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CARACAS TO BOGOTA,

SANTA MARTHA,
110

1823.

LOKDOIIl: ( 1 JI
PRINTED FOR G. COWIE & CO. 31, POULTRY.

\' _ 1824. I( ~7
:;
1- '} 1 i-, J '}P

S ~ \ \1 ~.):~:~

J. Hnddon. Prinlf'r, Castle Slrf'et, Fin.bury.


-
TH E writ~r of the fol1owing Letters puts
them forth withno other pretension than that
of giving a faithful account of what he had the
opportunity of observing on his journey.

Pretending to neither literary talent, nor


scientific attainment, he would not, however,
have considered mere accuracy of observation
a sufficient apology for the publication, but for
the waut so universally felt in Great Britain of
information as to the actual oondition of the
Republic of Colombia.

The more .that rich and b~autiful country


becomes kriown, the .greater will be the m·
vi PREFACE.

terest excited towards it among aH EuropeaM~


So extensive a field for the exercise of Euro-
pean industry and intelligence has not for ages
presented itself. Nature discloses, on all
sides, inexhaustible treasures, both of the
mineral and vegetable kingdoms ;-the skill
and labour of man are alone wanting to draw
them forth. The variety of soil and climate
afl'ords scope for every species of production,
and enables the stranger to choose those which
may suit his constitution and pursuits. The
scene on aH sides is, in short, abundantly
inviting; and the traveller, in passing through
the country, sees such extensive capabilities-
so much scope for improvement, that he hardly
knows which object he ought to tak~ up first.

The sufl'ering caused by the Revolution has


been excessive-the desolation extreme. Both
mark, in a manner highly honourable to tbe
Colombians, the undeviating cOI;lstancy with
which, for fourteen years, they have persevered
in a struggle,-not of faction against legitimate
authority, but of ·lawfuI rigbt against unlawful
PRj:FACE. Vil

oppre,<ision. lt Is. perhap~ not ge~e~y.


known in this country. that the original con-
querors of Spanish A~erica established solemIJ.
treaties betwee.n the inhabitants oC tbose na-:-
tians. and the crown oí Spain; by which th~
fon;n~ beca~e subject to the Spanish crowQ,
but with c~rtain provisio~s and stipulations.
calculated to secure t() thero particular right~
and privileges. The~e treat~es we1;6 wholly,
disregarded, and trampled un~er foot by tije
~panish Government. Remonstrance a{ter re..
monstrance w~ ma~e to the Court of Madrid;.
T.\1,ey ~ere ~ocked at~ and despised. A grea.ter
exalllple oí patient and enduring loyalty, th~
that exhibited fOl three centuries by the Co-
lonies oC Spain, history does not furnish. It
was not sufficient that the greatest political
privations were inHicted on the inhabitants ;-
they were even prohibited from cultivating
some oC the most valuable fruits of the earth.
The vine and the olive-tree were forbidden
plants thro~ghout aH Spanish America. And
why? That the wine and tbe oil of the mother
country might alone be consumed by tbe
VlU PREFACE.

Colonists. In short; a more absurd system oí


misrule - a more heartless, selfish tyranny,
than that exercised by Spain over its trans-
marine possessions, the world has no example
of. With so docile a people, any thing like a
moderately liberal system of govemment would
have secured these valuable countries to Spain
for ever. She has now irrevocably lost them,-
not by the rebellion oí discontent against the
restraints of rational government, but by her
own infraction oí .the most solemn and in-
alienable engagements. A few years of peace
will shew how much the interests of humanity
at large have benefited by the change.
CONTENTS.

LETTER I.
Description of the country near La Guayra, p. 1, Of
. the town, 2. Landing, ib. Beds, 3. Account of earth-
quake at La Guayra, ib. Inhabitants, ib. Commerce,
4. Cocoa-nut trees, i}j. Houses, ib. Further des.crip-
tiOD of country round La Guayra, 5. Departure, ib.
Scen'erynear La Venta, 6. Its great height, 7. Deseent
to Ca~eas, ib. DellCription of the town, 8. Aceount
of the eathedral, ib. Country when eonquered, 9.
heat, 10. Vale of Caracas, ib. Agriculture, &c. ib.

LETTER 11.
Departure from Caracas, p. 11. Distance to Bogotá, 12.
Method of travelling, ib. Description of country, ib.
Plantations, ib. Village of Las Juntas, 13. Fighting
cocks, 14. Deseription of the Andes, ib. Difficulty of
travelling, ib. Fertility of soil, ib. Climate, 15.
Buena Vista, ib. Village 'of San Pedro, ib. Coek-
fight on Sunday, ib. Seenery, 16. Dine at Las Ala-
jas, ib. Village of Las Coquises, ib. Badness of
roads, ib. Description of the inn-keeper, 17. His
poetry, ib. Proceed to Consejo, ib. Productions, 18.
Account of La Victoria, 19. Heat, ib. Sugar plaDta-
tiOD, ib. Proces! of making sugar, 20. Haciendas,
x
21. Village of Maracay, ib. Milk-tree,22. Gen.
Paez, ib. Lake of Valencia, 23. Scenery, ib. Ex-
tent, ib. Fort Cabrera, 24. San Joachin, ib.
Guacárá, ib. Description oí Valencia, 25. Amuse-
ments, ib. When, and by whom founded, 26.
Further account of General Paez, ib. Clímate,27.
Soíl, ib. Letter frem Bolívar, 28. Account of our
host Don Fernando Pefialver, 29. Departure from
Valencia, 30. Tocuyito, ib. Situation, 31. Hospi-
talityof tbe Colombians, ib. Field of battle at Cara-
bobo, ib. Romantic scenery, 32. Fire flies, ib.
Disasters, ib. El Hoyo, ib. Birds, 34. Mocking-
bird's nest, ib. Various birds of beautiful plumage,
ib. Tinaquillo, 35. Houses, ib. Situation oí Tinaco,
ib. Approach to San Carlos, 36. Indigo, ib.
'Description of San Carlos and its environll, 87.
Trade, 38. Great heat, 39. Population, ib. San
José, ib. La Ceva, ib. Scenery, ib. Caramacal,
40. Description oí tbe Alcaldé, 41. Montana del
Altar, ib. Indian famíly, ib. Rivel Cogedes, 42.
W retched accommodation, ib. Gloomy scene, 43.
Boca del Montana, 44. La Morita, ib. Augare, ib.
Great íertility oí soil, 45. Town oí Barquesimeto, ib.
Population, ib. Great devastation caused by earth-
quake, ib. Situatíon, ib. When founded, ib. Saritas
Blancos, ib. Las Horcones, ib. PrOcluCtiODS, ib...,
Chibor, ib. Arrival at Tocuyo, &c. ib.

LETTER IIl.
Second division of journey, p. 48., The Dame of Vene-
zuela whence derived, ib. AccouDt of Tocuyo, ib.
Situation, 49. ProductioDs, ib. PopulatioD, 50.
Bathiug, ib. Bread, ib. Departure, fil. Roau, ib.
Ap}lroach to Olmucaro, ib.. Olmuearo Ab~, ib.

.
Xl

Indians, ib. Temperature, 61. Cunous bridge, ib.


Grand scenery, 54. Great variety of Hoyers and
shrubs, ib. Agua de Obispas, 56. CUmate, ib.
Produce, ib. Departure, ib. Road, ib. Myrtles,
ib. Vale of Carache, 58. Fine and picturesque
seenery, ib. Deseent to Carache, ib. Appearance,
ib. Miserable habitations, ib. Dearth of provisions
and wine, 59. Departnre, ib. .Vale of St. Auna,
ib. Extent, ib. Well calculated for a European
Settlement, 60. Temperature, 61. Soil, ib. Pro-
ductions, ib. Curiosity, ib. Mocoy, 62. Great
poverty, 68. Continue our march, ib. Road, ib.
Vill"ge of Panpanito, ib. Description of the men,
and their accoutrements, 64~ Heat, ib. Fine coup
ti' ail, 66. Savanna Larga, il,. River Motatan, ib.
Fine trees, ib. Cocoa hacienda, 66. Valera, ib.
Great l&ke, ib. Exteut, ib. Temperature, ib. Ap-
proach to Mendoza, 67. Fine mountainous and
forest seenery, 68. Humboldt's description of Ameri-
can woods, ib. Vale of Timotes, 69. Procession of
San Filipe, 70. Chabge of temperature, ib. Cha-
copo, ib. Mucuchies,71. Population,72. Climate,
ib. River Chama, ib. Mucucubar, ib. Description
of the cOlmtry, 73. Arrival at Merida, ib.

LETTER IV.
Account of Merida, 74. Productions, ib. Vale of
Chama, 75. Heat, ib. Heigbt of the mountain,
ib. Situation, ib. Descri.ption of tbe city, ib. Popu-
lation, 76. Convents, ib. Soil, ib. Value of hlnd,
77. River Chama, 78. Departure, 79. Descrip-
tion of the road, ib. Acacia and wild jasmine, so.
St. Juan, 81. Señor Pina, ib. Account of the in-
habitants, ib. Spanish oppression, ib. Convent, 83.
xii
Singular lake near· Sto Juan, ib. Indian divers, ib.
Departure from Sto Juan, 81. Fine scenery, ib.
Difficult and dangerous pass, ib. Account of two
singular bridges, 85. Estanques, ib. Coffee planta-
tion. 86. Cocoa trees, ib. The coffee plant and
L'Erytrine, f5i. Method of keeping slaves free of
expence, 88. . Abolition of slavery, ib. Curious and
affecting circumstance, 89. Mosquitos 'and the ejen,
ib. Horse stung by a serpent, 90.· Forest trees, 91.
Description of· Vijagúal, ib. Tobacco plant, 92.
Places where grown, 93. Bayladore, ib. La Ceva-
da, 94. Situation. ib. . Vale of La Playta, ib. Dove.
and pigeon shooting, ib. Mode of agricuIture, ib.
Te'mperature, 95. Mule stolen, ih. La Greta, 96.
Situation, ib. W omen, ib. General Morales, ib.
Road to El Cobre, 97. Manner of conveyiog dis-
patcbes, ib. Ascent of El Zumbador, 98. Approach,
ib. Disappointment, 99. Savannah Larga, lOO.
Valley, ib. River Tormes, ib. Tariva, ib. Road,
Capachio, ib. Lancasterian school, ib. San Anto-
nio de Cucuta, 102. Arrival at Rosario de Cueuta,
ib. \ Population of the Province of Venezuela, 103.
Proportions of ditto, ib. Extent of country, &c. &c.
104.

LETTER V.
Account of Rosario de Cucuta, 106. Church, ib.
Painting, ib. Appearance of the town, 107. Popu-
lation, ib. Hot spring, ib. Iti; great' heat, 108.
Dancing, ib. Provisions, ib. Departure, 109. ·Fine
view, ib. Róad, ib. Cotton plant, and when intro-
duced, ib. Soil, 110. Snakes, ib. Produce of the
hacienda, 111. River San José, ib. Serpent shot,
ib. New road from Carillo to Pamplona, 112.
Description of the country round, ib. Fertility of
~ii

soil, ib. Gallenazo, ib. Village oí Chopo, 113.


Cheapness oí provisions, ib. View oí Pamplona, ib.
Account oí the city, 114. CODvent oí Franciscan
N UDS, ib. Paintings, ib. Temperature, 115. Gold
mines oí Veta, fu. Copper and silver mines, ib.
Population, 116. Departure, ib. Singular eolour oí
soil, ib. Fine spring oí water, ib. Village oí Cacuta,
117. Chitagá, ib. Bad aeeommodation, ib. Hoop-.
ing-cough, ib. Aseent oí the Paramo Almoeadero,
118. Beauty oí the cattle, 119. Temperature, ib.
Serito, ib. 8ervita, ib. Village oí La Coneepcion,
ib. Gaetano Gareia, the Curate, ib. Aeeount oí the
village, ib. Quantity oí sulphur, 120. Malaga, ib.
Agreeable eompanions in our night's lodging, 121.
Village oí Llano Anciso, ib. Deseription oí the
Goitres, ib.. Fine seenery, 122. Rivar Chichamaehe,
ib. Village, ib. Population, ib. Heat, 123. The
eucurachas, ib. The road to Tipacaque, ib. Beauty'
of flowers and shrubs, ib. Approach to Soata, 124.
Arrival at Soata, ib.

LETTER VI.
Leave the mountains, 125. Village oí Susaceo, ib.
Great hospitality of Madame Calderon, ib. Storm,
126. Village, of Satiou, ib. Market day, ib.
Militia, 127. Dress of the females, ib. Comfortable
shelter, ib. River Chiquito, 128. Differenee be-
tween Venezuela and New Grenada, ib. Vale of
8erinSa, 129. Produce, ib. Cottages, ib. Popula-
tion, 130. Example oí their patriotism, ib. Arrival
at Santa Rosa, ib. State in which we fOlmd the
people, ib. Village of Duitáma, 131. Defeat of the
Spaniards by Bolivar, ib. Catile, ib. Village of
paypa,· ib. Battle of Boyacá, 132. Village of Tuta,
·
XIV

ih. Account of the Curate, Antonio Guevara: his


great informabon and excessive hospitality, ib.
Curates, 133. Tunja, ib. Situation, 134. Manu-
factory, ib. Custom of the Spaniards, ib. Convents,
135. Monks, ib. Paintings, ib. SOr Bafios, 136.
Colegio de Boyacá, ib. Lancasterian School, ib.
Temperature, ib. State of tbe country, 137. Field
oí Bayacá, ib. Account of tBlt Battle, ib. Venta
Quemada, ib. Moonlight ride, 138. La Pila, ib.
Bad accommodations, ib.· Description of country,
139. Village of Chocontá, ib. Vale of San Vicente,
ib. Game, ib. Esquelé, 140. Village oí Guacha-
sipá, ib. Tocunsipá, ib. Zipaquirá, 141. Salt
mines, ib. The plain, ib. Hacienda, ib. Susaquia,
ib. N eglect oí cultivation, 142. Arrival at Santa
Fé de Bogotá, the capital oí the Republic', ib.

LETTER VII.
Difflculty of proeuring a house, 143. Promenade, ib.
A deseription of our lodging, 144. Visit to the Viee-
President and Ministers, ib. General Santander, ib.
Sor Goal; 145. Castillo, ib. Sor Restrepo, ib.
General Brisefio Mendez, ib. Bishop oí Maracaibo
and Merida, ib. General Oudine~ta, ib. Dr. Pefia,
ib. Seite of Bogotá, 14.6. Differeooe between the
ascent and descent of the river Magdalena, ib.
Method oí travelling, ib. Climate, 147. Elevation.
of the table land, 148. The Plain, ib. Height oí
the mountains Serrat and Guadaloupe, 149. Popu-
latíon oí Bogotá, 150. Churches and convents, ib.
Streets, 151. Calle Real, ib. Provisions, ib. Wines,
152. ~es of some articles, ib. Costume oí the
ladies, ib. Peasantry, 163. Beautiful womeD, ib.
Theil' depravity, 154. Village oí Soacha,I55. Road
xv
to the falls of Tegnendama, ib. Tbe country round,
ib. Tbe river, 166. Description of tbe faIIs, 167.
Reroarkable lake, 158. Catbedral of Bogotll, 159.
Paintings, ib. Chnrch of Sto Juan de Dios, 160.
National Congress, iD. Government, ib. Legislative
authority, ib. Passing of laws, ib; General elections,
162. Qualifications of a Membel, ib. The Senate,
100. Qualifications of a Senator, ib. Executive
poW'er, 164. Ministers, ib. Judicialautborities, 165.
High Cotlit of JusUce, ib. Debates, 166. Senate
honsel ib. Speeches, 167. Sor Soto, 168. Mr.
Hurtado, ib. Padre Breceno, ib. Bishop of Merida,
ib. Vice-President Torres, 169. General Nariñ~,
ib. Gual and Castillo, 170. Two speeches of Sor
Gual, ib. Tbe SessioDS, 171. Party spirit, ib.
Chamber of Representativas, 172. Interesting de-
bate, 173. -Sor Caycedo, 174. Sor Pedro Mosquera,
175. Dr. Palacio, ib. Padre Santander, ib. Sor
Herrera, ib. Col. Olivarez, ib. Six new laws, 176.

