less imaginary line because it has a physical explanation.
It’s the division between 2 hemispheres and it’s the place where the attraction from both poles is the same (yes, it’s the place where you can put an egg on the point of a nail).

There are many places where you can cross the equator on foot, but there are two main reasons to do this in Ecuador.
Firstly, the word “ecuador” means equator in Spanish, so the full name of the country, Republica de Ecuador, literally means republic of the equator.
And secondly, Ecuador is where the measurements of the equator have been done. Some French guy named La Condamine spent 10 years in Ecudor taking measurements and proved that the world is not perfectly round, but that it bulges at the equator.
There are worse places to spend 10 years of your life.

And a fun fact: The Ecuadorians built a huge park for the equator, with the actual line where you can stand on, sit on, jump over and stuff like that and many museums about the equator.
With modern technology and the use of GPS, it has been proved that the real equator is actually 240 meters north of the park.
What did I say again about imaginary lines?

In this photo series I’ll take you on a trip through Ecuador, starting Vilcamba on the Peruvian border, via Cuenca, Baños and Quito to Mitad del Mundo.


Want to see more of South America?
Check out following galleries:
Don’t Cry For Me
Patagonia as Expected
Border Hopping in Chile and Argentina
Pacific to Atlantic
Coast Bound in Brazil
Bird Watching in the Pantanal
On Higher Grounds
Ups and Downs in the Andes
Former Inca Territory
Into the Woods