Unity of opposites
I remember how in childhood I was tormented by a question: why "Ecuador"? At what basis, one state appropriated to himself to associate with a whole parallel, which actually passes through a good ten countries in South America, Africa and Asia? I applied a ruler to the map: see how the Ecuador and what – Brazil possessed this equator! This is where to be called the country of equator! I do not understand why this question myself was then. Probably because I myself invented him and proud to him as a great geographical discovery.
But the country is like a ship: as we called and floats. Especially if the name "Speaker". Arriving in Ecuador, we understood: at the equator here "keeps" much. There are some things – historical events, the phenomena of nature, – on which the self-awareness of the nation is raised. Ecuadorians – terrible patriots. They love to emphasize their birthroom and the championship literally in all. And I’m sure: the proud name played here not the last role. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that our acquaintance with Ecuador from the equator started – it was here that local friends danced us, barely we only flew to the capital of the country, Quito and abandoned the suitcases in the hotel. However, the journey from the center of Quito to the Equator – a short. Earth Pupovina – more precisely, its sign, specially marked by several segmentation memorials – is in thirteen kilometers north of the capital, in the town of San Antonio de Pichincch. Everybody is here "works" To ensure that you realize the greatness of the moment and understood: here it is, latitude 0 – 0 – 0. Mid-Mira. Inti Nyan, "Sun parking", As the Inki said. The place where you can drink the southern hemisphere with one leg, the other – the North, putting them on both sides specially drawn on the land of the line. But more spectacular rides are offered.
… the guide brings a washbasin on legs on the legs, watering in the meter south of the equator. Plugs the plum of cork, pours water, throws into it for clarity a few small leaves, takes out a plug, and we see how water flows, twisting with a funnel clockwise and carrying out a leaf in the whirlpool. Then he transfers his installation on the other side, repeats the experiment. The funnel is twisted in the opposite direction (which, in fact, we, residents of the northern hemisphere, and are used to watching daily). The sink is then put on the equator line: And now the water goes through the hole with a down, a small waterfall, not at all forming a funnel. Comments, as they say, unnecessary.
Of course, I repeat, the zero parallel is not sole "own" Ecuador, but anywhere else does such a cult. Three memorable signs are erected here in the adestrate line, whereas in most equatorial countries, with the exception of Brazil and Kenya, it has not been noted at all. In San Antonio de Pichinch, the most picturesque 30-meter monument. And around him – a whole town, which is called – "Mid-Mira", with church, park, museum, shops. It seems that in the local church should pray to some special god – God of the Equator ..
Seven crosses from the sun to the moon
Well, and in general, Ecuadorians – fanatical fans of all that is in their country. For example, Quito, in their opinion, is not just the best, but also "The most Inksky" City of South America. It seemed to me that in the hearts of the metropolitan residents lives an inesen-free feeling of jealousy in relation to the generally accepted symbol of ancient civilization – Peruvian Cusco.
These jealousy and ambitions are so great that in local sources you can even even read that Quito … was the last capital of the Empire Inca. The fact is that in a few decades before the arrival of the conquistadors, at the very end of the 15th century, the land of the current Ecuador, on which several multilingual tribes lived, were captured by the Incas and are attached to the Great State TaantinSuyu. Formally, indeed, in 1533-1534, when Cusco has already surrendered to conquistadors, the Incas kept here in Quito, the last defense from Sebastian de Bellcasar’s troops, Francisco Pizarro associate. Based on this, the myth about Quito "The last overthrown of the sons of the Sun". However, any serious trace of the Inca here you just did not have time.
But left the conquistadors, turning the city into one of the most beautiful capitals of South America. True, beauty is soft, a little even blurred, and you need to be patient to find "mine" Quito in this chaotic and, I would say, decentralized space.