LETTER VIII.
Engage passage to hmaica, 177. Depárture froro
Bogotá, ib. Serresuela, ib. Facatativá, ib. Venta
()f Cerredera, ib. Heigbt, ib. Description of the
road and country, 178. Ascent of the Alto del Trigo,
179. Fine and picturesque scenery, ib. Guarduas,
ib. Situation, 180. Thunder storm, ib. Dangerous
descent, un. The coral snake, ib. River Magda-
lena, ib. Width and iropetuosity, ib. Temperature,
182. Site of Honda, ib. Indian carriers, ib. River
GuaIe, 183. Purcbase a canoe, ib. Rapids, ib.
Dangerous pass, 184. Río Negro-, Rio Claro, Río
de la Mien, ib. Overflow of tbe Magdalena, 185.
Bats, ib. Alligators, ib. Tigers, ib. Turtles, 186.
xvi
Village of Nare, 187. Change our boat, ib. Riyer
Junta, ib. Garapata, ib. Dews, 188. Sto Barto-
lomé, ib. River Nuevo, ib. Heat, ib. Sunset,
ib. S. Pablo, 189. ~adillo, ib. Variety of birds.
ib. Monkies, ib. Snakes, ib. Lions, ib. W olves,
ib. Butterflies, ib. N eglect of cultivation, 190.
Champans, ib. Meeting of two boats, 191. Account
of the bogas, ib Budillo, 19'2. The Bra~o Ocatia,
Viilages, 193. Expedition of travelling, ib. City of
Mompox, ib. Commeree, 194. Population, 195.
Pass several villages, ib. River Cauea, ib. River
scene. ib. Heavy squall, 196. Great heat, ib.
Nivito, 197. Baranea Viejo, Baranca Nuevo, ib.
El Digue, ib. Ducal, ib. Heat, ib. Kayman or
alligator, ib. Leave the Magdalena, 199. Grand
seenery, ib. Cafíos, or lakes, 200. Cienaga, ib.
Pueblo Viejo, ib. Proceed over land to Santa Mar-
tha, 201. Description of town and coast, ib. Eleva-
tion, 202. Cathe~ral, 203. Population, ib. Com-
merce, 204. Steam.boats, ib. Savanilla, ib. General
Padilla, 206. Acc~unts received of a battle and
vietory, ib. Joy of the populace, 207. Women, ib.
Balls, ib. Curious custom, ib. Carthagena, 208.
Mexieo and its population, ib. Engage a passage to
KingstoD, ib.
.:::1 Goog[c
_1

, ,
of.~'

!!t

4
LETTERS,
~c.

OARAOAs, 2111 February. 1823.

M y former letter· will have put you in pos-


session of the narrative of a most favourable
voyage from Falmouth, of thirty-three days;
1 therefore resume my Journal from the'

Utk Feb. near La Guayra. How grand and


magnificent a sight is now before us! The splen-
did coast of Terra Firma rises in lofty majesty,
till its to~ering mountains are lost to view in
the fleecy c10uds that envelop their summits.
How novel and sublime a prospect the first
opening of this fine country to an Europeanl
its very aspect bespeaks independence! We
are coasting along at the distance of a few
miles; the mountains, which rise abruptly
from the verge of the sea to a stupendous
height, are completely c10thed in verdure,·
B
2

which, on nearing the land, seems principall}{\


to consist of brushwood, with here and theré t
patches of foresto In two or three spots near !
the sea, the ground is c1eared, and srríall/
Indian villages and plantations form a pleasing \
varietv . The Silla, or Saddle Mountain of
Caracas is by far the highest in this range of
eminences on the side o~a Guayra; At three
o'c1ock we
......
,
were at anchor before the town,
which, is a singular object, appearing as if it
had dropped in a heap at the bottom of a deep
ravine.; the mountains at its back rise to an
amaZlng height, and are most imposing.in tbeir
aspecto Although the most frequented, tbis
is by far the· worst port on the Coast, being
exposed to a constantIy rough sea.
,--~-...

·Owing to the swell, it was not witbout some/


difficulty we landed at a rotten wooden pieil We"
proceeded thence to the French P-osada (inn).
It was dinner time; and many of tbe inhabi-
tants of tbe town had met at the Ordinary-
a promiscuous assemblage, from the shop-
keeper's c1erk to the governor. (Almost. the -
first object thatpfesented itself to our vie~, on / \j
landing, was the coast covered with wreck~i; a
violent sweIl from the N. E., unaccomp;~ied
by any wind, having, in the preceding month,
~t on' l!Ihore every vessel, excepti~g an Ame-
. a
.acan frigate, that was lying off the port.
There were no less tban fourteen hulls then on
the beach, and amongst them Captain --'s
ship, himself and crew having fortunately been
saved. After paying our respects to the
Governor, we supped with Mr. - - , a respec-
table merchant here, ana had beds prepared
for us at the inn, after the fashion of the
country. These are nothing complicated;
consisting of a simple piece of canvas drawn
tight upon a stret~her, with a paír of sheets,
and a &iley bolster; I daTe say well adapted
to the climate, but certainly a novelty! In
spite of a whole fraternity of fleas and mus,,:
quitos we slept soundly until four the next
Dí.oming-

12th Feb. When my compagnons de voyage


mounted their mules for Caracas, with a view to
ma.k.e the necessary arrangements for our imIDe-
diate departure for Bogotá. The town of La
~ayra pre5len~s a most dismal aspect, from too '
':ravages commItted by the earthquake of 1812;
two-t~irds of it, at least, is a he~p of ruins,

/ and the tatt!lred appearance'of the black popu-


lation is in unison with the general desolati<?-n..:
amongst them I observed many well made, and
eren athletic meno The female sex are more
. tmaightl~, and neither of them are incu~llJ.bered
B 2
4

by superfluous clothing; the children have


none at aH. The commerce carried on with
La Guayra is considerable, and is daily in-
creasing, with the English and North Ame-
ricans. ~uring my short stay (1 "visited a
pretty little village on the sea coa~ at the
distance of a mile, called MaiquetIa. It is
,characterized by á fine grove of cocoa-nut
'trees, which, I believe, thrive best near the
sea-shore. It is an elegant tree, growing to
the height of fifty or sixty feet, the top of the
stem being crowned with about fifty leaves
from ten to fifteen feet long, with nuts in
c1usters of about a dozen each hanging from it.
The houses here are constructed in a manner to
exc1ude heat as much as possible, alld admit
the sea breezes, which set in from' ten in the
morning until sun-set. They have generally a
court in the centre, surrounded by an open
terrace, which communicates with the respec-
tive apartments. The rooms are lofty, and for
the most part tiled instead of boarded; which,
in a hot c1imate is pleasant, for every other
reason, than that it generates fleas most
abundantly.

13th Feb. This morning Ihad an opportu-


nity of seeing a little of the wild aspect of the
country round La Guayra, in seeking for a fit \
5

spot to bathe in; a small rivulet descending


from the mountalns at the back of the town,

I
>
and forming occasional pits, is frequented for
this~ purpos~ The scenery is grand and
striking, but just as nature formed it, unaided
by art or cultivation. The mountains, rising
to a towering height, lose their summits in the '
clouds; many fine ravines are formed, clothed
in wood; and the stream, falling from one
steep to another, is occasionally seen through
the openings. Several birds of curious plu-
mage frequent these solitudes, but 1 did not
observe any that were particularly beautiful.

Humboldt speaks of the yellow fever as pre-


vailing at La Guayra; if it was known there in
bis time, it has disappeared since, foro there is
no trace of it at presento An English physician
directed his enquiries particularly to this point.
during a short stay at La Guayra and Caracas,
but could no where meet with, or hear of the
yellow fever.

Having dispatehed the cavalcade of baggage


mules to Caracas, 1 took leave of La Guayra at
I three o'clock, aridcommenced the steep ascent
\1 which is cut in a zig-zag form up the mountain./
The roadis so rough and precipitous, that it
6
,,- .
./IUrprizes 000 how &O mueh traffie can be' - ,1
earried on with the interiotJ It was long
before La Guayra began sensibly to recede
from our view; but by dint Qf perseverance we
reached "La Venta," the half-way house, in
three hours. Nothing can exc~ed the gran- '
deur of the .scenery while winding up this
immense steep. The mountains are generally
wooded, excepting only in .a few spots whe(e
they have been c1eared to' give place to
"Tierras" of maize, plaintains, coffee, &c.;
and words cannot convey an adequate idea oí
the majestic beauty of the view from the
Venta, which has already been most 'justly
celebrated :-.

"This spot doea indeed, when the clouds


permit, present a magnificent view of the sea
and the neighbouring eoast. You discover an
horizon of more than t'Yenty-two lcagues
radius; the white shore refiects a duzling
mass of light, and you see at your feet Cape
Blanco, the village of Maiqqetia with its
cocoa trees, La Guayra, and the vessels lying
at anchor in the port. But this view is far
more extraordinary when the sky is not serene,
and trains of clouds strongly illumined on
their upper surface seem projected, like fioatin¡
1

islands, on too surface of the ocean. Strata oí


vapour, hovering at different heigMs, then forro.
intermediary spaces between the eye and the
lower -regions. From an illusion easilr' ex-
plained, they enlarge the scene, and re~der it
more extraordinary. Trees and dwellings dis-
cover themselves fram time to time, through
the openings which are left by the clouds
driven on by the winds, and ralling ayer one
another. Objects then appear at a greater
depth than when seen through a purer and
. "
more serene au.

According to Humboldt's computation this


SPQt is 3,600 feet aboye the level of the sea, and
thedifference of temperature between it and
La Guayra is very striking. From hence to the
summit of the mountain, which 1 reached at
sun-set, is a distance oí two miles, and thence
to La Guayra is computed at eleven, which it
took me four hours _to perform, The..,descent
- to the vale of Caracas;is seven more. The view '
of that city from hence, 1 am informed, is one
of.the grandest sights imaginable, and 1 have to
regret tha! the advanee of evening deprived me
of the enjoyment of ita It was eight o'dock
when \Rassed the city gates, descending by the
Calle (street) deCarabobó, a complete picture of
desol,.tion-that part of- Cara.c8:S nearest to the
8

mountain presenting a continued mass of ruins.


F<* the fuIl spaceoí' a mile the streets were.
overgrown with weeds, and entirely uninha-
bite<0 Such are the remains of the violent I
earthquake of 1812 !

20th Feb. 1 regret that fuIl employment dur-


ing my short stay in the second capital of
Colombia prevents my giving a very detailed
account of its peculiarities. It is situated in a
valley, about four leagues in extent, running
east an~ west, and surrounded 'by· the immense
chain of mountains which border the sea from
Coro to Cumaná; the only regularity observable
in the town is the direction of the streets,
which run at right angles; the principal square
is called the Placa Mayor, where the market is
held; it is built without any symmetry or order,
and sllrrounded by small shops which are any
thing but ornamental. The cathedral occupies
the eastern side. The houses of Caracas, once
so rich in the costliness of their furniture and
decorations, can now barely boast the com-
monest artic1es of convenience, and it is withthe
utmost difficulty that atable, chair, or bedstead,
can at present be procured. The cathedral is
neither remarkable for its architectural regllla-
rity or taste; on the contrary, one is surprized
to see in the capital where the Roman Catholic
9

religion is, or rather was, so honored, an edi:6.ce


that does not correspond more with the former
size ,and importance of this city; the interior is
divided by four rows of pillars at equal distances,
consequently the nave has only the width ofthe
aisles; the principal altar, instead of being de-
tached, is' :6.xed to the wall, and notwithstanding
the gaudiness. of ornament, and a certain degree
of grandeur, as respects the size and general
effect,. the severa! parts will not bear scrutiny.
Depons informs us, that in 1641, a plan was laid
for a superb structure, but when, in the com-
mencement of the work, a severe shock of an
earthquake arrested itsprogress; it was then
decided that solidity should take the lead of
magnificepce, and such is the character of '. the
present building, which indeed its age bespeaks,
having stood nearly two centuries, braving the
repeated shocks of earthquakes, and aboye all,
theoverwhelming calamity of 1812, which has
laid more than half the town in ruins.

The early settlers in Spanish America had


more .difficulty in conquering .the district of
Caracas than any other on the main, for within
a circumference of ten or twelve leagues there
were upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand
Indians, governed by more than thirty Caciques:
after desperate resistance they were at length
10

cenquered by Don Diego Losada, who founded


the city in 1567. Dllring. our stay bere the
climate was most delightful, the maximum of
. heat not exceeding 75°, and the mornings and·
evenings sufficiently cool .to make additional
clothing agreeable. Frui~ of various kinds are
very abundant and delicious. A beautiful pano-
rama of the vale and town of Caracas, might be
taken from the ruins of an old hospital, situated
on a gentle rise near the foot of the Silla.

This vale, formerly so celebrated for its great


fertility and the value of ita productions, is now, \
with the exception of a few Haciendas,- much
neglected; but it would be untair from tbis cir-
cumstance to judge of the people's disposition
to industry, for in no part of the Republic are
they more distinguished for agricultural activity;
the cause may very justly be assigned to tha .
desolating and long protracted war, in wbich
they have struggled for, and ,at length obtained
their independence.

My next letttr will probably give sorne ac-


count oC out progress towards Bogotá: as a
favourable opportunity presenta itself of for-
. warding this to Europe, 1 will not detain it fur
. further particulars.
• Estatal.
tI: '

TOCUYO, 27th MareA.


1 intend to be faithful to my promise by
. informing you from ~ime to time of our progress
-the aspect of the country-itsinhabitants-
manners-customs-and general state of affairs.
Although 1 feel and lament rny incompetency to
delineate these objects with the force they de-
serve, to cohvey any thing like an adequate
idea of the grandeur and 8ublimity of the
scenery-general fertility of the soil-its pro-
ductions, spontaneous, and such as result from
cultivation-both for want of the necessary in-
formation, and from myvery recent acquaintance
witli this quarter of the globe, i will endeavour
to impart to you what little 1 have acquired by
observation, resuming my journal from the
-period of our leaving Caracas. 1 must, how-
ever, prepare yon to expéct many repetitions,
for as aH definitions of the same thing have a
tendency to resemblance, so the descriptions
of country, which frequent1y occur, must always
bear in a degree that similarity to each other
whichthey have general1y to their object.

22d Feb. Afier a 8tay of ten days at Caracas


the object of OUT detention being satisfactorily
arranged, we took leave of our friends at tiye
in tbe at'temoon, equipped With every requi-
12
Bite and convenience for the joumey to Bogotá,
the capital of the Republic, from hence a dis-
tance computed at 1,200 miles!

The only method of travelling in this country


being· on mules, the best were provided that
Caracas afforded. - . - accompanying us a few
miles on our route, formed with the three tra-
velling companions, and like number of servants,
a larger cavalcade than had departed hence for
some time. Tocuyo was fixed upon as the place
of rendezvous, where the arriero in charge of
OUi" eifects was to join uso

The evening as usual, was delightfully mild and


serene; by sun-set we had gained the summit
of an eminence from whence the retrospect of
the city is extremely fi-ne, backed by its lofty
Cordillera, or range of Andean mountains, in
the centre oí which the Silla (so named from a
dip between its east and west extremity, which
gives it the shape of a saddle,) was emInently
conspic'Uous: on the left of theroad, situated in
a delightfúl valley, and half enclosed by wooded
heights; .the first object of much interest that
presented itselfwas a sugar plantation, belong-
ing to a rich merchánt of Caracas. The trans-
parent tints of the cane, its romantic situatioD,
th~. river Guayra windingthrough the plantatioD,
13

together with a v~riety of trees peculiar to the


western hemisphere, forming altogether a scene
of deep interest. Gur friend left us at the village
,of Antimoné, and ~4ursued our raute through
" the vale of Caracas, o,nce so celebrated for its
richness and fertility, now in a state of compa-
rative abandonment, but not less interesting
from the noble struggle whence it has pro-
ceeded: the moon shone with uncommon splen-
dour to illumine this scene of novel and pecu-
liar beauty; on each side the road mountains
rose to a great height, apparently meeting th~
brilliant stars that twinkled on their summits;
the murmuring Guayra still accompanying uS.
Such a scene, softened by a most delicious tem-
perature-the stillness of the evening, inter-
rupted only by the progress of the~ river and
chirruping of crickets-was truly astonish-
mg.

At eight o'dock we stopped at a small village,


called u Las Juntas" (from the junction oí several
streams,) to give time for the arrival oí the bag~
gage, our sable cook, a m,ast important person-
age, having aIready fallen in tite rear. We waited
three hours in expectation of his arrival, when
it became too late to proceed; the hammocks
were therefore slung under a shed in the Pal-
peria, a method of rest to me so unusual that 1
.'

