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Devil's Nose or Nariz del Diablo

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 'switchbacks').

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 small towns.
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 train ride'.

You can click on these photos to see them full size.

Devil's Nose Devil's Nose Devil's Nose

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