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The Devil's Nose

In 1901 they were constructing the railroad between Quito and Guayaquil and had to deal with ascent/descent down the side of a mountain. The found a spot locals called the Condor's Aerie and proceeded to build a zig-zag course of switch-backs so that dropped 500 meters in about 12 kilometers such that the train would go back and forth while ascending or descending. It got the nickname the Devil's Nose because of the difficulty and the deaths of workers; this name has stuck. It is hard to get a really good big picture view since we were on the train and you'd have to be further away. Several times the train stopped and members of the crew went out to look at the wheels of one car - whatever it was they fixed it or anyway it didn't matter. There was very nice mountainous views and very few people or buildings in the section of the trip.

Click for pictures:

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When I took the train from Auckland to Wellington one section went up and then down a series of mountains. From the Northern Explorer website: "Along the way, you will see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, rugged bush landscapes before ascending up the world famous Raurimu Spiral to the volcanic plateau passing the majestic volcanoes of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu - the home of the North Island skifields and descending through stunning river gorges to the farming landscapes and rocky sea scapes of the lower North Island..." The Raurimu Spiral allows you to look down and see the track you just passed over. It's a marvelous train trip, one of the best I've taken.

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