• Log In
  • Sign Up
    • Right now we are in Ecuador riding our motorcycles RTW ('round the world) and as you travel you come across some unique facts and Ecuador has a few hidden secrets.

      Maybe you know the world isn't perfectly round, its often called an “oblate ellipsoid”: slightly flatter at the poles and bulgier at the equator than you’d expect.

      That just happens to be where Chimborazo Volcano, the 30-somethingth highest mountain in the Andes and simultaneously is the highest point on Earth!


      Yes due to the buldge of the earth around the equator and Chimborazo Volcano being almost on it, the Volcanos peak is the point fathest from the center of the earth and therefore closest to the sun, around 7000 feet closer than the summit of Everest is!

      A few weeks back we were riding at 4400 meters in altitude or 14,435 feet, but in relative terms to Everest we were actually a few hundred feet closer to the sun than if we'd climbed Everest's summit...who'd have known!

      Everest is the highest altitude on earth, Mauna Kea is the world's tallest mountain and Chimborazo is the highest point on the planet from the center of the earth.

      ...and if you'd like to take on a crazy record - there is one related to motorcycles and Chimborazo. Two riders set a new world record for riding motorcycles from sea level to the Earth's closest point to the sun, to the sea in a single day. Along the way they experienced a gain/loss in elevation of 56,678 feet.

      To beat it you have to do it in less that 17 hours...and get special permission to ride as high as possible up Chimborazo from the Ecuadorian Government.

      We opted out and just went to find a cold beer!

    • Very interesting post - thank you for the explanation of why Chimborazo is so much closer to the sun - fascinating.

      Equador is a very interesting country. I loved our trip through the Galapagos.

      I wonder how many readers realize where the name Equador comes from.

      The Equator IS very close by, isnt it?

      One of my gripes with Google Maps is that they do not display the Equator OR the Artic circle or other typical meridians on the globe - or I dont know how to get them displayed if there is a way to do it...

    • My irony didn't apparently come through 🙀

      The Equator does indeed pass through Equador 👍

      Equador is Spanish for Equator, I've been told.

      I didn't know it either. I was kind of "duh" when I was told by an Equadorian - but then I took German in high school, not Spanish and way back when I was an adolescent, Spanish was not used that often in the central midwestern USA. One of my many defects, apparently

    • about that photo...

      Every year, about 600,000 tourists visit the Middle of the World Monumentin Ecuador. They take pictures straddling a giant line that demarcates the northern hemisphere from the south — however what most of them don't know is, the actual equator is almost 800 feet away.

      If you are on a motorcycle trip the one you want to go to is about 70km awawy from Quito and they let you bring your bike next to the monument...and its actually on th equator...exactly

      and what you stand on is a massive sundial

    • I always wondered if I was the only one who didn't know the significance of the name Equador.

      And on Cake I found I wasn't the only one, but my wife informed me that every one knows that - so there you go, and there I am as well..... 😬

      Sorry about the missing "irony" emoji - One of the many ways text is less informative than face to face conversations.

      I have straddled the Prime Meridian of Longitude, but not Lattitude. It is interesting that tourists are directed away from the actual Equator isn't it?

    • I used to live just down the road, literallly, from the Greenwich Observatory and never knew until this year being back in Ecuador again, doing a little research to find a unique location to ride to on the equator.

      I found out that the monument in Quito is NOT on the equator and then in the next article i read they also state that the Prime Meridian isn't correct either, its off by about 100 feet.

      Next time I'm in London I'll have to make sure I have my GPS in my pocket and take a photo of the real location.

    • We took the water taxi up the Thames from our hotel room near the Eye. Had a great day, and even got some pictures of one of Harrison's original clocks.

      I didn't think to check a GPS reading versus the actual location in Greenwich - if they didn't match I would have assumed the GPS was in error, not Greenwich - but that's just me. Funny, I occasionally see maps on my GPS which show that I am not on a road, but paralleling maybe 50 yards off to one side - I think the original maps are off sometimes too.

    • Having spent twenty years living on sailboats and working as a quartermaster in the Navy, I watched Sat Nav come into being and then GPS. Many times in South and Central America my boat has apeared in the middle of islands or ashore because the older charts are a little off, but suprisingly accurate at the end of the day. I spent 9 months in Ecuador, 3 degrees south of the equator and never got over the fact it was quite cool so close to the equator at sea level. The same Humboldt current that gives us the unusual flora and fauna of the Galapogos also provides a very nice cool onshore breeze at and near the equator and down in Chile gives the capital city Lima very strange colored skys most of the year. Climate as you are aware of in your motorcycle mountain assaults is more a function of altitude and ocean currents, than latitude. Love your posts here, my boats now gone and my Suzuki DR 650 takes over as the adventure of vehicle of choice, though I will start building out a Ford Transit when I leave Mexico in the coming year. Viajar con Dios Compañeros.

    • Thanks much Chris, Cake is really, really cool. Was originally a filmmaker for the state of Utah, back when we used real film, so photographic illustration (my degree, RIT) is a hotspot for me and you got it going on big time.

      If you do everything in life wrong, they sentence you to a sailboat.... the most expensive way to travel for free, lol!

    • MexRider, your comment about temperatures at the Equator is right on!

      On my first trip to Africa my wife and I were expecting it to be hot - Late September 2011, and were quite surprised that it was much hotter in London on the way over to Kenya - in the high 80s F in London during the day, and in the 60s and low 70s during the day in Kenya, and in the 50s F at night in our tents. I would never have believed someone if they had told me it would be cooler in Kenya very near the Equator, than in London in late September.

      We were about 3000-4000 feet of elevation in Kenya and that made the difference.

      I like your Sprinter and your DR650. I sold my DR just a couple years ago.

    • Thanks Pathfinder. Health issues and a new lovely partner have retired me from the sea but not from travel. I put over 5000 miles on the Suzuki from June to August this summer and look forward to van camping with the Suzuki close behind. I want to show my bride the beauty of the western United States over the next five years. Hopefully down to the Mayan ruins in southern Mexico and Guatamala as well.

    • I just read @Michnus report on his ride to the same mountain where he said the same thing, ie summit is the furthest point from the centre of the earth. I knew about the earth's slight elliptical shape at the equator but I had not known about this mountain being the closest point to the sun. Of course, I just had to check it out. There are lots of interesting facts to read up on this. So thanks, I had fun adding to my knowledge about this amazing planet we live on.

    • Yes, I see that is true, but that isn't really that helpful - why can't we see lattitude and longitude lines as a possibility, or a setting in Google maps, anyway. And the Artic and Antrtic circles ought to be easily realized as well. JMO

      Seeing the Equator, only, in the whole round Earth view isn't really that helpful, at least to my minds eye.

    • I have no idea I don't work for Google, for me if i want long/ lat I just right click and it gives it to me under the 'what's here?' tab when you right click a location.


      otherwise tbh honest I don't think the average map user could care less about additional lines on a map as most have no relavence to them


      if you really, really need then try this, they are shown here