On Tour... Autoferro de los Volcanos Chiva Express Trans-Anden Railroad
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Quito, the capital of Ecuador, high up in the South American Andes, is where
this journey begins.
On sixth of December, 1536, Quito was newly founded and built on the ruins of
an Inca town. Thus originated the Plaza Grande, the square in which many of
the country’s historic events have taken place, from the country’s foundation
right up until its Independence.
Today the city has a new attraction, El Teleférico, the highest cable car in
South America whose spectacular views are quite overwhelming. When the
Spanish conquered the Inca realm, various Catholic Orders followed. The
Jesuits built the Baroque church of La Compañia De Jesus that is known as the
most remarkable religious building in the whole of South America.
The Chiva Express is a colourful ‘bus on rails’ that travels along the
‘Autoferro De Los Volcanes’, the Road of Volcanoes. It passes through
several small villages and soon nature is all that is to be seen. The
fertile highlands of the Andes, located between snow covered volcanoes, are a
real adventure. Close to Machachi, the first section of the railway line
comes to an end and the train stops in the middle of nowhere.
Nariz Del Diabolo, the ‘Devil’s Nose’, is the most difficult and dangerous
part of the journey as it negotiates a steep slope five hundred metres into the
depths below. The rails zigzag and the train moves slowly forwards and then
backwards, thus it is able to gradually overcome the difference in altitude.
Alausi appears and it is here that the world’s last great adventure on rails
comes to an end. A challenging yet marvellous experience, thanks to the
Amazing Autoferro De Los Volcanes!