La Nariz del Diablo
children, relatives and precious friends
I have a problem. Sure, it is one of many. But let’s go into the concrete. I took a tour at a place called Nariz del Diablo (the nostril of the devil). I agree that it does not either sounds or smells good. It is evocative of a tourist trap, stupid trap for stupid tourists. Not for me I guess, but I took it. It was an act of outdated interest in Devil. As you know I am not a believer, that being a kind of understatement, but I keenly follow cultural fads and beliefs, just in order, please be discrete, to have a little bit of fun. Now the Devil, once a mighty ectoplasmic contraption and a backbone of the Christian, especially, cultist tradition, leading to some wild sexual intercourse, sometimes of the bestial kind, vicious executions, free torture, mutual excommunication, alliance breaking, political manipulation and endless temptations, even saints were frequently lured into sin, fell, out of fashion. Gone are the sharp horns surging from the often black curly mane, the satyr smile, the goatee, the cleft hooves, the shiny blackish or reddish complexion (you will have trouble to find a lightly coloured one in the rich Christian and not-Christian iconography) and often a quite nervous sometimes well-hidden tail ending in a mighty tuff. Except some weird cultists of the Manson criminal type nobody cares for Devil anymore, people are all LOVE & GOD, and when they have some atrocities to do, they do not take lessons from ANYBODY.
So out of curiosity, because let’s face it the Devil personality, the quest for evil, mightily inspired glorious works of art of the past, art of any kind, (see Tartini, The Devil’s Trill) less a big chunk of contemporary art, which seem to be stimulated by Morpheus, what explains the intensity of yawning it arises among the poorly educated lower classes, (let’s hope that I will finish this sentence once) I travelled to Alausi. I will relate to you everything about and please tell me what you think with empathy and commiseration, because if Alausi was bad enough, a highly perched mountainous tourist masticating hole, the gate to it, where one is supposed to pass the night, Riobamba, was worst, that means perfectly ugly provincial junction with hotels exhaling a strong flavour of mould, cat and rat.
I hate complaining tourists. If you don’t like what your purse allows you please stay home, at least there rodents and feline are under control. So, let’s go back to the fairy tale. It has nothing to do with Satan’s tail. That is also a promiscuous word, a kind of insult to our fellow animals. ENDING should be the proper word, we share that along the chain except some juniper trees which practises self-controlled amputation and succeed to hit 1000 years of continuous life span. But let’s go to the thread. Once upon the time there was a train running from Quito to Guayaquil. An American genius, John Harman conceived and achieved the project of the most difficult world’s railroad in 1905. This train rail was built by some bloody local convicts and mostly, black Jamaicans murderers. If there were any reggae around we do not have any records. The chain-gang duo! Violent gents, I cannot know which group was more unhappy. But they do not like each other. Hate is as natural as love. Or even more…it is more persistent…. They used a lot of dynamite, sticks especially to carve the way in ZIGZAG upon an enormously hard quite vertical mount called the Nariz del Diablo. Grace was promised to survivors. Many people were blasted to bits. It seems that the majority got the grace directly in heaven. You cannot find a better address for this kind of commodity. Some nasty New Historians tell that the dynamite sticks they received (the convicts, not the historians, those survive everything) had very short wicks. In a way or in another the convicted killers did it, people do everything, wicked as they were they succeed even with short wicks. So the train run. It was a piece from a major project: the Trans-Andean railway. This train is not in use anymore. The rout is picturesque. On some stretches, it is thought to be more beautiful that it is by self-appointed aesthetes (you know what I am thinking about these people, me a professional)! The trains are running at exorbitant prices. Wagons are freshly paint and properly furbished, smart locomotives are excessively polished, guides are giving learned talks in native and English language, guards are making themselves important and rail’ officials are acting. Then the tourist herd, boards the phoney vehicles. They are mostly foreigners, carry beefy gazes, avoid to look to one other, are highly embarrassed and feign exaggerate enthusiasm. They are compulsively photographing the quick dashing vanishing views barking like dogs or shrieking like small underage pigs. After a short ride they are extirpated like rotten teeth from the wagons, marooned in dubious halls, forced to have a toilet run, and violently compelled to low quality food consuming and inutile acquisition of ugly, meaningless, repelling souvenirs. On both sides of the abrupt staircase leading to that devilish compound, the only and last station, were groomed plants with ridiculously emphasized healing qualities very short from pretending they may raise the dead from his ultimate sleep, if you may call this putrid state a sleep. After that the horrid engine goes through an inept loop to its baskets and the poor dopes are ruthlessly expulsed on the same quay of shame. Me among them of course!
Now revered Danarel I am sending you the less offensive photos of this disgraceful experience with the demand to advice me how to avoid in the future the same kind degradation. Do you think that a punitive raid against the base crooks that call themselves travelling agents it is immediately justified? Dynamite? Some more severe sanctions? Please keep a friendly tone and abstain of any insinuation of shared responsibility in this sad event. And to tell you the truth noble protector angel after activating the famous wise say that “misery needs company” I arrived to the conclusion that phoney honky-tonk trains are active all over the world, like this one at Mount Washington, New Hampshire, helping suckers to spend money without wearing their weak calves.
Yours very grateful,
LA NARIZ DEL DIABLO