How Old People Become Children

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Hotel Europa

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well, here we are in Alausi. A little town in the middle of the mountains, with a medium sized market and the main interest point being that it has a train station.

The train from Riobamba (2 hours North) stops here to collect tourists and do a touristic train ride to the mountain called "Devilīs Nose". The attraction is that the train goes down pretty steep hills using a special gauge system, that it goes along bridges and next to cliffs, and that tourists ride on the roof.

Sounds like India daily life? Put a few old aged travellers and a couple of French people and indeed it becomes India! Why?

Well here is the funny part. The "train" is actually only one wagon, with 32 seats inside, but another 20 or more people are allowed to sit on the roof (typical example of things USA is missing due to liabilities politics...). When everyone arrives, they all seem to want to go on the cool (not) to feel the fresh air and the experience.

However after 4 hours of travelling on the roof (since 7am) from Riobamba, when they arrive at Alausi a few want to get inside, while another 20 tourists want to get on board at Alausi (including ourselves).

Of course as there are no reserved seats, chaos breaks out every single time and there is pushing, stamping, crying and a lot of French accents. It was really pathetic to see an 70 year old English couple fighting with a 70 year old French couple. "This seat was mine, I left my jumper on it", "you cant reserve", "you were pushing before"...etc, etc. Its amazing how these elders become young children fighting over candy when there is no reservation system.

Luckily for Veronika and myself, we knew this would happen. So on the way down we were on separate seats, but when the train stopped and everyone went to take pictures, we played musical chairs and made ourselves strong on the 4th row! When the couple of Greeks came back...da da da dum.

Anyway, apart from the circus of usual tourists (is horrible to see them again, we had got quite used to travelling with locals only), the train experience is excellent. Sadly we didnīt have the best of days and the top of the mountain was cloudy, but still worth doing. Except (as with Veronika) if you are afraid of heights. She suffered on the way down but then enjoyed on the way up...

Link to Information in Spanish:

The rest of the day we are just walking around the calm town of Alausi and celebrating that Barcelona is out of the European Champions League (Marcos at least), and reading a couple of good books we have. Tomorrow we will move on to Riobamba.

Bad part is that it hasnt stopped raining for the last 2 days...the sun has disappeared further North?

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