Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ecuador: Devil's Nose Train and Ingapirca

Time to get caught up on trip posts!
On July 28th we woke up WAAAAY too early (4:30am) to head to Alausi from Riobamba and catch the 8am Devil's Nose Train ride. When I started doing research on what we would want to do while we were in Ecuador this train ride was pretty high on my list. In hind site we would have skipped it and gone for more time in the Amazon, but when you read about it and see pictures it looks pretty amazing. The experience itself was fun. The train was nice and the length of the ride and the stop at the station in the mountains was perfect...it was the getting up super early to get to the little town it left from in combination with a long day of driving after and the views not being much different from the amazing ones we saw driving in the car that made the excursion anticlimactic. We did have fun though! There were some traditional dancers to watch and the weather was absolutely perfect.
From there we got a quick bite to eat and were back in the car with Marco headed to Ingapirca, the largest Inca ruins in Ecuador. The weather here was not perfect. It was freezing and rainy and the kids were over-tired and definitely over each other by this point. As a result we had the quickest tour ever of the ruins and hurried into a little shop for some lunch and to warm up.
The last leg of that day's journey was to finish the drive to Cuenca where we were staying overnight at Hotel Inca Real. It was a cool old building right in the center of the old town. I don't think they had purchased new bedding in awhile so I can't say it was my favorite hotel of the trip but the breakfast the next day made up for it ;-). We had some time to walk around Cuenca a bit that evening and it was definitely a pretty city that reminded us a lot of Europe. The kids were dying for some normal food so when we came across Chicago Pizza they were thrilled...and then we discovered a play area for kids as well, double bonus! We all went to bed very early and were able to sleep in a bit the next morning, so we woke up refreshed and ready for a new day.
Ecuador is seriously beautiful and has such a great variety of landscapes. I wish I could have gotten pictures from the drive that better portrayed it, but this day I got quite a few.
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the Devil's Nose
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we walked up the hill to a little restaurant, museums and bathrooms and below you can see the train and the large roof to the right is where the dancers were performing.
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on to Ingapirca
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tomb
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Mike trying chicha...a drink made from corn that none of us liked :-)
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we made it to Cuenca! see the guinea pig roasting?!
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