14
liad little sleep, and was startled before it W8S
light by the crowing of a fighting cock close at
my ears. These animals are customary inha-
bitants in all Palperias throughout the country.
. '

A rnessenger who had been dispatclíed after the


cook retumed without any tidings of him.

23rd Feb. Sunday. We mounted:r-._--


'
at six, and
quitting the plain of Caracas,lpegan to ascend
the mountains which separate it from the valley
of Aragon-here the river Guayra takes it.\ '
source, and the country at every turn presents'
1
objects for encreasing admiratio!i):;
. , the road I
was steep, but our animals being such as con-
quer aH difficulties, we were soon enclosed by
this branca of the .Andes, which you must
picture to yourself as the grandest of scenery;
'indeed, on such a scale, that 1 am at a loss to
give you any idea of it. The mountains are
covered with the very richest verdure, and
apantaneous natural. ornaments. Trees and
shrubs of such variety and exquisite beauty, as
quite astonish the inexperienced mind of a
EurQpean, and render every step of the deepest
interest; a new obJect presents itself at every
winding, and the attention is kept in a state of
eonstant excitement by the magnificence of the
changes. The richness of the verdure is ,not
too least souree oí astonishment and admiratioD
15
in" a tropical climate, where ane expects to see
vegetation parched and burnt by a vertical sun;
here, on the contrary, it luxuriates in the
greatest possible freshness; the climate is
delicious, owing to the rarity oC the air at so
great an elevation. In fact, nature aeema full,
spreading her gifts with an abundant hand in
the midst of a perpetual Spríng! The ,road
lay occasional1y through beautifully verdant
:a.venues; it would then open to a panoramic
view of the sea, of mountains that encompassed
us, with here and there an ineonsiderable spot
of cultivation.

/'1Iaving passed ce Buena vista," ari. eminence


/which describes its meaning, 1 must lead you ,
{()n to the village'of San Pedro, a distance oí
four leagues, which we performed beforebreak· ¡

__ fasto Its site"in a small valley;)is very roman·


tic ; but the 'place itself is "inconsiderable,
consisting only of a few hovels, amongst which
we found a Pulpería. (Ü being Sunday, the
)inha:bitants had assembled to witness a cacE.
jiight, a diversion peculiar to the day, and a
i very favoríte amusement throughout the country.
i '

': There wereno less than four combatants in


~ach comer of the room where 'our hammocks
were placed, whose oonstant music intefllUpted
our mid.day slumbersL~
16
At two, we again mounted and eommeneed a
steep aseent, the roadstill winding through a
grand and nat~rally rich country, abounding in
a variety of beautiful shrubs and wild flowers,
such as in Europe would excite the greatest
admiration. We dined at a plac:e ealled Las
Alajas, commandingly situated on tms summit,
the highest point of the Cordillera.
, For our
dinner, consisting only of a few eggs and a
piece of lean pork dried in the sun, with a botde
of bad Catalonian wine, our simple mountain
host would have charged ns the moderate sum
of seven dollars, the half of which he ultimately
received with evident glee. The distance hence
to Las Coquises (named after a species of aloe,
o which grows in great" abundance in its vicinity)
is three leagues; but by such a steep descent,
and so bad a road, resembling more the bed of
a mountain torrent, than the principal commu-
nication in the country, that it was late ere we
reached it. The" Posadero"· was gone to hed,
o and it required all our persuasion,·aceompanied
by liberal promises, to induce him to open the
door-one of the fraternity having been mal-
treated by travellers a few nights before; how-
ever he mada ample amends for our detention,
bysetting before u,s an excellent Bupper; and
was in himself so complete an original, as highly
• Innkeeper.
17

to entertain uso It would indeed be difficult to


find a better personifi~ation .of Sancho than
"Coetano Rios;" the(followibg are specimens
\ of his 'p~etry, as inscribed on the walls of ihe
Posada j -

Todo el que traiga Oinero,


Entre a tratar con este Ventéro.

Companeros! Hoy no' se fia aqui,


Manana Si!

Vayan Entrando; Vayan Comi¡mdo;


Vayan pagando y Vayan Saliendo.

Ye ",bo bave pockets fuIl, may enter bere:


Tbe host sball welcome-and ne'er doubt YOllr cheer•

.,../'TraveIler, no trust is given bere to-day,


I we'n trust to-morrow, if to-day you payo
í ./
/ Pray e~ter hel'e, eat, drink your fill,
:' Merry depart-but pay your bill !

This is the first village in the plains of Aragua.


so celebrated for their valuable productions and
ferti1ity. At ten o'dock we again proceeded,
and had a most delightfu1 ride to Consejo, two
leagues distant. The moon shone with great
splendour when we 1eft the Posada, and fol-
lowed the course of a small river, the Tuy. On
. our right the plain was cultivatedwithsugar cane,
e
18

maize, and pbln~ fOl" about half a. mile, when -


it termil1a.tOO suddenly in high mountains richly
wooded. On the apposite bank, ¡hey rose
abruptly from the stream, the whole f0rming a
view of great beauty in so soft a light. We
found it expedient to take advantage of the
moon-lig~t nights as much as possible; they
certainly tend to enhance the rich eirect of such
scenery. Too same difficulty again occurred \
in gaining admittance bere; and it was past
twelve when we "turned in," after a long day's
Journey.
,rO

24th Feb. Jn the last village,ithere is nothing


worthy of remark ;.Iike most others consisting
of onIy a few cottages Of huts, which are' ex- \
tremely p~or aud miserabl~ but the country
now opening upGn us, i~ as much noted for its
luxuriant richness, as the lofty Cordillera for
its magnificence. The valIeys are g.eneralIy the
most productive, on account of the equal dis-
tribution of heat 'and moisture; the plains being.
more exposed to the heat of the sun, are in
general extensive pastu.rages~those of Aragua
, are considerahl~ the eye nevertOOless encom-
passes the boundary' of mountains that enclose
them~ This tract is more abundantly favoured
by nature, thau any 1 have hitherto seen-its
produce consisting ofcocoa, coiree, stigar, indigo,
maizé, cotton, plahtaib, and aH kítids of fruits.
The land-is eompfetelyintersected with rivulets,
and the attention is constantlyattracted by a
variety of birds oí the most brilliant plumage,
frOm the commencement of the vale.

At La Victoria we only stopped to see the


church, fotmerly' of great beauty and gran-
denr, but its day has now gone' by. This
place was founded by the Missioharies; ·and,
ftoth á sinall village, inhabited only by á tew
Indians; has rIsen to a very conSiderable town'.
It has- matiy good houses, and the remains of
~the'tS; tliat wete destroyed by the overwhelming
éMamity tha:t desolated Caracas andóther citíes
in- tire Bepublic. In 1804, its population
am9unted t6 7800-nów probably not a third
(jf the number, ftom the Earthquake 'aM the
ReTolutibn. Heré, for the first time, wé began
to :leel inconwnience from the heat: it becMne
tatÍier oppressive ere we teached San Mattéo,
a S'ñ1áll village with a tolerably 'good Posada,
taking it8 name from an hacienda of considerable
extent and richness, belon'ging to Bolivát, at the'
enttance. It is one of the largest in the country,
consisting principally oí sugar~cane plantations.
.NOtwithstanding the quantity of sugar that is
:' grown inVenezuela, but little (and 1am not aware
,1 if any) is exported, owing t<> the amazing con-
c2
20

sumption at home; largequantities are consumed


in. making "Guarapo," the common beverage
of the lower order; it consists simply of sugar
and water, which is made to undergo the vin~)Us ·
fermentatio~, ~fter which it poss~sses intoxicat- '
ing qualities. A great deal of "popelon" is.
~aten by the common people, either with or.
instead of bread-this is sugar in its first state, "
before the treacle is extracted. Presen'es and \
• ' 1

sweetmeats are in very general use by,all classes, /,


and are another great m~ans of censumpt~·
The plant requires a warm climat,e, rich soil"
and abungance of water; according . to the
degree of heat it is from Bine to sixteen months
in ripening -it is then cut down and sent to the
mill, the upper p,art of each c¡me being re.serve.d
for re-,planting. When cut, it is iQlmediately
carri~d to tije press, and thence the j uice to the
boilers; if left only a short time a fermentation
would take place, that would greatly destroy.
the saccharine qualities; the process of refining
foliows, which is not carried to half the per-
fection in which it isdon~ in England, or is it
at aH to be compare~ to the Brazilian sugar.
If 1 aro not mistaken, a decisive 1?attle was
fought in the neighbourhood of this place.

On opening my best thermometer to ascer·


tain the temperature of this place,. the hott~s~
21
we have yet come to, 1 was truly grieved to
find it broken, owing 1 suppose to the rough-
nes!:! of the carriage; the 108s is irreparable, my
smaller one having been broken in coming from
La Guayra. We remained here during the heat
uf the day, reposing in our hammocks, which
indeed we find necessary, to make up for short
nights. The continuation of to-day's jourriey
is, if possible, more beautifuJ than the com-
!_. ¡ mencement of the Vale. (A large Hacienda,
,., belonging to Doñ:' F. Tovar, in particular,
éxceeds in exuberance of rich foliage andum-
' brageous cotfee ano cocoa plantations~ ariy
thing of the kind 1 have yet seen. Between
) seven and eight we reached the large viUage' of
MaracaY)-a march of five leagues. This place
is regularly built, and contains,-h nu~ber of
) large houses, which are sufficiently commodious
1 and solid, the greater number being of stone;
: most of themhave gardens attáched, a custom
.~ littIe known in this country, probably on account
-: of the extreme indoIence of the peopIé)--this
circumstance aIone justifies the character for
industry which is usuaUy given to the inhabitants
of this village. According to the custom of the
. country we sought lod.ging in a private house,
the Iadies of which received us with the usual
good nature and hospitality"that"are iti.variably
shewn to travellers, amusing uS moreover by
22
singing national airs, although in a style that
cannot be much extolled. We were yisited
here by two young naturalists, who were sent
out by Mr. Zea, forlIling part of anAcademy
of Science, which he was p~eparing the foun-
dation of, for the general improvement of
the country. It appears tbat their re~earches
bave been attended with success, both in
Botany and Mineralogy, ~uring their short
progress. Whenat Caracas, they ascende.d
tlle Silla, an undertaking of sorne difficulty an.d
danger, and were ~~ccessful in discovering the
lJlilk Tree, described by Humboldt; the liquid
~hat is e~tracted from it ex~ctly reseU1hl~ :Qlilk.;
~Q'strong ~ the affinity, that upon a.nilli7;ation it
proyeq to contain the s"me ~imal PJopertie$.
They i~tend proceeding furth~. \fjth tneir
researches.

The renowned ~nera1 Paez with all his staff ·-c


. passed us this evening:t-a roan as remarkable
for courage, as he has been eminently successfld
in his country's cau~e; he lS secopd to :Qone but
lloliyar in the regenera,tion of tbis parí of
America, and is as mue!} esteemed hy his troops,
.as feared by the enemy; he gener~lly travels
/-;ith éonsiderable pomÉ,;! accompa~ied by a
.\ numero~s staff. Thi~ place may be considered
wltbin the limits oí the blockading arm.y of
Puerto Cabello, and has somewhat the appear-
ance of military rule. We were glad to swing'
our hammocks in the open air, the night being
very close.

261h. Feb. At four in the IDorning we began


making preparations for our departure "en
route," favoured by the moon and freshness of
\ -
the morning airo (We,reached the borders of the
000utifuI Lake of Valencia, just as the moOll

1 was retiring behind the mountains,which bouna


it on the West. At the same time, the sun
!, rising in dazzling splendour froID the fértile

vale,. gilded its placid waters with the most


delicate tints. Situated in a charming valley-
,8urrounded by mountains oí the richest and
~ most agreeable vegetation----studded as it, il
with nUIDerous and pict'uresque islands, adorned
by the freshest verdure-I thought,as we traced
the road which winds round the Lake, that it
was oue oí .he most exquisite sights imaginabl~)
~~

This tcene ÍlJ compared by travellers' to tu


Lake of Geneva, which it is said rimeh to
..esemble. In its greatest length it is about
'rorty-tWQ miles, and twelve in breadth, and
nearly twenty dift'eretlt rivers aresaid to faU
in'Ío'¡t~ notwithstariding which, without having
aay outlet, the waters cdo not encrease-their
nan-accumuláti,on is conjectured to arise from
24

sorne subterraneou8 exitt as it would be impos...


sible for evaporationalone to consume the
influx.

At Fort Cabrera, built on an eminence t for-


merlyan Island, on the borders of the Lake.
we should have been stopped to shew our pass-
poÍ"tSt which were improvidently left with the
baggage, had not our friend - fortunately been
acquainted with the Commandant, who allowed
us to pass. The richness of the foliage, and de-
lidous perfume exhaled from various odoriferous
shrubs, was very agreeable, together with the
freshnessof the morning; but as we advanced
towards the Condillera, the -country became
more arid.· At half-past eight we reached San
J oachin, a distance of six leagues, having passed
a fine Hacienda' of Cocoa. Here we remained
till four in the afternoon in consequence of the
heat, and were well taken care of by the
Posadera and her daughters, who were raihéi"
superior and agreeable lasses. A letter was
hence dispatched by - - to a particular frien~
of his at Valencia, Do~ Fernando Penalver, to
apprize him of our approach, and intentiQn t() rest
a day at his honse. We followed at four, and had
a very cool and pleasant ride of five league~
passing the village of Guacára, where we met
Don Francisco, a brother of the Marquis Toro,
25
also an old friend of his. It was eight when
(' we ente~ed Valenci~ an'd no sooner were we
. housed, than a tremendous storm came on; the
rain fell in torrents for three hours in a manner
peculiar to this hemisphere.

Valencia, (~ituated in a large plain;J a little


to the west 'of the lake, is a large t~wn, the
tféxt in size to Caracas, and at present the
'head quarters of the army investing Puerto
Cavello. There are about two thousand
'troops here, and amongst them: most ofthe
Engli~h that have survived. the dífferent cam-
. paign~ The entrance to the town isby a
good bridge of three arches, built of stone
and brick, and descr~bed as the best by: far
ofany in the Republic. The" Glorieta" at~
tached to it, is a large circular seat, enc10sing
an area, where the inhabitants meet in' the
, evening ror -dancing and festivity. This is, in
fact, the only public promenade. Of the few
benefits bestowed on the country, by 'the.
Spaniards, this is one. The bridge and Glo-
rieta were' erected by Morales, not many years
since. The town contains many large houses,
the best of which are occupied by the military:
a greater number ar~ in rliins, presenting a
further memento of the ravages committed by
the earthquake. ' The population is not, hQw·
26
ever, proportioned to its present size. In this,
as well as in respect to its resources, the
prolonged and harassing war has left behind
it, most melancholy memorials. Valencia has
an appearance of antiquity: 1 believe it was
founded in 1555, by Alonso Dias Moreno.

26th Feb. General Paez, the cornmander in


chief, arrived at eight in the rnorning, from
Maracay, a distance of forty miles. It is his
usual custom, when travelling~ to start at mido
night, to prevent his movements being known~
He i8 described as a most active rnan, cour-
teoUS' in his manners to foreigner8, and in his
person quite the beau. N o oflicer in the ser-
vice 'has so good' or so large a stud; he is, conse-
_quelltly, always extremely well rnounted. His
Tigilance in the blockade of Puerto Cavello is
very great; notwithstanding which, the par-
tiSaJll of the old system, many of whom bave
taken refuge in CUllaCOa, contrive occasionally
to introduce succours to- the besieged. It iti
BGt many days since a brig froro the ¡sland,
laden with pl'ovisions, evaded the vigilance of
thti Commodol"e, and got into too port. But
for this a8siitance, it was tbonght the garrison
could not have held out many days, being
much straítened. It is, 1 am informed,
naturally the strongast, and too· best fortified
27.

town on the coast, and its occupation by the


en~my is a serious 10s8 to the country, being
the principal entrepót for the commer~e of this.
part of Venezuela. Tlle town is described ~
being very unhealthy as soon as the rains set
iQ, when the $ta8'Jlant wijters in the JnMshes
with which it i~ encompassed, tllat have been
putrefying during the hot mo:uth$, being set in
motion, the exhalations cause fever of a most
~aljgnant kind, particularly destructiv~ to
EqfOpeans. When the port is liberated, Va..
lencia will probably become a place of mu~
commeroo. The distance between the two is
only six or seven leagues, ~d the communí-·.·
cation is facilitated by a good road. Inde.~.
dently of the stimulus to cultivation ofiered by
it$ vicinity to 80 good a port, Valencia ~njoYi
a gr,...t fertility of soil and a warm c1imate; ii
ÍJi nfi,Celllsarilythe medium for imports ~nd
ijXp~t:s to and from the v~lleys of Aragua.
Sto (jarl~ 'focuyo, Barquisimeto, Bre., Copl-
pfÚ~g ~he pchest district of Ven~zuel~ A
gre~~ &tagnation to trade is at pr-esent C~\1~EKl
by th~ ~iffic"lty of transport; tbe groW~nl
having to send their Ptod~ce frOID the aboye
~~ricts overland to Caracas, at 'a very POIlT
sjíJerable e~pense. '

General faez sent for - thi& morniflg.


