The Public Affairs Section at the Embassy (where I report to) arranged for me to visit 7 or 8 universities south of Quito this past week, ending in the small city of Riobamba. One of the Ecuadorians who works at the Embassy also invited me to visit her family in Riobamba. When the other PAS employees (both American and Ecuadorian) heard about this, they were jealous! So the Riobamba portion of my work travel turned into a weekend retreat with the whole department.
The highlight was riding El Nariz del Diablo (“The Devil’s Nose”), a train that zigzags down and back up a rock cliff in the Andes. While it was originally part of a large railroad network covering much of Andean and coastal Ecuador, many of the railroad tracks have since deteriorated. But this part of the line, which offers some gorgeous views of the mountains, is still popular with tourists (including Embassy employees and their relatives!).
See more pictures from my work/fun trip here.