We awoke in Riobamba..and left at the crack of 11am. At the bus station amid confusion and a line of busses and shouting bus attendants we joined the fray and called out 'alausi' at which point a bus attendant surged forward grabbed our bags and flung them on his coach.. we dived in after them and crossed our fingers. We may not be headed for alausi but wherever we were going, we were going with our luggage. Never before have I had my luggage dictate my destination. Turns out that it probably should have, could have stopped all manner of previous mishaps as an hour and a half later we crested a hill to see below Alausi. I fell just a little bit in love as soon as I saw it. A tiny town, painted in bright but slightly shabby colours, it sat at the bottom of its valley surrounded by a crown of mountain peaks. In the afternoon the cloud decended to sit on these peaks like backlit waves crashing over rocks so you couldn't see the sky at all. (this is not me being poetic.. it properly looked like that). We got off the bus and headed for the main street of town. We were pointed in the direction of a hostel (bloody awful.. like sleeping outside but with none of the home comforts) by some American dude (musta been working on commision). So we dumped our stuff and went for an explore. An hour later we'd seen it all, had lunch and booked and paid for our devils nose train tickets the next morning. But no matter I could have walked up and down those streets all day, just a well.
Parts of town had a colourful wild west feel about them and the people were a real mix of modern dressed and traditional with their bright pink calf length skirts and sky blue cardigans with lime green poncho on top..(I always knew you could put all those colours together coz they looked awesome). There were quite a few dogs roaming around but my absolute favourite was a fluffy white alsation type who held domain of the second biggest crossroads on main street and protected its virtue with fierce determination, every single vehicle without exception was chased and barked at until it had removed itself from his intersection.. pedestrians were tugged out by their sleeve.. I wanted to keep him, he could protect my bar stool! (if I had one)
The next we went for train.. its a 2.5 hour round trip to show you the country side and a hill that's meant. to look like the devil..(personally I didn't see it) we arrived early as suggested and then stood around waiting to get on the train. the views truely were spectacular and took us on a zigzag journey to the train station at sibamba (probably spelt that wrong) where there were snacks and traditional dancing (not me obviously coz I dance like an epileptic frog)
And then back again in reverse, when we disembarked. we went to get the coach, this time headed for cuenca!