I ~d
. .
I
28
gave him, in addition to General Soublette's
recommendatory letter, one that willensure to
us the aid and assistance of every " bon Colom-
biano," should we stand in need of it on the
route. There is, probably, no man in the
Republic whose wishes would be more parti-
cularly attended to, his valour having ~ade
him universally respected.

During our stay in Valencia,· Mr. - - read" us


a most interesting letter which he had received
w?m Bolivar. It was quite a friendly and
private communication; and the more valuable,
as shewing the unreserved opinions of the
writer. Itsprincipal objectwas, to be irÍformed
of the state of affairs in Venezuela; in aH
probability previous to the President's" making
up his rriind as to going to the assistance of Peru;
taking at the same time a glance ~t the moral
and political condition of the several republics
of South America. The sentitnents-it contains
are not only those of a true patriot, but bear
aH the impression of a noble and generou..s mind,
ardent in his country's cause for her' benefit
alone, iñ which his whole soul seemed to be
engrossed. ;With a spirit of prophecy highly
creditable to his "judgment as a statesman, he
"laments, in the liveliest terms, the evil that must
accrue to Mexico from the ambition of Iturbide,
29
and speaks'of the time as arrived, when, in the
Westero Hemisphe¡:e, despotism must bow be-
fore public opinion; in fact, from its ingenuous
expressions-the nature of the communication-
to one of his oldest friends and activecoadjutors
in the regeneration óf America-a man whq is
looked ~pon as oneof itsablest senators-no-
thing could have been moreinteresting to us
than the opportunity of perusing such a docu-
mento The mind of the illustrious writer shone .
forth in every line, and excited in us a degre~
of admiration and respect for his character, that
. 1 know not how to describe.

In addition to theabove, I should not. omit


a slight sketch of our hospitable host. His-
conversation is that of an intelligent and en-
lightened mind-one who has profited by bis
communication with the world, and dismissed
prejudices that are natural to the American
character. His having been President of the
first National Oongress, bespeaks the esti-
mation in which he is held by his countrymen;
in addition to which, although our acquaintance
was but short, 1 am sure I do not overrate his
merits in describing him as a ver y ami~ble man,
and one who would be r.eceived in any society
with respect and consideratÍon. He is living at
pr~sent in a. veryquiet way, although, pos-:-
30

sessing one of too finest estates in the country;


bút it having suffered mucb during the war,
he very wisely appropriates aU his disposable
means to its restorapon, when he will probably
receive from it fifty or sixty thousaI1d doHars a
year;· a \?eryiconsiderable fortune in a country
where mxuries are butlittle known, or indeed
(what ~ England 'Would beconsideréd) theeom-
mon conveniences of life. Few of his country-
men, whose property is in like manner deterio-
rated, possess the same prudence.

27th Feb. We left Valencia between eight


and nine in the moming, accompanied a few
miles by our wortby host; here we obtained an
adflition to óur studs ef thtee fine saddle mules,
maldng eight animals for ou1' own u~e, indepen-
dently dí those for the servants· and baggage; so
tl'tat with th~first recommel'ldations in the couo-
t'l"y, the friendsMp and res-pect that aU the lead-
it\g men entertain fOl - - , w&b indeed has ren:..
dered them important services, this supply ean-
not fail to diminish very considerably the diffi-
culties and inconveniences of this long joumey,
in a country so devastated by war, and deprived
ofthe usual accommodatíons tbat travellers stand
in need or. We arriyed at Tocuyito in the middle
of.the day, after an almost suffocating ride of
three leagues across a savannah, in which there
31

is uotbing wortlly of observation excepting the


, .
naturalluxnriance oí the herbage; the approa~h
was the more gratleful, the village being prettily
- situ&ted in the midlÍ of Haciendas and green
feliage. We "ere particulMly fortunate in meet·
ing with SOIIi.e ladies oí - ' s acquaintance,
OIle oí whOIll' "ÍD the most obliging, lively, aDd
amiable COlombianá. that 1 have yet seen; too
best of every thiDg that the honse afforded was
imm.ediately in reffUisition ror us, and while
dinner was prepari~, we were regalad with
delicious fruits, and mOleover had the luxury
of a cold bath in the shade of a. eoffee plantativn
adjoining the nome. Hete, in fact" we expe-
1!Íenced to its full ~xtent the hospitality for
which Valencia anditsneighbourhood aJleso'dis..
tinguished, and it was with' regret we took leave
oí our kind friends at. three o'dock, PW'SlJing var
route along the road by which the Spanialds
retreated after their signa! defuat at Carabob6,
fir.st to Valencia, and thence to P~erto €avello,
too which spot they have' since been confined'.
We reached the field of battle just before dusk,
but unfortunately, not in time to see the
respe«tive positions. The Spaniards were pur-
sued with considerable slaughter by"the victors
through Tocuyito to Valencia, and on to Puerto
Cavallo. By the rClad side,
, and scattered over fue
plain, we obs~rved the remains of many of the
urffortunate Godos (Goths, the nameby which
the Spaniards -are usually recognized by the
patriots,) who were killed in the retreat. Mter
quitting the plain, the road became very .preci-
pitous and romantic, either winqing along the
side of mOllntains, or descending into deep dells,
in the bottom of each a stream or rivulet was
invariably found. The moon had not'yet risen,
and but few stars were occasionally visible
through the thick foliage that towers aboye the
deep ravines, to relieve the darkness of the de-
seent. At the bottom myriads of fire fiies and
other luminous inseets whieh fioated on the sur-
faee of the water, tended only to make .the
gloom more apparent, whieh, accompanied by
the hoarse croaking of toads, hissing of serpents, .
and ehirruping of eriekets; formed altogether
quite a scene of romance. In the steepness of
the ascent from these oeeasional ravines, our
sumpter mule twice broke down, and at one
moment (being blind of one eye,) was as nearly
as póssible preeipitated down a steep, which
would at once have eased us· of him and the
effeets. After repeated disasters sueh as the
above, the led mules getting astray (and aH
without embellishment,) we at length, at eleven
o'clock, reaehed a hovel, caHed "El Hayo," a
distance of six leagues from Tocuyito; the
33

animals, as well as ourselves, completely tired.


We, therefore, with some difficulty persuaded"
the .inhabitants-a half-starved Indian woman,
and a young girl-to open the door, and receive
our canteens, saddles, &c.; the animals being
fastened to a cane fence, while the servants
went upon a forage. The lndian woman in the
-mean time made' a fire, and prepared our chó-
colate (which, by the bye, proves a great re-
source inthie;1and of badliving.) Couldyouhave
seen us s'eated on blo~ks round the embers, sip:.
ping our repast out of lndian calahashes, our
two dingy attendants hardly knowing what
to"make of" us, in the back-ground the stud
tied" round the small enclosure, you would have
thought it an -amusing groupe. Theham-
mocks were slung in the small place which
served us as our kitchen, but from thedamp-
ness of the atmosphere in this low spot, our
slumbérs 'were neithér sound or refreshing, "a:nd
"we were glad to move as s~n as the moining
dawned.

Feb. 28th. Hence to Tinaquillo," a distance


of four leagues, there is nothing rémarkable in
the route, excepting that the roads are good";
indeed, since descending into the valle,ys of
Aragua, with very few exceptions,there would
be nO'impediment to carriage conveyance, either
D
34

for the pUrp08eS of agrieulture or of commerce.


The various and beautiful plumage of the birds
here is very remarkable, the commonest amongst
them would be considered curiosities iu Enrope,
while there are many of exceeding beauty.
The mocking-bird builds its nest in an ingenious
manner, to proteet it from the d'epredations of
the'.destrudive:vermin which abound so much in
tlri9 eountry ; ,it is suspended trom eXtremities oí
thebnn.ches, and is ofien fmm one to twa-feetin
length, and very curiQusly bound together. Par-
MS 3llld parroquets are very abundant, and
mak:e a greatehattering, as they fly abant in
large fiock8~The cardinal is another bea'frtiful
bird, entirely scarlet; the tropical, equaJly
pretty, and much esteemed; the most abundant
isa sm1d1 dove, which is perfectly tame; there
are others oí a larger kind and fine plumage.
We ,have shot seveJal macaws, the colours of
wlrich areexceedinglYbrilliant. Indeed,' if
faCilities ofeonveyanceandpreservation offered,
one might make a very interesting zoologieal
collection. There is also a fine bird, called the
'~', Guacharaca," very like our pheasant, and
,siomewhat similar in flavour; theyare plentiful
jn; the plains, amd are easily shot.,

The appr03.€h to Tinaquillo is extremely


pretty, onaccount ofthe freshness ofthe verdure,
35

and its pleasing contrast to the monotonous sa-


vannahs we have lately passed. In the village,
however, there is nothing worth recording; the
houses are straggling and as poor looking as the
inhabitants, who are reduced to few in number..
Indeed, in every place we have yet passed
through, the war has decreased the population
to the lowest ebb; there was a tolerable Pul-
peria, where we break.fasted, and took an early
dinner, resuming our march between three and
four o'dock. The position of Tinaco you will
perhaps not find even in a good map, but it may
be considered midway between Valencia and
Barquesimeto. The ride here in the cooI of the
evening was extremely pIeasant and varied, par-
taking much of the wild and romantic scenery
we passed last night; 'the moon rose at níne,
rendering the Iatter part of our journey doubly
agreeable. It was eleven o'dock before we
entered Tinaco, and then had sorne difficultyin
procuring lodging ror ourselves and beasts,
through the cook's stupidity, who had been gent
forward purposely to secure them. To effect
this, it is onIy necessary to forward General
Paez's letter to the Alcalde~ and quarters are
always provided. It was our intention to start
bence for San Carlos, at four in the morning,
butwewere not offtill sun-rise, havingoverslept
ourselves, notwithstanding the same shed served
n2
36
,
for us and the mules-trifles that we travellers
become accustomed to; indeed. this occurrence
is generally a source of mirth rather than vex-
ation.

Tinaco is a large village, but having entered


it so late, and left it at day-break, 1 cannot con-
scientiousty attempt a description of its pecu-
liarities. '

1st March. The ride to San Carlos was ex-


tremely sultry, it being near ten o'cJock before
we weré lodged. The approach is by far the
most interesting of any town, we have seen;
there is a good deal of cultivation in.its imme-
diate vicinity, the produce being of that luxu-
riant kind, which invariably characte)'ises and
.rewards industry' in this favoured land. Too
" annil," or indigo, is amongst the richest of its
vegetation. " This valuable plant was first cul-
"tivated in Venezuela in 1774; the attempt
" being ridiculed at the time, but in the result
" it, proved a rival to that of Guatimala, the
" price of which had always till then been 8.0
" per cent. aboye that of any other part of the
"globe." The spot where it is 'chiefly raised
is the vaUey of Aragua, where it has increased
with amazing rapidity and success. It requires
,a light soil, hoí climate, and but little moisture.
37

To extract the indigo the greatest degree of care


and experience is. necessary. The plant is first
mixed with water; in this state it undergoes a
fermentation to a particUlar extent; it is then
boiled,and theblueis precipitated; afterwhichit
is dried in the sun, and formed into cakes for use.

1. (A: you approach 'th~ town several white


l steeples, and the remains of large edifices, are
¡! visible aboye the rich foliage; as well as some me-
mentos ofthe same tremendous visitation ofwhich
we have found so many traces in Venezuela. On
tl.¡e north it is bounded by the lofty Cordillera,
which stretches along the coast fromCoro to Cu-
mana, •as singular in its appearance as it is an
essential provision of nature against the en-
croachments of the sea, which would otherwise,
in all probability, inundate the immense expanse
of Savannah, or" Llano's," which extend as far
as the Orinoco, constituting (or -rather have done
so~ for 'they are now comparatively ruined,) the
great source of the riches of this province from
the amazing quantity of horned cattle, horses,
and mules that have been raised in them. - To
the south, these plains are.some hundred miles
in extent. We were quartered in one of the
best houses in the town, exhibiting in its gilded
.mouldings, the remains of former riches. 1ts
.principal inhabitants are now bats and spiders.
38
The owner, Don Andres Herrera, a name distin-
guished amongst the conquerors of too New
World, was one of the richest men of the place,
but is now reduced 10 comparative poverty, from
the depredations ofone party, and the necessary
exactions of the other, for the support of their
cause. The resources of this town were for-
merly immense, indeed, 1 am told, almost in-
credible, as .there were individuals possessing
wealth beyond their power of computation,
from the amazing and incalculable increase in
cattle, the principal source of their prosperity ;
but a most destructive warfare has proved tOOt
the spring was not inexhaustible. There now
barely remains a sufficiency for the common
purposes of freight and conveyance; and unless
timely measures be adopted to replenish the
breeding stock, the country will sustain a most
serious loss in the extinction of this branch of
traffic. There are several churches in San
Carlos, of neat and rather elegant exterior, one
of which was built at the sole expence of an in-
dividual of the 1own.. Some large houses have
withstóod the earthquake, more are in ruins, as
well as the greater part of the town; but shou~d
the time arrive, when the government or indi-
viduals may be en~bledto rebuild or renovate
this place, it may be made one of the prettiest
towns in the province. The principal objection
39
to it as a residence, is the excessive heat which
prevails.. During our stay, the glass was at 96,
a heat beyond any we have yet experienced.
At times 1 understand it is much higher. The
oranges grown here are considered by the natives
to,be 100 ~est in the world; they are excellent,
OOt oot, in my opinion, equal to European fruit.
The population is computed.at five or six t~u­
sand, including probably the adjacent villages.
, To avoid as much as possible the heat of the
day, as well as to ensure to our anima1s better
fare thau they have lately had, we did not leave
till one too following morning.

2rul March, (SuMa!!.) Passing througb. " San


José," ab9ut a league from the town, we reached
La Cevq: another small hamlet, at five leagues
distance, by sun-pse, where we took our cho-
~ate, and proceeded without los8 of time. This
tract consists principal1y of savannah, which is
susceptible of the highest cultivation: a proof oí .
it is to be found in the great vigour ofthe herbage,
watered by nwnerous rivul~ts, which continually
intersect the plains. Thesituation ofthe Pulperia,
where we refreshed ourselves, was sueh ás
\

would be envied in the most favoured spots in


Europe. On the north, for about a mile, 'there
was a rieh Hat, capable of producing all that
nature requires, backed by a range of low -but
40

picturesque hills, a scattering of wood sUC''''


ceeded, beyond which rose a range. of 10ftY ,
mountains. Itt is Painful. to see such faVaUred\
spots entirely negl~cted, possessing as they
.do, a _climate and soil that only require the
15eed to be scattered on the surface, to produce
in three or four months a most abundant har~ \
vest. Having a long day befare us, we pushed .~
on at six o'doCk, the country increasing in:
variety and interest. Now, in confined vallies, .
invariabl y watered by a small stream as olear :
as chrystal, succeeded by undulatmg bilIs,
which produce spontaneously a variety oí beau- ,
tiful shrubs, occasionally a few trees are seen, '
such as 1 imagine from their size and beauti- .
fuI íoliage, are to be met with only in the
westem hemisphere; in fuct, it was quite park-
like scenery, enlivened by numerous birds of
the most brilliant plumage, with wild deer
browsing at a distance on too verdant hillocks)
. -.

