Devil´s nose my A$$

Alausi Travel Blog

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Saturday I took a bus from Banos to Riobamba.  The ¨casually¨ dressed bus attendants that gather the fair are relentless in their efforts to entice more passengers to voin the voyage.  They hang out of the door shouting the buses destination at every person that is passed along the way.  Riobamba!  Riobamba!  Riobamba!  is a particularily enticing jingle. 

I left Banos a day later than planed so that I could take the much hyped train ride from Riobamba to Alausi called Nazir del Diablo (Devil´s Nose).  I met a couple of Germans by the names of Hans and Christoph of the bus.

   We went to the train terminal together to get our tickets for Sunday but were informed that it was sold out so we elected to continue to Alusi where we could take the shorter train just for the exciting section.   The best hostel we could find, or at least first, was less than favorable.  5$ was cheap but you get what you pay for.  I was glad that I decided to invest in my sleeping bag liner.  The hot water heatre for the shower was particularily frightning.  See photo attached. 

The train ride was quite disapointing and I would not recomend changing plans just to take it.  The rouch guide travel book had it listed as one of the top 20 things to do in Ecuador.  My interpratation is that there are only 19 good things to do here.  Sure the clifs were very steep and close to the tracks and the switchbacks were interesting but the bland brown and grey mountain sides were not much to look at having just come from Banos.

  I think it may have been more exciting if you could still travel on top of the roof of the train, but this is no longer allowed since the recent wire decaptaion death that occured on this very train only a few months ago.  I give this $7.80 1 hour train ride thumbs down.

Sleepy Alausi does not really have much to offer other than the train.  It was Sunday so there was a indiginous market going on which I found enjoyable.  But I did not get a chance to go to the popular markets of Otavalo or Saquisli so I was a newbee.  My advice would be to skip Alausi and the train altogether and head straight to Ceuca or Banos depending which way you are heading.

Biedjee says:
Too bad I did not read your blog before. We just paid $25 for the same ride, which is now expanded with a 90 minute wait in Sibamba where you are forced to watch locals dance and llamas pose. A 300% price hike in 7 years and from what I can see the train ride only got worse :-(
(it is still listed as one of the top 20 things to do in Ecuador in the 2013 Lonely Planet....)
Posted on: Aug 10, 2014
PrissyT says:
Well, good thing you didn't ride on top of the train. You would've been headless!
Posted on: Apr 22, 2008
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photo by: razorriome