That is, there is, of course, the official center historically established around the Presidential Palace – Independence Square. In addition to the white squat building – the Palace itself – it forms it a green park with a monument to the heroes of the struggle for independence. Stela in the neoclassical spirit is crowned with the image of Condor, "heraldic" Birds of South American Precolumba Cultures. And at the foot of the monument spread the heater. The lion symbolizes Spain, Eagle – Ecuador and heroes of the national liberation struggle 1809-1810. The victory in it, however, was far from refusing: only in May 1822, the famous battle was held in Pichince, in which the national troops of General Sucre, the companion of Bolivar, were finally defeated by the Spaniards.
Cute Square, Cozy. But here the streets of seven crosses come to her even more interesting. It seems to be the oldest street of Quito. In the pre-colonial era, she joined two icons – in the literal and in the figurative sense – Hills: Panesilo, which in the Inca was called Yavirak (the temple of the Sun was located), and the Hill. John. He was called Uanakauri and built the moon temple on it.
Spaniards perfectly understood the whole value for the submissive pagans of this sacred trail, figuratively binding two shining. Therefore, the first thing, as if a fear of some mysterious curse, they decided "stand" Its as much as possible crosses. So, one after another, churches and cathedrals appeared: Santa Barbara, immaculate conception, Prima-de Quito, El Sagrario, La Candy, del Carmen Alto … It turns out six. And the seventh cross, hardly the most noteworthy, erected outside the cult buildings. He stands on the pedestal of the almonds of San Lasaro. Roughly outstanding from stone, as if they really do some kind of conquistador sword or ax.
From the oldest churches, Santa Barbara, in the form in which she was erected in 1566-1576, nothing but the name left: it actually collapsed and was rebuilt already in the XIX century. But her name is very important: Santa Barbara, as you know, was for warriors by the patroness in the fight against "barbarians". (Such is the historical pun: with Saint Barbara, prying, yes in barbarians.) The place for the temple also found no closer: on the square in front of him beats the oldest in the city, which supplied the inhabitants of water back in Damispan times.
All other temples of the streets of seven crosses are already following the XVII century and later epochs. The most noteworthy – La Candy de Jesus, laid down by the Order of Jesuits in 1605 and fully completed only in 1765. "Dolly" It is quite justified: this is really a colossal structure and one of the best works of South American Baroque. Jesuits, as you know, arrived in South America along with the warriors and behaved here extremely actively. By the way, they even began to serve Mass on Kechua and religious education were also led in local languages, thanks to which they used popularity. The power and wealth of the Order was reflected in the redundancy of the forms and luxury of interiors, literally blinding the glow shine. In this sense, the beautiful church of Quito reminds her "TEZK" in Cuzco – La Cannia de Hesus (actually, the Order of Christ). The difference is only in one thing: the temple in Cusco was preserved in pristine form, and the companion in Quito burned almost to the ground in 1995. Today, the inner decoration is fully restored.
Sucre – Ecuador’s liberator
The visible paradox of the history of Ecuador is that General Antonio José de Sucre, the winner in the battle of Pichince, is now revered as "main" The National Hero of the Republic of Ecuador (even the national currency until the recent transition to the dollar was called his name – "Sucre") although he hardly ever gave himself a report that it is. Like all the people of his generation, this nearest associate and friend of the liberator – so the participants of the anticolonial movement in Latin America called Simon Bolivar – a native of modern Venezuela, Sucre represented himself his own homeland in the form of a single monolithic free power throughout the extent territory of former Spanish possessions. And not his fault that these land turned out to be so "Mute" and are distant from each other that as a result of the general war for the independence of the 20s of the XIX century there are many separate states there. In his century, Sucre managed to visit, let him not long, president and Peru, and Bolivia, and, of course, proclaimed Ecuador. Being retired, General Sucre preferred to live in Quito, from where his beloved wife Marianna de Carsen, Marquis de Solanda. True, quiet time in the Ecuadorian capital fate released the general a little – only about two and a half years in total. The affairs of political and military fascinated him in different ends of the Latin American range, as long as it has already been said, he did not die from the hands of terrorists during the internecine struggle for "inheritance" Bolivar. As for the battle itself at Pichince, which brought independence to Ecuador, then it, by the standards of European wars, not more than a shake. It was hardly 3,500 people on both sides, and died, thank God, a person 600, no more. Nevertheless, the troops of the royal presence in Quito (Real Audiencia de Quito) under the command of General Melchor Americh were defeated and almost completely captive, the city was released, and three hundred years of Spanish dominion in Middle and did not have.