_ The sun became very powerful ere we reached


Caramacat, a straggIing Indian village, oí mise-
rable appearance, at the distance oí ten leagues
from San Carlos, which I made eleven by miss-
ing the road: the mule being completely fagged,.
I remained a little in the rear' and took a wrong
path. but fortunately fen in with an Indian,
41

ftom whom 1 leamt my mistake.We took up .


our residence here at the house of the Alcalde,
orchief magistrate; but when 1 use this térm 1
must caution you against forming too high a -
notion of .bis. importance, for these dignitaries·
usually keep their Pulperias, exercising at the
same time uncontrolled authority over their
respective towns or villages. While the
Alcalde prepared our breakfast he <.Íid not
consider it derogatory to attend to the cattle!
The aspect of thi~ place is that of perfect po-
verty, and the lowest degree of civilization, for
a country that lays elaim to its possession.
_ However, we had nothing to object to our·host
-a Httle squat man, hishead shom ofall its co-
vering but a single curl, which-fell in plaits over
• his forehead; for in his double capacity ofChief
Magistrate and Pulpero, he did not scruple lo
lay aside the forms of office, and to provide
us a meal, if not· the most luxurious, the best
the place afforded. It bei'ng thought desirable
that we should push on a little further before
night, baving a very high mountain to pass,
caBed" Montana del Altar;" we leftCaramacal
~t four o'elock, immediately$enetrating into the
-thick woojJthat skirts the village, and amongst
which there are trees of IÍlajestic growth. We
met an lndian family, the men armed with large
42
bows and arrows", and the whole groupe so con-
sonant with the position and solitude oí the
place, tbat it gave one the idea oí being trans-
ported amongst the wild Ab-origines of America;
having traversed it about a league, we \.~~re '-
stopped in our progress by a rapid rive,9(Co-
gedes), which it was necessary to pass to regain
the road. A CaJ;loe was moored on the opposite
bank, but wefOuld not withall our efforts make
ourselves heard by the ferry-man) - .- and
myselfwho were foremostt...a ttempted to ford, but \
we s.oon found ourselves floating down with the
stream, and were very glad to regain the shore,
at ~e expeQ,Ce of a complete ducking; - - in
coI,D,ing up had ob'served a practicable part. I
higher up, ~here we effected a paSsage; and "
thence proceeded tothe ascent, whichsatisfied us
oftheexpediency ofhavingpushed on for this part
befo¡e dark. As a precipitous and difficult pass, it
exceeds any thing we have yetencountered! An-
oth.er league brought us to a miserable Pulpería,
where we proposed passing ~he night, after a long
~arch of thirteen leagues. <All we could obtain for ",
refre.sbment was "Gu~po:i (the liquor 1 have
before mehtioned as being extracted from sugar,
neither unpleasant norunwholesometand cassava !
bread, w.ade from the yaca plant, which also pro- \
duces anow-root ; this is the common sustenance ;
of the Indians. Our animals were reduced to :
feed upon the thatch of the Pulperia:)
~ /
March ardo At two in. the morning we were
again on the move, to benefit by the moon, and
to avoid as much as possible the burning sun.
We had now passed the steepest of the 'a:scent,
the road was nevertheless quite of a novel
character, and differing from any thing 1 have
before seen. 1 can only assimilate it to what my
fancy has painted "Vallambrosa,"1 ar the more
imaginary gloom of the enchanted Forest in "La
Gierusalemme Liberata." Although the moon
ahone with great splendour, this dark pass was
impervious to her rays, from the height and
close texture of the intwining branches--even
the sun's beams never penetrate them; hence
the cause oí marshy &pots, which in the rainy
season are Qften impassable. We rode for'
miles in alm08t total obscurity-the triffing light
that entered, being just sufficient to shew the
gigantic size, and great variety of trees with
which the forest was composed; amongst tOOm
were a great many palms of 1?eautiful growth
and uncommon height, probably from eighty to
onehWldred feet, the rugged pathway frequently
I

obstructed by some that had fallen from age or·'


tempest; the knowledge of the existence oC
wild beasts in so retired a spot, gave additional
novelty and romance to this grand, but gloomy
seene!
44
At two leagues from the place whe.nce we
started, we emerged from the darkness of "El
Altar," at a place called "Boca del Montana,"
arriving at day-break at Cugisita, an incon-
siderable village-the knapsack being ransacked
and the mules fed, we proceeded another four
leagues, to La Morita, a small andscattered
hamlet. The road hither being much diversified
with hiIl and dale, and park like .spenery,
from one or two eminences commands rich
views, of a tract but' little cultivated. On
,our left, was a very ~xtensive range ofmountains
running north and south. The place itself
deserves no other mention, ,than to record the
extreme poverty and wretched "accommoda-
tion" of the miserable Pulperia. Having rested
during the heat of the day, we were again in
march at three o'clock, passing through a tract
of country highly gifted with the sponta.~~ous
productions of so favoured aclimate. i.,Ít was
dusk when we entered ~\}gare, a (villageof I
very considerable extent, neat in appearance, and
evidentIy containing a redundant population-
the only place, in fact, where the inhabitants.
have appeared at' all adequate to the number (
of buildings) This is sati~factorily accounted l
- for in the extensive and valuable haciendas of
indigo, cocoa, and sugar cane, in the Vale
eastward of the range o~ mountains 1 before
45
mentioned, which is abundantly watered by the
river Cogedes, and various minor streams, tend-
ing to enrich too an amazing extent a soil,
already abundantlyprolific. Wewere muchmor-
tified at passing through this luxuriant Vale,
which is of considerable extent, at dusk, when
we 'could not enjoy its beauties-.espeeially as
this is, the season wh~n the crops are)rr too
highest perfection. W'e had to ford the river

ICogedes five or six times ere we reaehed the


ascep.t that leads to Barquesimeto, and it was

~
ight o'clockbefore we obtained quarters, in
onsequence of the remnants of this town being
lledwith refugees from Coro, and the borders
;of the Lake of Maracaibo, who have fled· before
{the mar~uding bands of Morale~ The house
of the eurate was assigned to us, and we were
received .by him with the courtesyand hospi-
tality for which his Cloth are celebrated through- -
out· the Republie-a distinetion must be made
between the monks and the parish priests-
the former are almost proseribed, while the
latter eonstitute not only a useful, but very
patriotie class of citizens. This was another
long day'sjourney of twelve leagues.

Barquesimeto and its....environs are supposed


1toeontain a population ofbetween eight and ten
i thousand persons, by far the greater portion
46

inhabiting the villages-the town is but a rem-


nant of what it was formerly. ~n no part of
the province of Venezuela has the earthquake
committed such appalling ra:vag~> as in this
ill-fated pl~ce-not even in Caracas, a great
part oí which withstood the shock, but here, 1
am told scarcely a house remained entire; ud
of its comparatively small population 1600 in- -z
habitants were buried in the rui~ The
inhabited part is now comparati...ely smaU,
. havingbeen built since the awful visitation &om
the lÍlaterials that abound in every d.irection,
and, still its fallen edifices .present a mournful
picture 'Df desolation. . The town is situated at
the extremity ofan extensive tabla mountain,
'which is again enclosed by still higher eminences
(the fertlle valleys intervening), hence probably
the cause of the severity oí the shock. Situated
on this Plateau it has the benefit oí cOnStant
breezes, which coo} in a degree its exce88ivel~
hot climate. ,This tówn is fifteen" years older
than Caracas, having been fouDded in 1552, by
á Spaniard named Villegas.

March4th. It was 4 o'clock.in the aftemoon


oí,the 4th, before we thanked the hospita~Jle
Cnrate forhis attentions; and again were~n the
road-passed a small and miserable place caHed
Seritos Blancos; descending· from whenee we
47
reached Los Horcone8 at seven o'clock-tllree'
leagues 'from Barquesimeto. .:

At half-past two, as SQon as the moon rose, we


left Los Horcones, and traversed an uninterest-
ing and arid tract, where the only vegetation
consists in abundance of the prickly pear (the
tree of which grows to a large size, and in most
faJitástic .shapes), aioes-, and a species oí dwarf
cedar. We arrived at Chibor to an early break-
fasto Here again we found a great many
emigrants from' Coro, &c. who had Bed with
part of their property rather than risk the whole
undel' the rapacity oí Morales and his foHowers.
- The viltage is rather considerable, and presents
many .symptoms .oí regeneration. Houses are
b'eing repaired-others rising from their mins,
but alf on a small scale-a neat church has also
lately been erected. Being anxious to reach
. Vthe first place of rest, both for ourselves and
animals, who in fact are much more wearied
than we are, \Ve left Chibor at nine o'clock, the
eountry assuming the same aspect as aboye,
eonsequently but oí Httle interest, till by
descending a winding ranne, we found ourselves
. dnclosed on all sirles by mountains. The sun
bere beca.me very powelful, and by the time
we entered Tocu'Yo, the heat was exoosaive 1
.Rete we shall remain /until the bulk of oor
48

.. luggage, which is left in charge of an Arriero,


arrives from Caracas. My next letter will
probably be dated from ~he City of Merida.

MERIDA, MaTch 22,1823.

1 NOW enter on the second division of


our journey-namely, from Tocuyo to Merida,
both in tb,e province- of Venezuela, which you
are aware, no· doubt, derivedits name from
several villages built on piles in the Lake of
Maracaib?, whiclÍ according to Robertson, bore
a resemblance to Venice, hence the above name
meaning little Venice, afterwards extendíng itself
to the whole province.

The town of Tocuyo was founded as far back


as the year 1545, by an agent 'of the Welser's
Company, to who~ Venezuela had been ceded
by' Spain; but \vbo were afterwards expelled
the country. 'We were detained here from the
5th to the 11 th oí March, in consequence' of our
luggage not having arrived from Caracas. Sen()r
Arraiz, a: civil and obliging native of the place,
49

at:commodated us with his house during our


stay, where we were tolerably at our ease.

The .site of this town after that of Caracas ís


the best we have seen; but the climate is at
least ten degrees hotter, as there is seldom
much air stirring; the mean heat during our
stay was eighty~six degrees. The plain in which
it is situated is about thtee leagues long, and
one in breadth, with the river Tocuyo winding
through it at the back of the town; between it,
and a chain of high calcareous mountains running
from N. E. to S. W. there is a considerable
tract,of fertile land, the produce of which is
principally sugar cane, m8.ize, and plantains ;
but the nature of its soil is adapted to all sorts
of cultivation,.--the wheat from hence, in par.
ticular, being much esteemed. The opposite
range is more wooded,' but exhibits less rich..
ness in the intervening flato We are here shut
in on all sides by mountains. The town, though
large, has not been a place of much commerce,
farther than in the exchange of its agricultura!
productions. It, therefore, seems an anomaly,
that it should formerly have supported two .
convents-the one of Franciscans, the other
Dominicans; besides which, there were three
parish churches, and a public bóspital...-the
former having suffered by the earthquake, the
J;

50

Franciscan convent, which with the exception


of the Cathedral at 'Caracas, is the finest reli.
gious edifiee 1 have seen, is converted into the
H Parochia," and service is regularly perfurmed

there, since the suppression of themonasteries.


. The population at present does not exceed froro
three fo fout thousand persons. We met with
every aSsistance from the Politica! Judge (Juez
Politico) in procuring fresh baggage mules, not-
withstanding an embargo had been laid upon aH
.animam in the neighbourhood for the Govern-
ment service.

Líke a11 other towns in this country, the


streets run at right angles; generally speaking,
they contain but few good houses. During OUT
stay' here, there was very little variety in our
oceupations. Once or twice - - took out his
gun, and brought home sorne herons, and •
macaws; the flesh of tbe latter is much esteemed
by the natives. In the evenings there was a
. sort of rendezvous at the river, where too
females make no scruple of bathing at the same
time and place with the men! The best artic1e
of provision here is the bread, called "Pan de
Tunja." It appeared to me the best I had
tasted, being very white and rather sweet.
Fr'uits were not very abundant, we could only
prÓ'cure oranges and water melons. Here it

51

was necessary to leave our horses, and purchase


three fresh mules in their stead.

. 11th March. We set out at seven In the


mornin'g, more regularly organized in marching
order-as from hence the difficult passes com-
mence. The road is level and good for the first
four leagues, winding through a defile of rich,
varied, and cultivated land, abundantly wa",
,tered. Its productions appeared to be cane,
maize, plantains, and there were one or two
haciendas of cocoa. There are several pretty
passes through the latter, especially where the
road led down to the river, which runs over a
, rocky bed with considerable impetuosity; a
range of sterile mountains on either side this
pass, rise gradually as you approach Olmucaro;
their only produce being a species of wild lilac,
of a frxed, and much brighter colour than the
European planto It was near four when we
entered H Olmucaro Abaxo," a small In-
dian village, consisting of about forty houses
or detached huts, and probably two hun-
dred inhabitants, descendants of the original
owners of the soil, who were redueed to the
lowest state of indigent wretchedness, by the
oppressive system of government, instituted
by Old Spain, and its selfish and narrow-
minded poliey inkeeping them in a state of
E2
52
brute-like ignorance, and the most liervile sub·
jection-the natural consequence of which is p
a disregard of aH moral obligations. But
in· the midst of their poverty and degradation,
there is to be observed in these poor Indians,
a ~eat degree of primitive simplicity, meek-
ness of disposition, and a willingness to
oblige - qualities that under present aus-
pices may yet be rendered highly valuable!
The Alcalde from whom. we had bought
amule at Tocuyo, had prepared for us ~
an apartment in the guard;.house - the ad-
joining one being occupied by some Indian
Conscripts, the contingent furnished by the
village, in consequence of an assessment which
has been made throughout the province; out of
its small population, Ohn.ucaro has lately been
called upon for fifteen recruits. The subdued
spirit of these poor people is strongly exempli-
fied in their prison discipline-there not being
even a door to secure them, and merelya sen-
try placed at the entrance. They are in ge-
neral strong, well proportioned men, capable
of undergoing much fatigue, and inured to the
greatest privations~ For a trifle some of thero
brought ,us a sufficient supply of forage {or
the animals. We had provided ourselves with
a cold dinner at Tocuyo, .and the first time
made use of the canteens, a real luxury in
53
a traet of eountry 'where a knife and fork
is seldom -used,and a plate frequently a
novelty. To reaeh tbe place we had a long
-ascent from the bed oí tbe river. It is situated
at what is called the extremity of the plains-
( Llanos) shut in on aH sides by mountains, and
immediately at the foot of one of immense per-
pendicular height. The temperature is agree-
able,being eight degrees eooler than Tocuyo.

12th March. At six o'clock we left the vil-


lage, taking with us tbe servants~ and one
baggage animal to convey the canteens, the
remainder, together with the spare mules, will
henceforth fol1ow, and join lIS at night at a
given place. Such is our marching order.
.r-
. /(Ve descended by a steep and craggy path,
. till we again met the river Tocuyo at the bottom
;ol a deep ravine. A rude bridge formed of the
: trunks of trees bound together, was raised on
butttesses of stone, on either side, at a con-
siderable elevatio~ from the stream, - which
issuing from fissures in the mQuntains, foamed
down a rocky bed. It was with great difficulty
we got the mules over, and proceeded up a
; narrow defile,. threatened by overhanging rocks
'and "cloud capped" mountaiI~_~. At tbas spot
the aboye river takes its rise) reeeiving several
54

tributary streams, which issue from the moun-


tain, and join in its course. 1 saw last year,
in Wales, sorne grand passes. where thescenery
was magnificent, and a greater body of water
foaming down rocky precipices; but when
compared with this, the recollection dwindles
into comparative insignificance.· Here the na-
tural accompaniments are inconceivably grand,
and beggar my humble powers of description.
The more we advanced, the greater was our asto-
nishment at these beautiful scenes-Nature'j
sole work 1 Winding along avenues of luxu
riant foliage of the most varied description;
amOIigst which, overhanging the stream, were,
trees of gigantic size-many loaded with a 1,
white kind of moss, dropping from the branches '
like pendent icicles-others· covered with ivy, :
or festooned with arches of higniJnia, which
stretch from tree tv tree in verdant arcades,.
forming rich contrasts with those bearing an
oraBge~coloured and deep blue flower-Hocka
of parroquets, doves, tropiales, &c. added to
the novelty of a scene to aH of us of the. IIl<>st
intense interest! We now began the ascent of
one of the highest and most difficult passes in the
route-that between Olmucaro and Agua de
Obispos, winding a considerable time up a
precipitous and barren mountain, succeed.ed by
others covered with immense forests composed
55

of the same rich variety of traes, whiob, {mIli


their height and size, must have stood furages.
The more we gained ground tQe more distant
appeared the steep we had to c1imb; .buttho
sublimity of this mo,untain WQrld would haya
repaid any (atigue. After four hours of con..
stant aseent we reached sorné sheds ·abaut the
middle of too mountain, which had bOOn
erected by Moúllo as a covering fur troops
who seouFed the pass. Here .we made a halt f
and had recourse to OUI' canteens, fumished
. with a tolerablebreakfast, which we enjoyed
exceedingly in this rOIllantic and magnificent
wilderness. The temperature,.owing to the -
great elevation, WIlS cool and agreeable, and
we found a spring of delicio~s water close a.t
hand. It WQuld be diHicult to coneeivethe
true grandéur of this spot, surrounded on· aH
.sides by immense barriers-some oovered witli
impervious forests-the verdant foliaga reliev.ed
by a sprinkling oí traes, the leal'e¡· of whicb.
'appeared white as. snow-in parts immense
crags of rock projecting through the foliage
from the sides of the mountain-.-others more
sterile, and of immense elevatioI\-'the solemn
silen~e disturbad' only by the IDllrnluring ()Í
water down the rocky precipices! It was
neal two o'clock when we arriTed at the
summitof this chain of the Andes, after a
56

truly arduo,:!s and constant ascent oí séven


hours and a half. The scene now before us
was again stupendous; mountains gradually
lowering until they appeared to subside into a
flat,-but probably deceptive, from the great
distance. We were considerably aboye the
douds, which rolled on the summits of other
eminences below us, and there was a very .
lensible chill in the atmosphere. We now
descended for an hour and a half, on such a
road that it was wonderful how the animals
could keep their footing. We were much inter·
ested on this side by the great variety of
beautiful wild flowers and JDountain shrubs
that grow in the greatest profusion and luxu·
riance - a complete study for a hotanist-
which science 1 never more regretted my'
ignorance of. Agua de Obispos, at the foot of
the eminence, consists only of a few detached
huts inhabited by agriculturists. We were
received in one of them, with our retinue, with
the accnstomed hospitality.. The change of
climate here is surprising: the thermometer in
the night feIl to 60°; a difference of 36 degrees
between this place and St. Carlos. The produce
oí the few patches of ground that are in culti·
vation here, is wheat, peas, " garbances," &c.
We had little expectation of meeting with provi-
sion, but were unexpectedly provided with fowIs.
57
milk, and coffee, added to sornedoves that we had
shot. The lodging was indifferent, but we are
. now pretty well accustomed to mud walls and
earthen floors; and with - ' s originality,
ando inexhaustible fund of entertainment, and
- ' s invariable good humour, such scenes are
very entert~ining, inasmuch as they give. one
an insight into the domestic character of the
natives.

