Our last morning on the Galapagos Islands we were up early to finalise our packing, have breakfast, then a quick 6:30am shuttle from the boat to the town of Santa Cruz.

First, we walked through the town to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station while our luggage was transferred by the ship crew.  At the research station they breed Giant Turtles to repopulate the species on the various islands where the population’s have been depleted due to sailor’s taking them for fresh meat, as they can survive without food and water for a number of months. Also the introduction of unnatural predators has done its damage over the years.

Dome Shell
Saddleback Shell

From here we boarded a bus that would take us to the north end of the island where the airport is located to catch our flight.

Might be stopped for awhile!

We returned to Quito and checked back into our hotel and reclaimed the luggage we had left in storage. The next day we decided that we would take a bus tour and visit the Middle of the World. It is called the middle of the world by scientist’s due to its physical location, being situated in a valley surrounded by mountains and volcano’s and being on the equator.

The Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Spanish: [sju’dad mi tad del mundo], Middle of the World City) is a tract of land owned by the prefecture of the province of Pichincha, Ecuador. It is located at San Antonio parish of the canton of Quito, 26 km north of the center of Quito. The grounds contain the Monument to the Equator, which highlights the exact location of the Equator (from which the country takes its name) and commemorates the eighteenth century Franco-Spanish Geodesic Mission which fixed its approximate location; they also contain the Museo Etnográfico Mitad del Mundo, Ethnographic Museum Middle of the Earth, a museum about the indigenous people ethnography of Ecuador. (Wikipedia)

As we walked through the entrance building, there is a platform centering on a line which is directly on the equator. This is where one of the staff was demonstrating standing an egg upright on the top of a nail head. Apparently, this can only be done on the Equator. Several people tried without much luck, Stewart had to try this and completed the task successful in no time at-all.

After we finished-up here it was off to a distillery. At this distillery they make a form of Mezcal which comes from the Agave cactus. Straight Mezcal is not to our taste but it was an informative tour, complete with tasting samples.

This was the end of our trip to South America which still left a lot for us to journey back to see at some point in the future. But for now, it was back to Panama.

Next: Back to Panama


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