Volcan Chimborazo and Nariz del Diablo
Riobamba Travel Blog› entry 8 of 48 › view all entries
....or Rioshambles soon re-christened it was a bit of a come down after Latacunga. Riobamba is a big bustling town that may have every kind of shop you may want but is all a bit tacky and cheap. Christmas shopping is in full swing and the market is dominated by cards all blaring out conflicting tunes. Tinsel and plastic ornaments everywhere. However out focus for our 2 days was a trip up Volcan Chimborazo (unofficially the highest mountain in the world - although only 6310m, the earths bulge at the equator means it is the furthest point from the centre of the earth), and taking the Devils Nose train.
On the advice of a couple of Germans in Chugchilan we booked into a hostel next to the train station (El Estacion) who had very helpful staff and immediately undercut pre quoted prices for Chimborazo and also got the train ticket office to come to us to sell Devils Nose tickets.
The day for climbing Chimborazo was very similar to Cotopaxi climb when we got very lucky with cloud clearing at right time. However as we got closer to Chimborazo, it looked like going the other way as clouds darkened. Half way up climb, we couldnt see a thing and the taxi driver must have thought us mad. At least we had the place to ourselves as we got dropped off at the lower refuge to climb up to the upper refuge. Marie immediately wrote the climb off as a bad idea. Dave and I were about to agree when e saw a couple of climbers walking down who showed us where the path was and said the views were intermittent but we could get lucky. That was enough encouragement and we set off up the final 200m to the upper refuge set at 5000m.
A 5.30 start today to get up in time for Nariz del Diablo. This after a shocking night when 43 12-14 year olds turned up at midnight and rampaged around the halls.
It turned out that the hostel had done us proud and got seats in the best carriage. One of the most famous elements of the Devils Nose is sitting on the roof but unfortunately this is no longer allowed due to 2 Japanese getting decapitated on some cables above the train when standing up to take photos a few months ago.
Dave was not in the mood for a 7 hour train journey the following day and used the first half of the journey to sleep. The earlier scenery was nice but nothing special compared to recent trips.