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May 30, 2003

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With our shipmates - Toby, Rasmus, Linda, and Matt - we rode a bus thru Ecuador's scenic highlands to Riobamba, a town that lies four hours south of Quito. Jill and I are heading south in Peru. Toby is traveling in Darwin's footsteps for a year as part of a college fellowship. Everywhere Darwin went, Toby plans to visit; his next stop is Tahiti (what a great college fellowship). Matt is in business school and traveled here to learn about Ecuador's banana business. Both of these guys will turn back to Quito after today. Rasmus and Linda are two Scandinavians bumming around South America for a few months. They will go south to Peru as well, but at a slower pace. We said goodbye today.
Passengers can ride atop the train from Riobamba to Alausi. It's a converted bus on trainwheels and it's been completely taken over by the tourists. With fifty other gringos we rode atop from Alausi over the famed Nariz del Diablo, the Devil's Nose, a series of railway switchbacks in the Ecuadorian Andes.