The last few days in Ecuador and more

It has been a busy few weeks since I have last written here. After climbing Cotopaxi, we were looking forward to taking it easy for the last few days in South America. We headed to the town of Banos, which is a town at the edge of the jungle. In Banos we went on a half day horse ride to a waterfall. Afterwards we went to a vista point overlooking the town of Banos.

After Banos, we headed to Quito. One of the days in Quitowe walked around the city to visit the main plazas, churches and sites. The next day we headed to a park called Mitad del Mundo, which translates to Middle of the World. The equator runs right through the middle of this park.

There is an interesting museum here detailing the importance of the equator to the Incas and the civilizations prior to the Incas. Somehow these cultures were able to determine the exact location of the equator and build structures based around the equator line.

We went to another museum that had a few interesting science exhibits which use the equator. In one experiment, we stood on the northern side of the equator, so we were in the northern hemisphere. Here, we poured water into a sink and watched the water drain in a counterclockwise direction. Then we walked a few feet away to the southern hemisphere side of the equator and watched the water drain in a sink in a clockwise direction. Finally we stood right on the equator and watched the water drain straight down the drain without swirling in either direction. This effect is due to the centrifugal force of the earth’s rotation. Here was another interesting effect of standing at the equator.

The next morning we packed all of our stuff and somehow crammed it all into our backpacks. We have accrued a lot of stuff throughout the five month trip. My backpack was double the size from when we first started the trip. We hopped on our flight to San Francisco, with a layover in Houston. We were excited to have some good ole American food during our layover. I had a turkey sandwich from Subway, and Su made the mistake of eating Wendy’s. After traveling in South America for 5 months, easting mostly fresh food without preservatives and additives, the Wendy’s made Su sick for a couple of days. Ironic that neither of us ever got very sick down on South America from the food, but American fast food was finally the culprit.

San Francisco was a lot of fun. We went out almost every night and saw all of our friends. One day we went to an Oakland A’s game with a big crew of friends. Here are some pictures.

After San Francisco, we started the drive across the country. We headed to Portland, Seattle for the 4th of July,Yellowstone, the Tetons. Now we are in South Dakota. Today we head to Mt.Rushmore and the Badlands. Then we will drive two days to Memphis. Then we head to Raleigh. I will write about these travels next week.

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