Alausi-El Nariz del Diablo
Alausi Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
July 6th, 2006 – by: no_instinct
In Cuenca, I got on a bus to Alausì, a small town of about 7,000 people. I got in about 8 (Hotel Europa, 5 bucks), walked around the whole town and it was completely full of action...well not really, there was some band playing on the 6 block long main street that i listened to for 10 minutes before they stopped playing. Then I went up to check out San Pedro de Alausì (a religious statue overlooking town), hit a bar for a Pilsener (Ecuador`s most popular beer) and talked with the only other guy in the bar for a while. Got back to my hostal at about 10:30. The next morning, I got up pretty early to make sure i was able to buy a ticket for el Nariz del Diablo (the Devil`s nose for you non spanish speakers)...which is "one of the best feats of railroad engineering in the world" descending some 100`s of meters through a valley. I had to wait until 10 AM to get the tickets then wandered again, ending up talking with 3 children walking around with their donkey selling milk to residents. They were happy to pose for some pictures and Marco, my 10 year old buddy for the day waited with me until the train came passing over the bridge and towards the station. Walking toward the station we saw the train stopped midway, soon finding out that the train had derailed (most likely due to the fork in the track shooting the train off to the wrong side, which made me feel good about the ride I was taking. Anwyay, there were about 8 men working to try and put a wedge under the wheel parts of the train and edge it back onto the tracks as the other 200 or so tourists and locals looked on. After about a half hour they got it back on the track...everyone climbed back up to the roof and we started our "descent". My little buddy Marco was my guide during the train ride, telling me what everything was. All in all, in my opinion the guide book built the ride up to be more than it really was. The track was cut into a steep mountain and all, lots of people died building the track, but I guess I had higher expectations. After that, I hopped on a bus to Riobamba.
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