As Qatar kick off the Jules Rimet Trophy let’s remember there’s another team playing too so an invitation here… world calling Ecuador, world calling Ecuador.
Having sidestepped the Qatar issue with all the guile of a Luca Modric.
Let’s turn our attentions to South Americans Ecuador.
And you barely need any Spanish to work out that the country derives its name from the Equator.
That being the case time pretty much stands still in Ecuador.
With the sun always rising at 6am and setting at 6pm.
Now if you know anything about Ecuador beyond the Equator then full marks to you.
But, of course, there is a whole country above, below and beyond the dividing line.
Gallop to the Galapagos
Most notably the Galapagos Islands where the locals move at a very slow island pace.
And mostly all of your adventure tours to this part of the world.
Because of their giant tortoises who live for hundreds of years, its iguana and penguin and a host of other attractions.
Charles Darwin remains the Galapagos Islands’ most famous visitor until that is I get there.
And it was here that my fellow beardie formulated his theory of evolution.
From studying finches’ changing beaks.
It’s not just in the Galapagos Islands either that you’ll be bowled over by just how many species are on show.
In fact Ecuador tops the world for the density of its biodiversity.
The Galapagos themselves have 38 endemic species.
But there are also 106 reptiles and 138 amphibians endemic to Ecuador.
And count them (well no need, someone has done it for us) there are tens of thousands of bird species alone.
In fact 15% of the world’s population.
The Ecuadorian capital, Quito, will get more than a mention or two.
Because it’s naturally the hub of Ecuadorian football.
And where because of the geographical advantage they have from being the second highest capital in the world.
After Peru’s La Paz they have a tidy home record.
Hitting the heights
Of course, you’ll feel it yourself from being in a city 9,350ft above sea level (my highest is Mile High City Denver).
In the rarefied air that closer to God you are.
And that’s borne out too by the medieval churches.
Which UNESCO recognised Quito and Krakow as their first World Cultural Heritage sites in 1978.
You might hear too that Ecuador is the world’s biggest exporter of bananas.
And that it’s really where Panama Hats derive and you’ll be away.
So that’s more than enough to be getting on with, and for the rest get out there.
We’ll try and keep you going as the tourney progresses but for now while the heat is on Qatar.
Here is where you’ll find the world calling Ecuador.