Heart of Franciscan
… there is in the lifestyle of Quito inseparable dimensions and slowness, and on the street seven crosses they feel even stronger. And even all sorts of fiesta, which Ecuadorians, like all the Latin Americans, love the most in the world, are special. On the mentioned area in front of the Santa Barbara church we will find the festival "Pasakoles". To the one who knows what pasacle is, this fact will tell a lot. Vintage Spanish Slow Dance (Literally – "Along the street"), akin to the chatene, which he loved to arrange the bodies for the organ. Look, now in Spain you will not find people like a retro. And here, seven crosses, in the center of Quito, dozens of steam participate in the amateur festival. Dancers, of course, mostly unfortunate, and clearly lacks the cavaliers, and the men’s party often perform women. Street Street, watching the rolling around the cast-iron figures of Sebastian Belalcasar: Monument to the conqueror of the Quito is accomplished in the center of the square.
It seems that in the yard, not even XIX, and the XVII century. Romance, no words. But I still continue to look "mine" Quito is not the fact that more modern – I myself am an amateur of antiquity – but more alive, colorful. And, it seems, finally find.
Plaza de San Francisco – a wonderful ensemble, in which the ideal forms of the old church complex seem to be washed by living water everyday bustle. On holidays, the area in front of the church turns into a huge market, and in weekdays there is trade. In general, people come here at any time of the day to sit out aimlessly on the stone stained sheds. Women in national babies with babies roam in search of tourists who would photograph them and paid for it, if only obsessive "Models" Loaded and stopped betented: "UNA MONEDA PARA LA COLITA! UNA MONEDA PARA LA GUAGUA!" – "Coin on a jar of cola! Coin for baby!" Merry boys, juggling shoe brushes and with some inconceivable circus reception while holding a box with a drawer with Wax and rags under the arm, too, is also worn in search of clientele. Two old women, conveniently sitting right on the ground, take turns combing each other, wetting the head with a cerosene with kerosene and removing insects from a piggy straight, coal-black hair ..
Already returning to Moscow, I learned from the books that Plaza de San Francisco is really a marked place. It was the center of Quito even before the inconsisen came here, and called Tianges, which in the language of local Indians and meant "market". Inci, entering Quito, erected the Ataalp Palace (last "Emperor" TauantinSuyu) and cigano – Sun Temple. All this after the arrival of the Spaniards was quickly erased from the face of the earth. Another legend says that on this square for the first time in Ecuador, one of the Feds Francissians sowed wheat. And on the site of the Ataalp Palace, a magnificent Franciscian church complex, occupying three hectares and consisting of the temple, monastery, educational corps and cemetery.
In the evening we rose to Ichimbia – one of the three hills that the city surrounds. Actually, these hills and form the walls of a kind of bowl, at the bottom of which, as on the bottom of the crater, is the old Quito (new areas of the city, how to crawl up on these hills).
It became dark – at the equator always darkens early, at six in the evening, – and the old city began to light the lights. It seemed that they flare out very rhythmically, as if by someone’s pointed, and not one, but the rules, squares, like the illumination on the colossal Christmas tree … The lighting suddenly revealed all the harmony of development, so unwarked when you are inside it. Absolute absolutely exactly "Drove" Conquistadors and their heirs wide streets and narrow, but also direct, like daggie strikes, alleys. Ideal in our rectangles, Santo Domingo, San Marcos, San Blas, San Franciso, San Francis, San Francis, San Francis, San Francis … Slowly, as a candle, flared up as twilight thumbs thickened backlighting numerous churches and monasteries. And now it was discovered how many not by chance, and thoughtfully, as if the figures on a chessboard, "placed" Church in the city. Then I will tell me that the Spaniards-builders of Quito called their development plan – Damero, chess board or checkers.
