There are not much left of the proud ecuadorian railways. One upon a time running up and down the mountains of the Andes. But some distances ar still preserved for tourism. for instance from the station of Quito to El Boliche, near the National Park Cotopaxi, the old wagons are still moving.
This train runs only on weekends and the trip should be reserved in advance. The ticket costs $ 15 and the reservations can be made at the tourist office in Quito.
The railway station in Quito, south of the historical center, is in itself an attraction. It is recently renovated and has a touch of old grandeur.
Every wagon got its own guide, properly dressed like the old conductors. They teach you about old Quito, Ecuadors geografi as passing the vulcan avenue and tells you a lot of railroad stories. The only thing missing is the good old steam locomotive. But it is under restoration. Next year perhaps..?
Three hours later, at the heights of 3500 meters above sea level, you reach Boliche. By leaving the train, suddenly, you get into a dense forest. Follow the path. Besides the interesting vegetation you could, if you are lucky, get a spot of the real wildlife. There are living rabbits and deers walking somewhere between the trees.
Nearly half of the trees are pines. They were introduced from North America in 1928 and doing well. But there are also other trees, much olders. Some of them were sacred trees in the times of the incas.
Back at the station, you can enjoy an Ecuadorian meal at the cafe and take a look at the small museum. Then you can return safely with the train, with another ecuador-experience in your mind.
See the pictures on other facebook site.