March 13th. We delayed our departure till


B. later hour than usual, to partake of .. La Be~
bida de los Dioses," coffee and new milk-finally
proceeding at seven o'dock. The first part of
the road was a steep ascent which occupied us
an hour, after which we had a delightful ride
along a ridge of high mountains~ constantly,
though gradually descending for three hours
·byan even road; the scenery,w¡lS of the grand~
est description, although bearing but few traces
of' cultivation ; a doop valley on either side
succeeded . by numerous parallel ranges of
greater or less elevation, the pathway at times
so narrow, that a false step would have precipi.
tated one down an almost perpendicular steep
of incalculable depth. AH the way along this
beautiful slope we met with the most delicate
shrubs, and in particular a great variety of myr-
,tles of very luxuriant growth. About. midway
100 -vale of Cameae, running east. and west,
opened to OUT view; it had a most picturesque
eft'ect in the midat oí ihis gigantic Andeu 'lee.
nery, ud reminded me 01 a. model 1 had seen
of the valley of Chamouny, backed by the lofty
Alps, only wanting 'perpetual snow to make it
a great resemblance, altbough probably from
hence thero ~ a much greater exteut of ,moun..
tains, The deseent to tbe town occupied
three hours; on a nearer approaeh it has aH
the appeara.o.ce of & camp, eonsisting oC about
one hundred detached houses built rouOO a
square; -a river ruDS through the vale, whichis.
mos.t faverably situated fOl culture, though &t
.present much neglected in the vieinity of the
town, which, having becn occupied, at different
times, by both contending armies, i8 reduced lo
100 lowest S¡tate of misery; no place tba.t we have
passed through has presented so truly desola:te
an appearance; many of the houses ar~ desertedi,
t.he inhabitants having sought· sheltar in tbe
wooo." in prelemnce to being sub~t 10 military
occupation eitOOr from friend orfoe; tIte formar,
being ill paid, are sometimes driven to commit
exactions, in which, of course, the latter hava not
besn behind them. _In th06e hutil. that ar-e stiU
occupied, there lS hardly an miele of IU1nitul'e;
to many not even a door, and it was with innnite
difficulty we, pro.cured provision oc. any kind ;
69
the Alcalde's iniluence, (who by tae by wasnot'
the,most assiduous we met witb.) was not sufL
ficient to procure us a fowl at any price. To
conclude the list of wants, we, were informed
that there was no~ in the town wine ~nough for
tbe Communion Service! The church is equally
bereft of its ornaments, as the house~ of their
little furniture and utensils.

MaTch 14th. Left Carache before day-light,


following the road through the valley, which
is probably three leagues in extent, but very
narrow. The mountains on each side form
part of the Cordillera, which is laid down in
tbe map east of tb.e lake Maracaibo, its di-
reetion being nortb. and south. Shortly after
leaving the village, the vale assumed a lesa
desoIate aspect, there appeared a succession of
smalI haciendas of cane and maize, more re-
markable for the freshness of their ve.-du;re, thaQ
their actual richness. Too vale terminatet:l in
a high mountain which we had to l\$cend"
pursuiug the road to the Indian village oLSt..
Anna; having crossed the ridge, we enterOO
a t~ct of quite another de~cription, which fur
iden.tity must be called the V1Ue of Soto AnDa,.
iis direction is nearly paralle! witb that oí
Cacache, pl'obably fOUf leagl.leS in eXftllt, aa.d
one in breadth, but its features totally op-
60
posed, excepting at its commencement where
tbe .soil also appears good. 1 do not think
1Ve have passed a spot more remarkable' for
its exuberance, and great natural fertility.
From the summit of the two ranges of eminences
which enclose this vale, descending in a gradual
declivity,' vegetation is abundantly prolific, and
of a force that bespeak.s a great depth and rich-
ness of soil. The wood on each side is thick
and umbrageous, in the bottom a small river
runs the whole extent of the valley; in the
lower, ground the soil being pleasingly diver-
sified by wood and lawn, the richness' of the
pasturage on these verdant and sloping· banks
is remarkable; and if the hand of industry were
but employed in the cultivation oí so naturally
prolific and picturesque a spot, it could not
fail to be eminently successful. Some ground
has been cleared, and is now cultivated, but its
extent is triHing compared to that which is
yet in a state of nature, We have not passed
any spot that we have considered so favorable
for·a European settlement; for, in addition to the
great advantages offered bythe soil an~ situation,
the climate is such as to suit a European con-
stitution.· Its present inhabitants consider it
eold, and from itselevated situation it is com-
paratively so with the plains, but what we
&1

should consider a moderate temperature, thé


thermometer being at 70. In the neighbour-
hood of the village the vine has been tried, and
we were'told it yielded an abundant produce.
The soil and moderate heat is also well adapted
for the coffee planto Wheat is grown in consi-
derable quantity, l\s well aspotatoes, beans, &c.',
plantains and maize; aH other produce that
. thrives in a mild temperature would no doubt
succeed., For cotton, indigo, and cocoa, itwould
not be warm enough, but the preceding articles
wiil 'sufficiently recommend a situation which
for natural beauty we have not seen exceeded.
The site of the village is on an oblong emi-
nence, at the further extremity of the vale; the
houses are small and of miserable aspect, ando
it was with difficulty we procured wherewith
to make a meal. The inhabitants are without
exception the -comeliest looking people we have
yet seen in the country, although' the women
are more or less affiicted with " Goitres;" their
complexion ~re of a lighter cast than what we
have usually seen. There are not at present,
aboye fifteen or twenty families in the place. It
was between eleven and twelve when we arrived
here, leaving it again at three. . The only curi-
osity the place contains is the stone on which
General Morillo alighted, to meet Bolivar,to
treat of the armistice concluded in November,
62
1820. Wé heard several anecdotes of both from a
poor but patriotic inhabitant ofthe village,whom
we visited. 1 should not omit to remark, the pre-
dilection which the P?pulation in general have
for foreigners, and the attention that is generally
paid 10 us, for it is a circumstance oí sorne im-
portance, and may tend to very beneficial
results. As we advanced the westem extremity,
the vale appeared to have' been more cultivat-
ed, although much neglected at presento From
hence the road, accompanied by the same inte-
resting and fertile scenery, led us up a consider-
·able ascent,. till we attained the summit of
anotber eminence enveloped with clouds. As
night approached, we quickened our pace,
enabled so to do by the even pathway Illong
too range, untlI we' carne up with our arriero,
who had bivouacked on a grassy spot.' Bence
we had a most tedious and fatiguing descent of
at least two hours, to an insignificant village,
called "Mocoy," which we had in view almost
continualIy, and to all appearance close at hand,
but such were the windings and zig-zag path-
ways, that we were heartily tired on arriving.
It is placed at the foot of the mountain, consist-
ing only of a few straggling huts, inhabited by
goatherds. The poor animals, after a ~ard day's
joumey of ten leagues, were doomed to pass ~he
night in fasting, there being neither a blade of
63
grass or corn in the place; and the miserable
hut wherein we'ware ~ceived not containing so
muchas a draught of water, at least we could
ohtain none; and 1 hava little -doubt it, iB the
policy of these poor Indians to say, "No hay,"
to e.very thing that is enquired for, as itcer-
tainly is their practice, in consequence oí the
Tepeated passage of troops, who levy oontribu-
tions, and seldom think it necessary to pay for
theirentertainment. It was near eleven before
tbe servants arrived with our hammocks.

15th March. Before 'starting in the morning


we did, for ample payment, obtain a little
fresh goat's milk and coffee. Then pursued
a southerly course along the valley, which, as
we advanced, increased in richness and fer-
tility. The first part was wild and romantic,
and shat in by immense rocky fastnesses; but
too nearer we approached Panpanitó the more
the mountains receded, leaving a rich tract oí
partially cultivated and in part wooded land,
with abundance of water. We -passed several
small haciendas of cocoa, plantations of cane
and maize, in very good condition; the natural
productions being of the most prolific and
verdant description. Arrived at ~)mpanito, a
. distance .only of two leagues and a .half, be-
tween eight. and' nine, having pMsed an un-
64
usual number of detached cottages. This is
th~arest point to Truxillo, and contains an
advánced guard from. thence, consisting of a
troop oí cavalry. We remarked the fine ath-
letic appearance of the men was· much at
v8.!iance with their wretched accoutremenq¡:
the greater number were in a state of de mi-
nudity-none of them with .either stockings or
boots; the principal badge of their profession
being a kind of helmet made from bullock:s
hide, with a strip of blacked sheep skin in lieu
of afeather.. We were sorry not to see the ancient
city of Truxillo; a sacrifice we necessarily
made in consequence of its being' a couple oí
leagues out of our route. In this small place
we were tolerably supplied with provisions,
but found theheat' very oppressive-the ther-
, mometer at 84 0
• Made preparations afier an
early dinner for a long march to Mendoza, dis-
tant eight Ieagues, but our plan was frustrated.
Leaving at three o'dock we had a delightful, al-
though at first sultry ride, through the remainder
of the vale, which expanded as we advanced.
The .road lay through verdant and shady lanes
ofthe richest fertility, in one or two instances
through haciendas of cocoa; a great portion of
the surrounding country being tolerably culti-
, vated, but notto half theextent of its capability.'
The great circumference of this fine valley ,is
65
hardly sUl'passed in beauty by those of Aragua¡
although much of it yet remains to be deared
and planted. The coup d'ail of ita full buin,
from a wooded eminence at the further extre-
m~ty, .heightened· by the warm.· tints of the
evening sun, was rieh almost beyond precedent..
Having loitered away some time in the wood,
in parrot shooting; we found it too-Ia*e to carry
our firat intention into effect, .therefore stopped
{or the night at a Pulperia on ce Sávanna Larga"
.-a plain.of considerable extent, sitúated on the
8ummit of a mountain, wherewe found good
pasturage and an accommodating Pulpéro, who-
prepared us an excellent dish made from the
ce yuca," the plant from whicharrow-rootand cas-·

sava are made. Excepting the arracacha, it i..


the best of many good roots that 1 have tasted
in America, and must be very nutritious. We
round the temperature ,mild and agreeable.

16th March. Leaving at six o'dock, we de-


scended fromthe Savannah by a winding road.
to the river Motatan, which we had some diffi.
culty inpassing, from the narrownessand insta
bilit!l of the wooden bridge, which the cautious
mules had a particular aversion too On the
opposite bank we passed some beautiful trees,
of extraordinary growth ando symmetrical formo
The country continued to be highly intvesting,
J'
66

inW8persed with fine estates,and others that


.haya been totally neglected, bút bearing the
tlace of funner richness; especially a cocaa
}lilcieruiá in the vicinity of Valera. It is exten-
sive, and used to produce' three· bundred mule
loads ayear. The aboye village is, remarkable
only .as ,theneárest point to, Maracaibo ' that
wce &baUFaaa;, beillg sitúate'd between thattown·
3nd TtuXillo, and ,oot 1001-& than ten leitgúes
distant from the lake...:...an immerise iUland :séa,
whieh maasures one hundred and1fifty ·rnil~ {mm
north tosoútb,.íts greatest 'widthebeing niDéty,
andrcir~u1nference' toor hundted·aDd fitly.' ''fhe
éastern éo~tis spOk.en of 'as .béing very árid~
not susceptílile of cultivátion, aBa extremely
unhealthy; aOO on. the west too latid oo1y
begins to be' fruÍtful twenty. leagues soutÍl 01
the city' 6f' Maracaibo.· :The Bouthem exire~
mity of the laJee; on ·the, conttary, is equálin
richness to.any portion of South America. The
city built on. tlié WeS!' bank, . 'is .' sevéntéén -
or eighteeníniles: from· lhe sea. It stands'
upon a sandy soíf, devoid·, oí vegetatión. :Its'
temperature ·:is ·excessívcly bOt;. aggravated'
by thé scarcity of rain. : In' July 'and' 'Atigu~t,
the heat is -éXcessive. 'In this tropicalcountry,'
from March to Octoberis considered,'s~mmér;'
but the aeasonsare not divided, as .With: tÍs,'
6-1

into fout paits. y ou only hear of suinnier.


and wioter; nor is it cold or heat that foims
the distinetion, but the wet and dry periods;
which,as, they are veryvariable, subJect one,
not to four, but to twenty different sea5Óná
in too year. In Maracaibo the atmosphere'
i8 so impregnated with heat, t!mt you appear
to breathe the air oí a' furnaee. The ~habi­
tanta· COU!11leract :its effe.cls by frequeilt batbing'
inthe lake,which is eonSidere(rhealth.y.Not~'
withstanding a11 this, a residence there is far
frOID pernicious aíter a person becomes ce ac-
cJimaM l' ~o endemic disorders ,being known,
and you are much less .' subject lo disease'
than in many places where. the heat is: less,
and the means of refreshment more numerous.

,We continuedour routeto MenIJoza. 'Tliesun


was exceedingly powerful,and ·the beasts'IDueh.
, tired.OIl approaching :it the saeriéry beca.me:
1essinteresting; the·mountaiDSnarfowing unol
we, were shut in by two sterile I'aDges. It being
Sunday, the inhabitants were aH at mass, an~
it was twelve o'dock before we were in the
way oí getting ,a breakfast.At length the
retinue arrived, and with the remains of a fowl,
a little bread,. and three eggs, a11 we could pro-
cure in' this miserable hole, we made a meaL
:r 2
68
This is another poor Indian village: the chie!
produce of the neighbourhood is wheat. For-
tunately the alcalde. heard of our arrival,
and came to'invite us to take up OUT quarters
at his house, a short distance from Mendoza,
wnere we should meet with better accommo-
dation; an offer we gladly availed ourselves of,
. and experienced from him and his wife every
civilityand attention his means were capable
of affording. The temperature here was very
~greeable.