Equator, of course, among other things, dictates a lifestyle. When all year round sun rises and goes into the same minute, the day is invariably equal to the night and the seasons do not exist – you can generally lose the feeling of time. As if we sit all my life on the swings, which froze in the equilibrium position – neither there, nor here nor up, nor down.
However, apparently, in order of compensation for this year-round balance, God awarded Ecuador with a type of extreme – more than two dozen volcanoes, two of which are located in the immediate vicinity of zero parallels and Quito. This is the hand of Pichinch (4735 meters above sea level) and Guagua Pichinch (4783 meters). Guagua – Vulcan acting. Last time "baby" (so in South America called young children – Guagua) reminded himself on October 7, 1999, falling asleep with ashes everything and all in a ten kilometers radius.
In addition, they say that from Quito in clear weather you can see three more terrible vertices – Kotopakh (5897 meters), Kaamaby (5790) and Antisans (5704). And if you go on a car from Northern Quito to South Quenka, then a part of the route will be held through a narrow valley that Humboldt has already called "Dear volcanoes". It lies between the two parallel mountain Andean chains, as part of which – nine of the ten highest "flammable" peaks. Including the legendary, one and a half thousand years ago, the extinct Chimborace (6310 meters). His vertex is the most remote from the center of the earth the point of its surface, which partly calls the championship of Everest (the fact is that when measuring the geographical height of the reference point, as is known, the level of the sea is taken, and here Jomolungma is still leading: 8814 meters above sea level).
Galapagos archipelago, of course, the most famous landmark of Ecuador. But at the same time this "Country in the country", which deserves a separate journey and narration. Archipelago, located in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, is separated from the main territory of the country more than a thousand kilometers. It consists of 13 major and 17 small islands, which occupy the area of about 8 thousand square kilometers. All of them are volcanic origin, and the crater has been preserved. His glory Galapagos is obliged to Charles Darwin, who, having visited them in 1835, was struck by Flora and the Fauna Archipelago, seeing in them "Visual example of evolution". In 1959, the islands received the status of the National Park – the first in the country. Here are iguana, sea lions, whales, albatrosses, pelicans, fluffy seals, penguins (the most northern in the world – they are able to survive on the islands due to cold Humboldt flow) and many other animals. Only birds are more than 1500 species here, which is about twice as much as in all of Europe or in all over North America. Perhaps the most famous islands inhabitants – Giant Turtles (Spanish GalapaGo – "turtle" – and gave the name of the archipelago) weighing up to 200 kilograms and those who live for two hundred years (until recently, the Turtle was still alive in the Paris Zoo, brought in 1807 with Galapagos as a gift to Napoleon I). Because there are no predators on the archipelago, and the animals are accustomed to a person, they let me at all close to themselves. So sit down (of course, neatly) on a giant turtle, feed iguan, swim in the company Penguins, which is called, not a problem. However, the archipelago is interested not only by fans of zoology, but also anthropologists. Until now, the question remains in which the Galapagos Islands in the South America’s Precucumbotic Cultures were located. On the one hand, ceramics, undoubtedly found classical Incan sample. On the other hand, many authoritative Americanists, such as Czech Professor Miroslav Stingl, argue that it was delivered there already in colonial times. In any case, there are legends, popular now among Kechua, that it is Galapagos who served as the place of perfect rest "Emperors". It is believed that from one of the bays off the coast of modern Ecuador as part of a colorful ritual to the ocean sent a balsa raft with the body of the Inca. Of course, no one can say where he was then nailed, but it was believed that he goes to Galapagos, to the western limits of Tauantinsuyu.
