After we decided we just had to go and see the equator, we flew from Batam to Pontianak with one intention only – standing on the centre of the world with one foot in the South and the other in the Northern Hemisphere.
We had the same problem at Pontianak airport as we did at Batam ferry port – no Grab drivers would come and fetch us so we had to use the expensive airport taxi. It is the case throughout Indonesia, so definitely something to bear in mind for the rest of our trip.
We arrived late and so the following morning we set off to Tugu Khatulistiwa – the equator monument which is right in the middle of Pontianak (and when you think about it, the Earth!)
Upon arrival we were swarmed. Apparently, not many white people come to Pontianak and many of the locals had never seen anything like us before. They suddenly turned into paparazzi, taking photos when we weren’t looking, hoarding round us to pose for photographs with us, and staring at our every move. I’m not joking when I say that we must have posed for 30+ photos and been in a good 20+ more without realising or actually posing. We couldn’t get a second’s peace! As soon as I tried to take a snap of Alex, or him of me, we were joined by huge groups of Indonesians who wanted to have photos too. They didn’t seem to have grasped the concept of Airdrop either, as we’d have to pose for the same photo on every single person’s phone. It took some time.
Eventually we’d had our headshots taken with the entire population of Pontianak and we could finally stand on the equator! It was so much fun to straddle the line, or stand in different hemispheres to each other. Apparently Pontianak is the only city that actually sits right on the equator – although 12 countries are passed through by the equator, their cities don’t actually straddle the line.
Have you visited the equator anywhere? Did you have any funny experiences like us? Let me know in the comments below – and don’t forget to enter your email address to receive instant updates on my adventures!