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Alausi - A travel report by sgsdgsdgs
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Alausi,  Ecuador - flag Ecuador -  Chimborazo
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kirikou's travel reports

St. Peter on a hill and train to the Devil's Nose

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Located at an elevation of 2600 metres, Alausí is a typical little Ecuadorian town. The town is mostly known for being an entrance point to the train ride around the Nariz del Diablo, or the Devil's Nose.


Clinging on to the hillside, the town centres around a main street with a small fruit market at the end, and a huge statue of Saint Peter standing on a hilltop. And of course the train line which goes right through town. There are various small hotels dotted along the main street, prices ranging from cheap to medium, no luxury as of yet. Also a few restaurants, none that really stand out - mostly pollo secado and rice.

Favourite spots:
We enjoyed sitting on the hilltop by Saint Peter and just enjoying the view, also the short walk up there is fun if you walk by the train tracks and then climb the hill from the backside. Strolling the tracks a bit down from town is also neat, you get a good look of the valley beneath.

What's really great:
Arriving the day before the train was passing (twice a week), we were pretty much the only foreigners in town, and had a lot of people chatting to us and just hanging out. And yes, sitting on an outdoors staircase cooking oatmeal with mango on your stove at 7 am is quite a good icebreaker =)

Sights:
Most people will go to Alausì for the train ride around the so called Devil's Nose, and nothing else. This ride is part of the old train line between the country's two major cities, Quito and Guayaquil - a line which was currently not in use for the whole stretch when we were there in January '04. The (mostly tourist) train goes from Riobamba to Alausí, down the steep valley sides, and is technically fascinating (track switching, train going backwards etc) due to the many forks on the line, but we were a bit disappointed at the view - nice mountains, but not as amazing as the advertising made it sound. But neat enough to sit on the roof of the train, which was absolutely swarming in tourists. Tickets were USD 7 roundtrip from Alausì, USD 11 from Riobamba.

Accommodations:
As mentioned, various hotels all along the main street, as well as a couple of sketchy truck driver's stops up by the main road. We spent the night in a small, nameless hospedaje on the main street - 12 soles a double with shared bathroom, quite acceptable standard. If arriving by bus you'll be dropped of right in front of most accommodation there is, same if arriving on the train.

Hangouts:
A couple of the restaurants serve beers, a few seedy cantinas up by the highway have the stronger stuff. No pubs as we know them.

Restaurants:
We didn't have anything that was more than okay or decent during out stay. Plenty of comida tipica for a cheap price in the small restaurants in the town centre, a couple of pizza places.

Published on Friday June 25th, 2004


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