According to the covenant Pachamma
In this small valley, by the way, almost half of the country’s population lives. You know why? Earth is very fertile: fresh ashes, as you know, excellent fertilizer. The last time in March, the volcano Tunguraua (5029 meters) was activated in March (5029 meters), one of the most "Damn" in District. He produced several explosions and threw away the lava and fragments of rocks for hundreds of meters above the jerle. At the same time, the organized evacuation of residents from the surrounding villages was not produced, but on their own initiative, no one left no one to leave. Thank God, cost no victims. But Extreme lovers in Ecuador, apparently, grabs.
… This is, of course, a joke – about extreme lovers. We must see these people, on bulls plowing red fatty fertile land. The endurance of local residents, their ability to work without tired, to overcome huge distances with a big weight behind the shoulders – amazing. I will make a reservation, however, that on the bulls here are not because there is no longer on what, but because Pachamama ("Great Mother"-Earth) does not allow plowing any other manner. Modern technology she does not recognize. Equally as I "Unnatural" fertilizer.
In the province of Tunguraua, famous for his volcano, I remember that the old woman’s dusty road from the Salasak tribe (what her white fetal hat with wide fields was talking about). The old woman was so ancient and weak, which seems to be barely rearranged. But he drove a small octar of sheep in front of him, and at the same time managed to spice on the manual spiner. Just did not combine and did not strengthen her animals at the same time – so that it turned out a completely closed cycle.
Ecuadorians – A strikingly hardworking people. Backup and Standard, all the time that we were shaking on the Quito Highway – Cuenca, we constantly saw landpashtsy, women carrying huge hay oyans, more similar to the size of skirds, children, grazing cattle. And it despite Saturday. The only visit to us weekend – Sabbath Bazaar, to which we hit in one of the villages of Asuai Province. Traded here mostly Indians Canyaris, inhabiting Asoua. Old men and old women, with persons similar to the local soil – elegable deep, like scars, wrinkles, but not perfect and not emaciated, surprisingly healthy and beautiful shade. Not gloomy beauty, but very tidy girls in a gold thread of dark red scarves. And, of course, indispensable felt hats. Unlike neighbors, Salasak Indians who prefer "Men’s" Wide fields, Kanyaris of both sexes – it is the hats: elegant, with narrow fields, and on the edges there is still color stroke. And certainly – two brushes: unmarried and undelated, they are swept in front, hanging over the oldest; Family – Dellepto is thrown back so as not to interfere.
Who’s Hat Sper?
Cuenca is the third largest (after Quito and the main port of the country, Guayaquil) and, according to the local, the first beauty of the city of Ecuador. In 1999, his historical center was included by UNESCO to the list of architectural ensembles of the world, which make up the property of humanity (the CITo Center was included in this list back in 1978). Less than a quarter of a million inhabitants live here, and there are 34 churches on them.
The main charm of the city, however, is that he stands on four rivers – Tomebambour, Macchanas, Yanunca and Tarka, – the historical center is surrounded by water almost from all sides. When conquistadors only captured this place, first, "working", The name they gave him was Santa Ana de Los Coatro Rios -. Anna on four rivers.
Domiers are molded like swallows nests, right to steep shores. As for the churches, for which, apparently, the city and hit the UNESCO list, then mostly buildings of the middle of the last century – many for one, neoclassical manner. Attention attracted perhaps the old cathedral – Iglesia del Sgrario. He is not older than two hundred years and was erected on the spot where the very first church in the city dated 1567. She, in turn, according to legend, was erected on the foundation of Incan buildings destroyed by conquisites. Locals will definitely emphasize this fact – as if their Sigrario is in some kind of foggy relationship with Damispan monuments.
