“Riobamba-Alausi-Sibambe-Alausi-Riobamba-Ba” Ness010’s photos around Riobamba, Ecuador

Preview of Ness010's blog at TravelPod. Read the full blog here: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/ness010/1/1253070516/tpod.html This blog preview was made by TravelPod using the TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow creator. Entry from: Riobamba, Ecuador Entry Title: "Riobamba-Alausi-Sibambe-Alausi-Riobamba-Ba" Entry: "Today probably looks like one big travel day based on my title, and it was in a way: 6 hours on 3 buses and 2 hours on a hybrid type train (more details on this later)... and at times it was particularly frustrating as public transport can sometimes be. But it was all in an attempt to catch the elusive Riobamba train to Nariz del Diablo and having semi-succeeded at this, and thoroughly enjoying it, I didn´t really mind one bit and it was definitely worth all the hassle! The train is the last remaining running section of the Trans-Andean railway that ran from Quito to Guayaquil (major port city). The section from Riobamba runs down through the mountains, culminating in the Nariz Del Diablo which drops a few hundred metres on the side of the mountain thanks to a series of switchbacks. This was a major engineering feat in 1902 when it was first built and many people died for the effort, but even now is pretty incredible. I love trains and train journeys in general, so I was quite eager to have a go at this... You actually used to be able to ride on the roof, you could rent cushions and just watch the scenery go by for a few hours and then see the spectacular drop off from the heights of the roof... Unfortunately a couple of tourists died last year - I had read decapitated, but now that I´ve done the journey myself my personal belief is that they perhaps fell off the roof. The tracks are a little old and its very rickety. I´ve also seen pictures of people standing so who knows. Regardless, riding on the roof is no longer allowed. Not only that but the Government has taken control of ticket sales and its practically impossible to find the place to buy them from. You definitely can´t buy them from the station the day before which is what we tried to do only to be told a reservation through the Government was required... However the guy at the station did say if we went by bus to Alausi we could buy tickets there for just the Nariz Del Diablo section for 11am. And thats how we ended up on the first bus... When we arrived at Alausi it turned out you couldn´t get tickets for the actual train but we could get tickets for the hybrid train to run just the section at 1pm. The hybrid train is like a bus carriage on train wheels so that it can run the track. It looked a bit like a touristy gimmick initially but the experience would have been largely the same as a real train I believe. As I said it was quite rickety which I think indicated authenticism, and the views and track work were quite incredible. At some points rocks had fallen across the tracks, there were no beams underneath and the track was within half a meter of the edge. It was amazing to see. When we were doing the switchbacks the switch guy opened the back door and let me sit out the back as the train decended. I thought it was great fun. The ´train´ goes down to Sibambe station which is the border between coastal and mountain regions. Apparently you can stay there but I didn´t see any sign of this and I can´t imagine why you would want to, its nothing but desert like scenery surrounded by giant desert like mountains. After a brief stopover the ´train´ makes the climb back up the hill to Alausi. And then we had to make our way back to Riobamba which necessitated another bus. Before grabbing a late bus to get to our next destination for the night: Baños. I was glad to arrive at the end of the day, and the climate was noticeably warmer and wetter, also a relief. But all in all a tops day. V" Read and see more at: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/ness010/1/1253070516/tpod.html Photos from this trip: 1. "Market day in Alausi" 2. "A woman wating for supplies with the truck" 3. "Girl eating lollipop" 4. "Street view of Alausi opposite train station" 5. "The train station" 6. "One of the switchbacks" 7. "Me and the ´train´" 8. "Some of the track" 9. "Looking down on the track" See this TripWow and more at http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-00bb-62f2-a78c?ytv4=1