28 September 2011
Devil’s Nose Railway to Guayaquil
Leaving early this morning we take the bus to Alausi and then the Autoferro on to Sibambe, inaccessible by road. The Autoferro is basically like a bus body mounted on rail wheels – this is currently the only way of travelling on the ‘Devil’s Nose’ route. This famous railway is a triumph of engineering. From Alausi the track drops 800m down a ridge and into the gorgeof the Rio Chanchan. This almost sheer descent, known as the Devil’s Nose, was achieved by building a series of switch backs, making it one of the most exciting train rides in the world. The Autoferro returns to Alausi where we rejoin our bus. Driving to Guayaquil we follow the course of the gorge and then the terrain starts to level off into the plain of the fertile Guayas Valley. Here are fields of coffee, mangoes, bananas, cocoa, rice, sugar cane, pineapples and wetlands dotted with stilt houses. Finally we arrive at Guayaquil in the late afternoon.