Cuenca is considered a kind of cultural capital of the country, from here it comes to many Ecuadorian writers and artists. Special Aura is in fact felt in the city – thanks to many museums, bookstores, educational and research centers. Finally, near Cuenki, there was a real testimony of the presence of the Inca in Ecuadorian Earth. The ruins of the Fortresses of Ingapirk, which kilometers in eighty from the city, irrefutably testify: the empire of the four sides of the world was here. True, in one Cusco of this kind of ruins – dozens, and IngaPirk in Ecuador is one-only.
And yet, risking seem like a frivolous traveler, I note: the most interesting in Cuenke is that the famous Ecuadorian straw hats were invented here. Unlike local writers and artists, this "know-how" Received world famous and enjoys it by the second century. True, under the name "Panaman" or simply "Panam". Yes Yes, "Panaman Straw Hats", who appear in the stories of Chekhov, did and do in Ecuador. Cuenca as it was and remains the center of this is still handicraft. Why Ecuadorian Steel Hats "Panamami"? According to one version, the first samples brought with them in the US engineers who worked on the construction of the Panama Canal. And Ecuador at the end of the XIX century was a poor country. Hats spilled in Ecuador, but purchased them and traded them Panaman entrepreneurs in their own country, where stormy development went.
Generally, the famous hats are surrounded by a variety of legends. One of them says that there are hats only at night, when the straw thread becomes from the moisture content of elastic and weave it is particularly tight. It’s like Havalian cigars, which can be twisted only on the thigh of a virgin mulatto ..
Kechua and others
Most of the 13 million population of Ecuador – Metis: their approximately 10 million. About a million – "Clean" Indians. The remaining two percent – white, black and mulatto. The dark-skinned population of the country is focused mainly on the ocean coast, in the second value of the city of Guayaquil and in the province of Esmeraldas. The autochthonous population of Ecuador is, first of all, Indiankucheua, which, in turn, are divided into many tribal groups and communities. They inhabit basically the mountain part of the country. In the East and in Amazon Selver, much less numerous than Kechua, Shuarai, Achoire, Cofara, Sion-Sequoia, UAO, AI, Ember, Saparo. Indians Ava, Tsachilas and Chaqi live on the ocean coast. Ecuador – a state with a visa-free regime for most countries of the world. Getting a residence permit too easy enough. Due to this, the number of immigrants grows not by day, but by the hour. To the traditional Peruvian, Colombian, Chinese and Korean diaspora for this country in recent years, Russian-speaking, involved primarily in exports of Ecuadorian roses, bananas and shrimp.
Thousands of orchids
Another element of Ecuadorian exotic – a piece of Amazonian Selva with its unsurpassed wealth of flora and fauna. 25 thousand species of plants – ten percent of all known on the planet. (Alone orchids – more than two thousand.) 706 species of fish, about 400 species of reptiles, 320 varieties of mammals and more than 1550 – birds. All this was bored in the eastern part of the country, Oriente, covered with impassable, wetched jungle. So thickly covered that up to 200 species of trees grow on one hectare of the Earth (for comparison: in Europe’s forests, there are no more than 20).
To get to Selva, we had to fly first from Quito to the city of Nueva-Loha – the capital of Sukumbios province. Then transfer to the bus and progress on it three more than an hour on the roads forcing you with nostalgia to remember the Pan American highway. And after that, in a slightly alohel state, we got to the River Sabeno – a narrow, winding, sising Piranhas and having one extremely unpleasant feature: chained literally for several days and to make impassable even for flat-bottomed canoeing.
From bitten to the largest artery of the world – about seven hundred kilometers. Of these, our small ducts account for about thirty, which we overcame, "Throwing anchor" in the lagoon where camping was located. Then a much larger river, Aguariko begins, it is poured into an even larger, according to which, in fact, you can already get to Amazon.
