Friday we drove to Riobamba. We were intending on taking the
Devilâ€™s Nose railway (La Nariz del Diablo) but it is close due to a strike. The
train was built between 1899 and 1908, and requires a complex set of
switchbacks and bridges. Since it often derails it is only fair to support the
unions in demanding safer working conditions and danger pay.
On our way to Riobamba we passed Volcan Chimborazo. Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecudor at 6310
metres. Due to the bulge of the earth at the equator, it is also the most
distant point from the centre of the earth. We drove up to the hiking station
and then climbed up to the 5000 metre point â€“ a very difficult walk due to the
altitude, but okay if you walk extremely slowly. 5000 metres on Chimborazo is 6383.377km from the centre of the earth,
which made us higher than if we had been standing on the summit of Mt Everest,
which is only 6382.467km from the centre of the earth. On the mountain slopes
we saw flocks of wild vicuĂ±a.
That night we had dinner in the house once
owned by Coronel Juan Bernaido de Leon y Cevalios, one of the heroes of
independence and where Simon Bolivar stayed in 1822.