Ecuador facts & history in brief
The Devil's Nose or el Nariz del
Diablo is a series of 'switchbacks',
where the train goes up a steep
bank and then reverses to push the
train along the next uphill section
, then goes forward again on the
next section. This is repeated until
the train gets to the top. (Much
like a number of hairpin corners
on the road, but the train need
much bigger turning point, so the
Alausi is a small, tranquil town
set amongst the Andes with the
famous Alausi train from Guayaquil to
Riobamaba running through the town's
main street and the Devil's Nose
(el Nariz del Diablo) as well as some other
This is the main
reason people come here and
the spectacular scenery of
the towering, cloudy mountains
dominating the ancient, sleepy streets and
buildings of Alausi and the surrounding settlements.
The spectacular Alausi Sunday market
is another good reason.
The train struggles along the
steep mountains between Riobamba
and Guayaquil, but especially
near Alausi at the hair-raising
and spectacular Devil's Nose
(el Nariz del Diablo) series of switchbacks.
There are two trains, either way.
One is a converted bus, the other
one is a more traditional steam
locomotive or as in our case a motor coach.
On either train you can ride on the top,
which makes it that much more spectacular,
exciting and unique.
Going through the towns or fields
you ride amongst spectacular scenery
and very friendly locals, most of them
seemed to be very friendly Indians
who wave to you all the time.
The train chugs along the mountain
passes at a steady rate and sitting
on the top I was waiting for the not
uncommon derailments, I was told about,
to add more excitement to
the spectacular scenery.
The railway officially known as
the Guayaquil and Quito line, the
Guayaquil station is at Duran, across
the Guayas river from Guayaquil.
A fascinating little town,
where the train chugs right through
the main street.
We came to enjoy the
famous Alausi train,
the 'Devil's Nose' switchbacks.
The magnificent views
and of course the chance
to ride sitting on the
top of the train.
We returned soon afterwards for
an "instant replay" of an once in
a lifetime experience of the 'Alausi
can click on these photos to see
them full size.
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