But even throughout these three tens of kilometers of what and whom we just won’t see! The river is narrow, and the vegetation is so violent that the trees from the opposite shores, having flown to the water, form a tent, intertwining branches. On them, as in the trapezes in the circus, jachabily from one shore to another, small monkeys – Makaki-Saki sink (Pithecia aequatorialis), whose colony we clearly treasured the roar of our engine. But the following dwellers of Selva, which we meet on the way, are a few yellow-blue guakamayo, as the parrots of Ara are called here, – Even the head does not turn into our side. However, they sit so high – on top of some grand palm tree that we seem to them, probably river bugs. Handsome Guacamayo can be seen only if you find the moment when they teach chicks to fly. And so they live and fly at high altitude, and above the water, like some swallows, do not flute. Guakamayo is not just very bright, but also amazingly diverse bird. I noticed yellow-blue, and there are still red-green, red-yellow, red-haired, eat "Guakamayo Militar", that is, as it is not difficult to guess, khaki, there is "Guakamayo Barbasul", That is blue beard. And all this mute concentrately meets only here, in Amazonian Selver.
But it is completely low above the water, on the path of our following, a little naked black bird is constantly worn, as if watching out something in water stroit. And it really looks out: suddenly dives down, almost huddled water with wings, and swears up, already with mining in black beak. This is Garrapterto (Crotophaga Sulcirostris) – a bird that is inquiry to aquatic bugs, spiders, ticks that are called Spanish "Garrapatos". And in these parts, Garrapterno is also called "Kosinero", What means "Cook". Above the water, hunting, the bird moves silently. But by climbing in coastal thickets after "Nalea", It is accepted to crack – piercingly and somehow at the same time whispered, it seems not that on the boiling kettle, not the oil hissing in the pan. And when there are several of them and they will launch their ratchets – exactly the kitchen in the midst of cooking. From here I "Cook".
Or suddenly before us – a monkey, having broke after the next jump from the branch, falls into the water, but, not confused, doggy threshing in the water with the paws and – floats to the shore. Clings one "Hand" For Lian, he hangs in the air, devads, pulling everything around the spray fan, and disappears in the thickets. It turned out that these monkeys known here called "Monos Ardyllas" (academic – Saimiri Oerstedii) – "Monkey-proteins", – not only know how, but also love to flounded in water. Still called them here "Monos Paiasos" – "Paws" – For coloring the face, really reminiscent mask of a sad white clown. These monkeys, unlike most of their fellow, love to spend time on Earth, and not just on trees. Another of their feature – voice data. They publish up to several dozen diverse screams, imitating surround sound.
The most banana republic
It is believed that "Banana Republic" In the full sense of this word, Ecuador stopped being in 1973, when oil was found here – now the main export product. However, today the third of the Banananians eaten in the world come still from here. They are grown by 180 thousand cultivated hectares, and is employed in this sector 12 percent of the able-bodied population. The funny thing is that Banana is by no means an original Latin American culture. It was delivered to the continent of Portuguese colonizers from Africa in the XVI century. Interestingly, they themselves did not want these fruits, but they fed the slaves and cattle. Until the XIX century, the banana was unknown by residents not only in Europe, but even North America, as it was considered unsuitable for transportation. For the first time, Ecuadorian bananas were represented in 1876 at the exhibition in Philadelphia, dedicated to the US Independence Declaration of Independence. Each fruit was wrapped in a wax paper and cost very expensive – 10 cents (as much as a beer mug). Shortly after this states and then Europe turned out to be covered "banana fever". Already in 1890, the United States imported 16 million so-called "Banana inflorescence". Up to the 1950s these "Socuagement" – trunks on which there should be no less than three hundred fruits – remained the main unit of measurement in the trade of bananas. Now a 18-kilogram box came to replace them. Will not be exaggerated to say that today "banana fever" Russia covered: this fruit ranks second after apples in the list of preferences of the population. 90 percent of bananas who eat in Russia – from Ecuador.