] 7th March. Having a cordillera to pass in


the 'course of the ,day, we left Mendm:a be-
tween. six and seven; ·at a distance of two
leagues we commenced the ascent, which oc-
cupied us a couple of h~urs, the road being
tolerably good. There was a considerable ex-
tent of the same grand and mountainous forest
scenery which we enjoyed on the journey
to Agua de Obispos, pervaded by the same
solemn silence,-a remarkable feature in the
forests we have passed, where you scatcely
hear asound but that of your own voice and the
rushing of waters.- 1 am at a 10ss to describe
• • Humboldt says of tbe American woods, 11 It is
Bcarcely to be distinguisbed wbat most excites your admi-
ration ¡-tbe deep silence of tbose solitudes-the individual
beauty and contrast of form-or that vigour and freshneSl
69
the magnificence of the scene from this. lofty
summit; for mountain grandeur we liave
scarcely seen it equalll;ld. Beneath us~ at an
immense depth, lay the verdant vale of Timotes,
through which we could trace for leagues a
serpentine river ;-rising above this, a range of
hills of moderate dimensions, but of almost per-
pendicular acClivity; thesummits are exten-
sive table lands, cultivated in parts, with the
village La Mesa, (so named from the formation
of the erninence,) at the eastern extremity;-
llenee a second chain, of immense lleight,
rose abruptly from tlle "Mesa;" mostly co-
vered with forest, but terminating above the
douds, which appeared to rest midway,
in rocky and craggy summits of various forms.
It occupied nearly double the time to descend
into the vale, and it was two o'dock ere we
reachéd Timotes. We lIad pretty sharp
appetites, having only breakfasted with a crust
and a cup of coffee at the hospitable alcalde's.
We were llere at the foot of the Paramo, with
the douds just hovering over our heads: the , ~
atmosphere was damp and chilly, the max-
imum of heat being 63°. We were'present at

of vegetable life which cbaracterize tbe climate of tbe


tropic8. It migbt be said, tbat tbe earth, overloaded witb
pJant8, does not aJlow tbem space enougb to unfold them-
leJves."
70

a religious procession of .San Felipe. (who


is, 1 believe. the p,atron saint of· the Ind~ans.)
exeeeding in burlesque any thing 1 havebefore
seen; but which excited at the same time, a
sensation oí pity, that tbis mild and ttaetable
people should bave been subjec.ted to so idol-
atrous and disgusting a system.- and of indigna..
tion that their former government should baTe
~onttived thus to b-umiliate a race {)f human
belngs to so degrading and revolting a con'"
dition. It is to be hoped a more enlightened
paliey will sweep away sucb grosa abuses.

18th Ma~ch. Theobjectofthisday'sjourney


was to cross the •• Paramo."-a Dame given to
\he highest mountain in a Cordillera. We
started soon after day-light, commencing á
regular and con.tinued aseent. 'fhe road was
much better· than .any ,we had passed in the
mountain . districts. Tb:é difference in the
temperature gradually manifested itself until.we
wére glad to haya reeonrse to our cloaks. With
the change of climate. the.eountry ~so assumed
a differeÍlt a:;peet; the more we advance.d, the
greater thebarrenness.of the soíl, until.passing
Chaehopo. a straggling village in a bIen. part
of the mountains.. aH useful vegetation. ceased-
the' only eovering to the stony mountainsbeing
a kind ormoss, and a plant somewhat resembliug
71

the aloe, but of a more wooll'yappearance. We


continued .ascending, the farity of the atmos:'
phere encreasirig; until 'We re¡lched thesummit
efo the Paramo at· ten olt:lock. Here we found
a surprising faH in. the thermometer, which was
down at 42te.;....a traru;itÍoi¡ that weof course
feIt very sensibly. Tha IÍlotilíng W3.S extrem~ly
favOTable fur cr-ossing, ·beingperfuétly clear;-
at other times it is; oftendangeroué, and in
stormy weather impracticable, to efféct the pas-
saga. The' view .from the, height comprised
only a mass of barren an~ rugged mOUntains,
more wild than interesting. 1 much regret not
having a batometer, by which these respeotive
elevátions might 'have been accuratelyascertain-
ed~ Hence we descended bya graduál slópe, and
tolerably ~óod>toad fur fourhoul's successively,
the scenery possessing lio novelty, uliless in!leed
the abundant' sourees oí variolls rivers, which
take their rise in these. mó'úntains; aÍtd it is
ínterelting towatch the encreasing ve.1ocity of
their currehtsas they proceed, receiviBg· rein-
forcements from, every' ravine.· Ahived at
Mucuchies .át tW'o' ci'dó~the .temperature
was agreeable, about6Go; .but tha country
-equally unintetesting; not a tree ta ·be seen:. .A
;considerable quantity al coro iS'grown here; :too
as we apptoached the town, we ob'served<tipon .
tite mountains a: great many horses and 020.
72'

The town and its neighbourhood formerly con-


t&ined 3000 inhabitants, but the number is very
sensibly diminished, from.three causes, the war,
emigration, and smaU-pox ; .the place itself is,
however, ,so evident an improvement on the
villages we have lately passed, that 1 begin to
hope we have seen theworst. TOQk up our
quartersat the Pulperia, where we found very
tolerable "accommodation for man and beast."
The church, although quite in humble style, is
one; of the neatest, and best eonstructcd. that
we hav~ seell.

]9th March. If we found the c1imate here


agreeable in the middle of th~ day, w~ have. had
reason to, think less favorably of it during ~he
Ilight, the cold being very sharp. On risin~,
the glass was as low as 46°---a ehange oftwenty
degrees in a few hours! From henee we gra-
duallydescended, until we were again in summer
heat; these, transitions are surprisingly great
in so, short a spnea of time. By degrees the
country becalI).e. more fertile, and as we gra-
dually descended by a stony road frqm Mueu-
chie~, had' an opportunity of traeing from its
. source the river Chama, which reeeives'a num-
~r- ,
of mountain streams, and rolls over its
;rocky bed with great veloeity as it approaches
.tliae sm~n village of Mucucubar. Here we
73
observed for ,the first time, the craggy 8ummits
of distant mountains, bearing S. W. covered
with perpetual snow; the, scenery increased
amazingly in richness and grandeur on nearing
Merida. The .high chain óf mountains on the
left were finely wooded-the vale partially cul-
tivat~d-and the road crossing verdant'lawns
i~tersected byrivulets with theChama increasing
in impetuosity and size from numeraus streams
that it receives. Between twelve and one we
commenced an abrupt ascent to crown tbis
moming's ride, exceedingly fatiguing to the
animals fr9m itl!! steepness. When on the sum-
. .mit, we found ourselves in the delightful city of
, . \ Merida;)from whence 1 propose to forward this
letter..
74

ROSARio DE CUCUTA, 1" April, 1823.

22nd March. Having recruited at Mecida,


three days, and it now being the eve, of our
departure, 1 must give yOO sorne a.ccount of so
chaníúng a spot, and, itS neighbourhood~ It is
considered by travellels lO be about half way
between Caracas and Bog~tá; but· 1 betieve
theFe i8 no accurate'computation.of the distance•
• i 1"hecity was (ounded as long &iDee as 1558~
under, the name oí' Sto Jago de los C8.ralleros,
and is situated on atable land oí three league&
in length, ari.Cl one broad," surrounded. by the
rivera Macujun, which has its source io the
nortb, in "los Paramos de los Conejos,'.'--the
" Albarregas," and the Chama, which empties
itself into the Lake of Maraclllbo; here are
united with extraordinary felicity the greatest
gifts of nature, soil, c1imate and situation;
the first is of that peculiar quality as to be
equally adapted lo aH the productions of a
tropical c1imate, as well as those of northern
latitudes, and in· its present imperfect state
of cultivation, it yields within view of the
city, cocoa, coffee and eotton, indigenous to a
warm c1imate; plantains, maize, aH kinds of
roots, such as arracaeha, yuca, vegetables, and
the best of fruits in high perfeetion; which
75
requireconsiderable heat; moreover wbeat~ bar-
ley,. peas, .potatoes, &c. are equally abundant,
aUhough thriving. in a· comparatively cool
atmosphere.

The primary cause of these heterogeneous


productions, so different in their nature, is the
climate varying . according to the position of
tite laDd., .from:an acess of beat, to the greatest
inteusity of. cold. In the vale of the Chama
for insü.nce, l"UDIling atthe foo1: oi tbe tableland,
the heat is pl'obablybetween' SOand 000 and
at the summit oí too DJoun,tains,.(I5,OOO' feet
.ábove tbe levelof the sea,) which furm its
bOlzndary, and immediat,ely frGnting the 'town,
you have perpetual snow. its site is most
striking and 'singularly beautifúl; ascending
f:rom the valley by a v~y steep andnarrow pass,
you gain the sqmmit of an extensive table
land, tending in a slight degree towar~s ~ an
indined plana' as it mns- westward. The city
commences at the .eastem extremity,. covering
atleast a squfll"e hall league. On the nórth,
sootb, and e1llt, the sides of the mountainare
per.pendicular,.qnd io thewest, as fhave before
ebserved~ graduaUy sloping iil an extensive
"p/atmu." At the bóttom of each precipice I

are the three above named rivers; and beyond in


each directioD, riBe a chain of 10ftY mountains
76
oí more or less fertility. Those to the soutb,
which are the highest, covered with large forest
trees, and aboye their dark green appear the
rocky summits enveloped in perpetual snow.
1 can give you but a faint ou.tline of this most
picturesque an9 delightful spot I thecity being
i~ the middle region, enjoys a temperature
extraordinarily moderate and agreeable; the
heat never being oppressive, and cold scarcely
sensible, the average is from 67 to 7C1'. /'l(ext
to Caracas_thj~ is by far the largest town inf
th~ province of Venezuela, and like it, two
thirds at least is a heap of ruins from the same
melancholy cause) (its population, in 1804~(
amounted to near 12,000 persona, whereas at
'present, 3,000,.-
is probably the extent.) The
prodigious ~·velocity of the shock which laid
both cities in ruins is inconceivable; the dis-l
tance is nearly 500 miles, 'and yet the convulsion
,:as simultaneousj Meri,da in proportion to .its
Slze, has sufferedmore than Caracas, for wlth
the exception of two streets, at least a mile in
length, it presents an unvaried picture of ruin
and desolation. Menda is the capital of a de-
partme'nt, the see of, a bishop, and:a muni-
cipality. Before the calamity of 1812; it pos-
sessed five convents, and three' parish churches;
at present one only' of the formerremains,
that of Sto Domingo, which, since the abo-
77

lition of religious orders by the decree oí


congress. is converted into the cathedral. Here
is a convent of nuns, twenty-three in number.
oftheorder of Sto Clara. still existing. an hos-
pital, and public college, in which sixty stu-
dents are instructed in Spanish.' Latin, Na-
tural Philosophy. and Theolog"y. t In like man-
her to Caracas. the streets intersect each othet
at right angles. each having in the centre a
I
j cIear stream of mnning water. I assure you
I ] do not exaggerate in setting this forth as the
1 most delightful spot the imagination can paint.
I What inight not be made of it, if peopled by
j
I European families of enlightened ide~ and

with sufficient capital to rebtiild and beautify


the city as its situation deserves 1 With any
society it might be made a delightful residence ;
there is a great deal of land on the " Mesa.",
in its immediate vicinity, which could be con-
verted into gardens and pleasuregrounds.
capable of producing the finest fruits. The
lurrounding country offers abundance of pro- .
ductjve soil for those disposed to agriculture.
The intrinsic value' of lands is oí course
inHuenced by their site and. irtigation. as well
as their proximity to principal towns and
sea ports; and in aH these' points the
neighbourhood of this town is abundantly
íavored. There could not be a spot better
.< •

78
adapted for the capital of the<próVince, for which
it· enjoys the following advantages ;-placed in
a centrical position, it would be an entre~t for
the c&mmerce oí the Llanos, the most fertile
part of the interior, whence their produce might
be conveyed {or exportation to the lake of
Maracaibo, distant only Jour' or five days
joumey, and whicb, by an implOvement of
lOads, might be reduced. to two or three. The
river Chama, already become a considerable
body of water, might, lconceive, although at
considerable expense and labouri' oWirig·to the
velocity oí the 'current, be made navigáble;
in wlúch ease it wotild by its ¡communication
with the lake, give ~o the town almost the
advantages of a maritime situatioo. The abun-
dance oí mountain rivers, 'andstreams would
give great facilities for mannfactoriéS, mills,'
and machinery in general. Weunderstood that
landmight be purchased here at very.low rates-
ttom indiViduals; to whóm itp,incipally belOngs~l
and,in whosehands it is entitelyneglected; it9!
natural advantagesare too many.to allow oHt&'
long ,eontinuing uncultivated. .~, being:a.c..
qUaintedwith tllé Gov: Col., Pered.és, .hequar":
tered us: in the best house in the towq ;one-that
has been lately built by a 'Seoor.rLoho,the most
~mpleteand .eeJtainly the cléanést" 1 have Setm-
inthe country; it ís.walladapted ror the heat,
79
witb ,a corridor rol1nd the inn~r conrt, large
airy reoms, &c. We, experienced -great civility
from our· host during our stay here, and have
fared, excellently well, to make up for short
coIilmons en route. Provisions of aH kinds'are
, plentiful; wine only is not lo be procured, in
consequtmce of' the communication ·with Ma-
mcaibo being stopped. Our relay ofmules'
wehaveagreedforWith Senor Lobo. 'We proceed'
on our march to-morrow morning, and the
impressions which Meri~a (from what' itmight-
be, more than what it' actually is)hasmadtf
up'on us, will, 1 venture to say, be as la~ting as
they are pleasing!

23rd March. At an early hour we com-


meneed the third dÍvision of our long joumey,'
proceeding westward along' the Plateau, at least:
two leagues in extent.. The soíl is ()fthe richest:
description, but little cultivated';not so the
extended valfey beyond the river, which runs·
north of th,e Mesa; for from its bánks t<.> the foot
of the mountains, which close the view on thilt
side; is one of the finest tracts 'oí land 1 ever be~
held,' more eultivated, (althoughnot'made the
most 'of,) 'than anyspaee of siniibl.r extent .that'
we have passed for a long time,and forming
scenery of t11,e moSt pietutesque and beautifuf
description; in one or two plae,es the vale
80

winding round projecting bases oí the moun .


tains, branches off to the right in gentle rises,
and terminates in a distant perspective. Some
quantity of rain had fallen earIy in the morning~
which had brought out the rich colours of the
8ugar-cane, pIantain, and a variety of foliage in·
tbe valIey. In the distance were visible tbe
rugged summits, enveloped in etemal snows,
witb Heecy clouds hanging about the midway
forests. An artist of the most happy imagina-
tion could never have composed so beautiful a
picture-not even CIaude, who " emends tbe
faults of nature." Descending from the ta1;>le
land, by a short but ste~p and stony road, we
entered the vale of Exjido, having crossed two
river~, the " Alvaregas" and " Montauban," we
arrived at the village, which is about two leagues
and a half from Merida. This rich Hat is pro-
bablya league in extent, surpassing the preced-
ing in the uniformity of its cultivation j indeed,
no where have we seen so great an extent of land
more fully empIoyed, and in no place has itpro-
duced so admirable and picturesque an effect.
As we ascended the mountains we cast many ~
. parting glance at this lovely scene. The rest
of the road to Sto Juan lay through moun·
tainous passes; the acacia, is in great abundance
here, together with wiId jasmine, .and other
beautifj.¡l mountain Howers, spreadinga delicious
81

fragranee. We passed a· fine hacienda oí eoffee


and eoeoa about midway; erossed two or three
rapid rivers, and· arrived, after a fatiguing
aseent, on a rough ando roeky road, at the
plain, on whieh is situated Sto Juan.

J
We took up our quarters with the eom·
mandant, Señor Pina, whose hospitality -
had before experieneed, and found him not only
a good host, but a sensible and well informed
man. He employs a portion of the inhabitants
in eultivating a small hacienda (farm,) and go-
vems the whole in so mild a manner, that at
·his slightest summons they assemble, even for
the purpose of eonscription; at the very idea
oí whieh, in other villages, the inhabitants fre-
quently quit their homes, and retire to the
mountains.

