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Ecuador - Trains, Inca trails and Colonial Cuenca

On 12th June we drove south to Alausi de San Pedro and the following day took the tourist train from Alausi to Sibambe. The journey took us along El Nariz de Diablo (the Devil's Nose), a mountain with almost perpendicular walls. To overcome this mountainous obstacle, a zigzag railroad was built that climbs more than 500 meters in less than 12 km with steep ascents and descents on switchbacks, hugging the side of the mountain. Amazing engineering, but the building of this part of the Ecuadorian railway cost the lives of almost 2,000 workers.

We moved off towards Cuenca and en route took a detour to Incapirca. This is Ecuador's most important archaeological site, the ruins of a Cañari-Inca city. Pretty neat to be able to see and stand on a bit of the Inca Trail, as the empire spread north to Colombia.

Next stop - Cuenca, a beautiful city and our last proper stopping point in Ecuador. It was time for a few visits to the dentist and for me a week in La Escuela de Español. Cuenca is a gem and a great place to stay. Our host, Miriam, was a lot of fun and provided Rachel with a few new recipes - not guinea pig.

We ventured briefly into the mountains for a weekend in Las Cajas National Park and took a few walks, but the weather was miserable and cold, even the llama were freezing, so we returned early to Cuenca.

Another little adventure was an afternoon at a climbing wall, having free lessons from friends Margaux and Séverine. Finally, it was time to leave. Ecuador was amazing in all respects...let's see what Peru has to offer.

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