Our smaller brothers
Soon the eye gets tired of the green Selvian monotony, ceases to focus on the details. Sullem, our guide shows to the top of the coastal palm, where, according to her, the preinstalist (representative of the BRADYPODIAE family) – Leniv. I see nothing, although the sloth is not so small beast. But – merges with the surrounding background completely, escaping from the darling vultures. After all, other protection, except for the color (famous mimicria), his nature simply did not give him. Slowly, physically weak, sleeping, poor fellow, 20 hours a day, saving energy. It feeds on the leaves in which calories are clearly not enough for it, the digestive process is extremely slow, the body temperature is low. For a month, the sloth is able to overcome the distance of no more than one kilometer.
But suddenly, a stump protracted from the water comes to the right: what seemed like the growths on his crust or joined the fastening leaves, suddenly, silently flapping the wings, swept into the air. Trifles, a squad of bats that we broke day rest. Mursielagos Nargones, "Nosachi", What is the name of this type of Spanish (Latin – Rhynchonycteris NASO), not just skillfully mimicarized under last year’s foliage or woody bark. When they sleep, they still manage to sampling in the beat of wind blows so that they are not at all distinguished from inanimate nature.
Well, in the conclusion of a walk – the smallest "detail". Another small monkey family. These are toys, the smallest of all 19 types of monkeys living in Ecuador, and in general the smallest monkeys in the world. Most "Large" Copies reach 10-12 centimeters, weigh less than 100 grams. Leonsilos (Callithrix Pygmaea) – "Safety": so they are called similarity surrounded by thick halo hair face with lion. Similarity, of course, on the scale of a thousand to one ..
Lunch with Okulist
The last day – again in Quito – it turns out to be special, one of the most important in the Catholic calendar of Latin America: November 2, the day of remembering the deceased – Dia de Los FEELES Difuntos. In the morning he dries fine rain, and people from the endless strings move along cool up and running down the streets towards churches and cemeteries. No, this day is not immersed in some kind of hopeless mourning. He, rather, bright, unites life, and death, and memory, and everyday troubles for the preparation of an abundant. All cookies are preparing to him, in the streets there is a browky trade in all sorts of snack – pies, Chicharorenes (swine crackers), boiled corn cobs, caramel apples. The main dish of this day, which is preparing only once a year, – Morada Colada, comprehensive brew, resembling Kissel. It is poured literally at every step. It warms, gives strength after many hours of kneeling standing in the cemetery and in the church.
We go to dine in a small restaurant specializing in national cuisine. My brave colleague orders grilled guinea pig. Many times I tried to force myself to try this favorite dish of the Ecuadorian people, but never managed. I take something more trivial. However, I designate my commitment to the national flavor, ordering the pitcher Chichi – traditional corn. Suddenly behind us starts some kind of movement. The tables and chairs are shifted, the space is released, in the center of which on the only remaining table the man in a white coat lays many points and some other optical devices. Right to the back of my chair, his assistant leans the table to verify vision. Somewashed from the streets of people sitting on the chairs in line, holding a piece of paper, similar to recipes. They obviously came here not pigs there.
Where we hit? To answer this question I causing a waiter. He explains: At this hour, Professor Okulist rents them for admission part of the hall. The waiter expresses the hope that it does not hurt our meal. Of course not. Okulist so Okulist. Not a gastroenterologist same. The waiter evaluates my Latin American sense of humor, loudly zaganv. The turn of the points does not pay any attention to us. We also return each to your own: Leo – to the pig, I am to Chiche.
I remember Gabriel Garcia Marquez: To describe the Latin American reality, some special artistic method is needed, capable of combining intact. Marquez calls this method magic realism. Indeed, with the help of only realistic techniques or, on the contrary, only with the help of hyperboles and grotesque Latin America is not understood and not to portray. And even more so it is part of it, like Ecuador. A little, it would seem, the country, and joined so much contradictory exotic – and zero parallel, and volcanoes, and the jungle … so that Marquez would fit to be born here, and not in the neighboring Colombia.