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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Day 8 - El Nariz del Diablo

ecuador Right, the last 2 days have been absolutely nuts. properly nuts. We started off by leaving Baños and travelling two hours around mountain roads (which have recently suffered landslides from the nearby volcanic eruptions), teeting over wooden bridges with miles down to the bottom of the valley and travelling at 100mph on dirt roads. Sam was scared to death, and I couldn´t take my eyes off our impending death off the cliff edge. but we survived. Arrived in the rubbish and dirty town of Riobamba late at night, just in time to check in to a hostel right next to the train station. Because Day 8 would be the most exciting train journey of my life.

Up at 5am, we paid just five pounds for a 6 hour train ride, on the roof of an old school rickety train, through the most beautiful landscape in the world. The journey was nuts. You think you´re going to derail at any moment, and the train passes through mountains and valleys, then finally around the "nose of the devil", a huge mountain where the train has to switch directions to descend the bottom of the valley. The actual NOSE itself is pretty scary. You´re hanging your feet off a huge drop, and there is the constant fear of derailment (common, but not life-threatening). It was amazing.

Its mad. The ecudorian kids, working on the farms and going to school next to the railway track, flock towards the train as it passes at 50mph, in the hope that tourists will throw lolly pops at them from the train. SICK! we tried so hard to avoid doing it, mainly because it would rot their little tiny milk teeth, but EVERYONE DOES IT, and eventually we succumbed and bought some lollies ourselves. I threw mine into a school playground and caused a fight between some school kids. I managed to hit one tiny kid with a sweet as well on the way back.

(spot the lolly flying through the sky towards the seething children from David's hand)

We then got a four hour bus ride to Cuenca (I listened to Sonic Youth all the way - thanks trist), and then bombed it to a cute hostel where sam and I are sharing a room. We met an ecuadorian girl on the train, who annoucned to me at the hostel that she was going to a rave, so we all went for some drinks, then me, her and her mate went to the rave. No pictures, but the place was awesome. Hundreds of uni students dancing to techno under the stars. I loved it. Shot home to find sam had gone out alone with some strangers from the hostel, then she turned up at 2am with a drug dealer we had met at the rave! It was nuts. Then, the bar staff drove us scarily to a club where I danced to manu chao and got stupidly drunk. All very entertaining.

Today, we sat around hungover, collecting panini football stickers and walking aroud cuenca. apparently there is a house party tomorrow we are going to, and tonight we are gonna go for some more karaoke. this place is having a weird effect on me. I NEVER do karaoke. and I LOVE IT. rout!

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