The greater part, 1 may almost say the


whole oí the persons we have yet met upon
our joumey, ·have declared their utter de-
testation of the yoke under whieh they have so
long groaned, and whieh they have now so glo-
riously cast off. The grinding oppression which
ihe Spaniards exercised over this then ill-fated
eountry, was ineoneeivable. The inhabitants
were not allowed to eultivate either the vine, the
olive, or the mulberry. These restrictions were
G
enforced merely to insure to the mother. country
(asl$he W~ then ~rmed.)a market for three of
ber stapl~ cQ1,Ilm.od~ties-wine_ oil, .a~d; silk;
and th~ I ~tiv.esof Col:ombia were pr~vented
exercising. their .industry in tl\re~ bI1lncbes of
trade to which their soil and climate were pe-
1luliarly applicable-they will nowb~ able to
resume ·the¡p, Qut it will r~quire much time, aild
~lle aid Qf. ~lmmean activity and capital_ before
~hey can be .carried to anyextent. It is ,the con-
;viction of aH the reas,Onab~e and refleoting peo-
pIe, with, whom we haiVe' conversed, that the
pest policy. the government· can a$1opt, is. to
~ncQ:ijrag~,. as mu~h as,possible_ the introduction
pf ~urppean industry_ mechanics,and popula-
#{)n. Tbis,is,tp.e only course by wh~ch, th~ coun,.
'~JiY can pqss.ijlly be relieved {rom t\1e extreme of
poverty, and wretchedness, br which it is now
completely 9verwhelmed; but it is, nevertheless,
~wprising,. ~o pe~l' these$entiments.expressed
hy,~ peopl~who AaNe been tutored. by th~ir op,.
press¡ors in.' an. absolu_te, ab,hop-ence ,qf aH fo-
:r.eigners, .aI)d of¡íAe inpQvations upon the oJd and
..corrupt systemJ' which . they w~d.~turally
jq.t.~oduce; which by enligh~n~,:,g the people,
:would, pave, accelerateq. Íhe tetm of their eman-
.cipa:~ion; . and it is no less sing~l~, 'that a
.population, .w:hich in. g~~eral conforms so .scru-
pulously to the Catholic rites, should not only
look favourably upon tb6se ~f' a- diffe~t reli.;,
giori~ but receiTe: them as: the regeneratórs 'of~
their countlj ~ . i' .

l' "·1 ;.
.1

There:; 'Was formerlY"la coIivent :bere, . thel


building' is now in rhins, .ana ~ .~. 'DÚns dis.;;
persed, in consequence of a difference in poti-
tieso Witb thei revblution; party feeliil.gg·were
introduced' into' the .sanctuary, which ended
in· the abolition oí their order:. thlrGO&zs .aTe
gone to Maracaibo; thpse at; Merida' being itIte
patriotic portion. oí the sisterhood'.'

.. I sbould not omit to mention a small lake hi


the neigilbourhood of Sto Juan, ,possessing
siagulatlyuseful qualities,as it ni.yd>E¡cori~
sidered one· of the .greatest natural curiosíties in
the country. In its bed is depositeda· kind oí
salt of ,a. xocky.. oonsistehcy, <1áHed' Urado~
which,when mixed' :with Chimun>: an éXtraet
froUl . tobaéci:>; possesses very .valu3lble. pro..
.perties; 'and is much used by the nativeS. It
is' a1so essentially' serivié~ble in. fattehint
cattle, :and ili used fora varietyof óth~r pur·
.poses; The Indians obmin it in' BInan. portions
at a time, by diving to' the bottom of the' Lake,
which isfour or five fathoros deep, arld detaching
itfrom the bed; in this dangerous service many
haTe perisheq, and it is only 'surprising thaf for
G 2
84

so' trifling a recompense (the utmost they can


gain being a few'rials per day)" they subject
themselves to the risk. The Urado. is not
known to exist in any other part of the Repub-
lie, and it is matter of regret that so valuable an
artic1e should at present be totally neglected•

. 24th March. Departed from Sto Juan early


in the moming, having before us one oí the
most difficult and dangerous passes in this part
of America. On leaving the village the country
assumed a neglected and generally sterile ap-
pearance; descending gradually for about a
league we arrived at a double chain of moun-
taiils, between whieh, at considerable depth,
the river Chama rushed along its rocky béd,
its violence augmenting every instant' from the
numerous streams it receives froro the moun-
tains. We altemately ascended and descended
by difficult passes cut in the side of the moun-
tains, and fellowed the road which 11lns from
North to South in this romantic defile. The
further we proceeded, the more grand the
scenery became-rocky mountains on either
side, encreasing in height, and wildness of
aspect-the narrow pathway cut in the almost
perpendicular sides of t1J.e mountains, and
barely wide eÍlougn' for the passage of the
animals. .We arrived at' le-ngth on an' ele-
81)

vated promontory, at the bottom of which


another rapid river joins the Chama. The road
winding down the steep side of the rock,. is

justly considered a difficult and dangerous pass;
,so narrow is it, that the smanest deviation
would precipitate. the mule and rider down a
perpendicular height of some hundred reet into
the Chama, which rolls at the bottom. On the
other hand, the rocky mountain rises with equal
precipitancy, so that you have no resource but
the narrow pathway winding down in sharp
angles, which harely admit of the animals
turning. In this defile we passeli two CQ-
rious bridges, thrown across the Chama .for
the convenience of travellers between Merida
and Maracaibo; they cousist simply of long
.strips of hide, fastened. on either side to poles
fixed in the earth; on the surface of these is
placed a sq uare piece of hide, on which the
traveller seats himself, and with the assistance
of a cord, to which it is fastened, pulls himseJf
across: the river, although not deep, runs with
such violence that it would be impossible to
. ford it. Too animals were much fatigued when
we reached Estanques, a distance of on1y five
leagues.

This is the name of a cocoa and coffee plan-


'. tation of considerable extent, '.belonging to some
86
families who reside in Bogotá; it is under
the superinteI\.dance of a Majot domo, who has
150 sIaves vnder bis command. Being yet
early, and as we proposed remaining hete for
the nigbt, we passed an hour in the hacienda in
shooting, where we found a variety oí birds;QÍ
beautiful plumage.

On these estates the cocoa tree is planted in


lines, at intervals offrom twelve to fourteen feet;
and as it re<iui~, protection from'the: sUIí's
j

rays, toW8 of ptaiítain' and .L'Erj¡t'rine (of 'very


-nlpid gfowth and yery urn.brageous) are _planted
-'in attetnate lines at the same time-.the latter
~helters itafter the second year;arnHhe fonner
protects it thefirst"a,tthesame time'yielding its
Gwn fruit; theplant usually yield~ hvó crops~ tbe
'oue in' J ul y, the'other in December, which in the
"gathetiIig- ando drying require -particular careo
The nut iSJ extracted .IroDlJthe pod, and placed
either on ·leaves, 01 cane-Wori: lo dry, great
. cautian'being tak:en that 'no moistui'e is com-
mUIiicated; .the ptocéss .is repeated fur a CDn-
lIitlerable time;.. after·· whW! ,. it ,is Jwused,
especial care' being . taken that none of the
pod, or the unripe nut be mixed with it. The
plant seldom yields fmit before the fifth year,
in 'sorne pláce~- riót tilf the sixthor seventh;
butafter mice' 'bearing, if -properIy man~d,
87

will continue tofructífy ófrom thirty to" fifty


years.

. The cocoa of Caracas,which.I ,believe la


~derstood to, be that fJf.. call >Venezuela, is
eateeemed~ witb oné exceptiPn only, that of
Soconusco,' the best that· grows. . It requires
a situatioil sheltered' from the north, to be near -
I

a river'by' 'which it may be imgated in dry


~ther,' and drained in tileJrniny.·seaaon. ,

The' coffee-plant is comparative.1y. of. Tecent


cultivation; it was noto introduced intoVene-
zuela till 1784, sincewhen it 'hasheen an oh-
ject of great attention; it is less capricious as
té> soil ~h8.n eocoa, and :a muche bardier plant;
I

it yields a crop rthe'secondor fthird year, and


tIle tree, whichis allowed lo grow,to four or
five feet, Will1as~ forty years.; like the coe~:
it requires' ahelter from excessive heat~the
plantairi; in'somedistricts, is consideredsuffi..
cien~-.,.;.in .o.thers, L'E"!'ltrim; .is used~ wl;l.ich is
planted' áltemately, with the cóffee; plenty of
.moisture isalso requis~te. ,When tbe ;hetry ia
ripe, it is ahakeli. off the tree on to cWths which
U8 i spread'for thEi pUllpose,. ·and afterwardsle••
p08B~ to the 'sun for two or three .wee~ to"be
well dried.
88
The agriculturist, in this country, has an ex-
cel1ent method of availing himself of the ser-
vices of his slaves, almost free of any expense.
Each man, or family, receives a certain portion
of land, called a Conuco, which he cultivates
for his own 8Upport ; for this purposa he
is left at liberty a day in each week. Ataste
for husbandry is hereby acquired, which in the
end is beneficial to the estate; five days are
devoted to the hacienda, and on Sunday they
are again free. . Mter hearing mass, in which
they are very punctilious, the rest of the day
is devoted to dancing, a recreation which the
blacks are passionately fond of.

Amongst the most liberal law8 adopted by


tlÍe first national congress, is that of abolishing
slavery after the present generation. A fund is
also established for the purpose of annually
redeeming a certain number from bondage, so
that in a few years the unnatural distinction will
no longer exisl. From theperiod of passing the
decree, the children of sIaves are declared free,
but bound¡ to indemnify the master,who 'has
been at the expense of 'clothing and feedirig
them, either by a certain number ofyears of per-
sonal servitude, or an equivalent· to·the expense
incurred.
l,
89
We were seated at dinner on the balcony
which surrounds the house, when all the
children belanging to the estate, to the number
of about sixty-the boys in one line, the girls
in another - descending by a winding-p~th
from the village, approached the church, sing- .
ing in very good time an hymn, or evening
prayér; when, in front of the house, they all
knelt dowil in the same order, and lifting ,up
their hands prayed aloud. AH 'religious Cere-
monies are impressive; and in the present in..
stance that feeling was greatly enhanced by the
Bituation-as it were in the midst oí the wilder-
ness. Taken by surprise, the efrect oí so many
young creatJlres addressing their Creato~ in tlle
same words and tone, joined with theconsi·
deration, of how inestimable a blessing the in-
troduction oí Christianity, ,although sodisfi-
gured, is amongst a race of beings but lately
barbarians, made it the most impressive sight 1
rec'ollect to have witnessed.

Towards evening it began to rain, and con-


tinued with considerable violence the whole oí
the night. We did not fail to bear it, being
kept awake by myriads oí mosquitos, and a
small ·fiy, called Pfjen, equally persecuting,
although more diminutive than a fiea; we were
90

frightM figures in the moming from their joint


efForts.

Mr. --, who has occasionally fallen in With


ns sinee'we left Valencia, arrived here tbis mom-
in.H-in a heavy shower. A day or two &inee he
¡lost a valuable horse,from thesting oí a veryl
I diminutive serpent, the poison oí whi(:h was &0,
~ l'erf,subtle that,tbe animal'died within'an hour;1
theJl are 'called by the natives Aran~J and it is
on1y-whe~ 'immediate ,preeautionsare' taken
,afterthe bite, that the animal is eversaved; it
is'even the'n'a matter ófmuch uncertainty. One
oí our best müles was lltung in the foot, but're-
medies being instantlyapplied, we have'hop~
of her recovery ; 'fallirig in with these reptiles,
is not the least of our apprehensions. This
particular' species,. however, only attack' the
brute C'reation.
, ,. ~

About noon, there 'oeing a temporaxy gleam


oí 8unshine, we thought it weIl to proceed.
We commenced our route by entering a 'wood,
and forded l a smaIl'ri'ver, , which' intersects the
road ¡ in a serpentine form a1: ieast a d~en times.
As ,we advaneed,· the foresto thickened, 'ed trees
presented 'them'selVes 6f a siza andluxuriant
growth; such ás we had no! before seen. 'One
91

of the peouliarities oí t1'ees in this hemispbere is,


that they ron up to an amazing height, in aper-
fectlY'straight line. before tbey begin to branch'
out. and froro the boughs. various shoots, equallJ
perpeQ.dicular. descend and takeroot. We\ad
oot advanced very far when the rain came down
in torrents. obliging us for the first time to have
recourse to our cloaks. At the distance of two
lcagues we came up with'0ur baggage animals;
many of them having got loose in the fore&t, the
morning had been 10st in recovering them; the
miero therefore proposed stopping the rest of
the dayat a cottáge in the wood. and we thought
it expedient to do the same. The inhabitants
ofthe next village being equally famed for horse..
stealing. ud anti-republican principIes.

Vyagual, the name of this Chaumiere In..


dienne. is tbe mO&t romantic spot imaginable;
situated on agentle' rise, it commands a view
oí the mountainous forest that encompasses it
Ion aH sides; fOl the most part impervious to man,
andthe sole residence of animals hostile to bis
natur~. Too gloomy silencethat uniformly per-
vades American fórests is here broken by the
impetuous course of the river Macuti, whicb
·flOW8 thróugh'it. now much swollen by the mins.
In this wildemess '\Ve, again found a family pos-
8e8sing the same hospitable attributes, 'and
92

alacrity to supply the wants of travellers, who


they have been taught to look upon with mis-
tmst, if not with horror. We moreover met
with good provision, and plenty of cane for the
mules. The mother had by no means the man-
ners oí a person who had passed the g\eater part
oí her,1ife, as was the case, in ~uch a solitude ;
ahe had four as fine children as I have seen in
the country, whi.ch with two or three servants,
completed the circle.

26th March. At day light purslled our mute


.through the foresto which. with the exception
,of one'or two openings, presenting the grandest
pictures oí wood and mountain scenery, occu-
pied the greater part of the traet from hence to
tbe Parochia of Bayladores, and consequently is
not le8s than six leagues in extent; the river was
our co~tant companion, watering a soil .of
uncommon natural fertility; the road tolerably
leve! and good; a number of detached houses
form the Parochia of Bayladores. For the
,first time we saw the tobacco plant in cul-
tivation, a considerable quantity beinggrown
jn thi~ neighbourhood; it is a source of great
profit to the govemment, who have in the
.village ofBayladores an establishment for
the manufacture of segars and snuff. The In-
_dividuals who grow the plant are obliged to
93

sellit /to the govemment at acertain price.


, After undergoing the various preparations, it
is retailedtothe public at an advance of four
or five rials a pound; this monopoly is however
tO"be done away with as soon as circumstances
will permito

"Tobacco since the year 1777 has'been the


" exclusive property of the state. The valleys
"oí Aragoa, Orituco, Varinas, La Grita, and
"Bayladores, are the spots where it is most
ft cultivated. It requires a rich and moist soH,
" and great care in keeping the plant free from
-te weeds; it grows generally 10 the height of

'"' three feet; and asthe leaves ripen, theyare


" separately taken off when the sun is at the
" meridian, to avoid the least degree of moisture
" which would otherwise injure it. This tobacco
" is principally made into segars, bef~re which
"""a juice is extracted, called Chimon, which is
" used by the inhabitants in large quantities."

There "appeared to be nothing remarkable


in the town which we merely passed through; "
it has been much destroyed by the Spanish
troops, adivision oí which, commanded by La
Torre, was quartered here eleven months.
"Strange to say, the village and neighbourhood
, still have the reputation of bCing attached to the
94

Spanisb interest! Anotherleague, bltwgbt ...


to .la Cevada, 80 called from; the qualltity
of barley that is grown tbere; tlhe situation is
extrer,nely pretty, and the land very fertile, ami
tolerably cultivated; two ridges oí wooded
mountain enclose an extensive vale running eUt
and west, the greater part oí wbich is sown
with grain, but still leaving'patchea::of; rich
pasturage: seve~al detaohed farm bouses ofneat
appearance add to too picturesque effectof tbe
scenery. It was our wish 10 stop ato one of
these houses, tbe animals being very tired, but
in none could we find an inhabitant; we were
therefore compelled to proceed tothe extremity
of the vale called La Playta, where by the
greatest chance, we discovered a farm house: in
a retired spot, tbe owner pi'oving to be the
person to whom we were recommended·by the
family at Vijaguel. While OUT willing host was
employed in preparing our dinner, wespent
an hour or two in dove and pigeon shooting,
having observed large flocks of each in the
coro: fields oí La Cevada. . Too harvel!lt had
lately been got in, .which 1 belíeve ·seldom fails
of being abundant without any artificial pre-
paration; thesoil is naturally so rlch, tbat· it
.yields a orop evety year. Theirl.'íñode oí
- \
agriculture' is of the simplest nature: after;
'gatbering· the grain, which they cut oif near \
96

; the 'eal, the straw is bumt on the land; a


: wedge of iron fixed to a rough. blookof wood
, forms the plough wherewith to tum the soil,
; for which purpose, oxen are used of a remark~
ably fine bree~ the process of sowing 'ÍoUows,
which in.. two or three lll'?nths is succeeded by
an abundant crop ; ,·the (grain is ,than placed in
an area, 'preparad for the,purpose, andrtrodden
\. out oC the husk by borses and mules, whoare
driveh round it for that purpose~)

. Towards evening ~ rwe fonnd it very cold,


perha'ps in consequence of being· previously
heated with shooting; ·nevertheless theglass
was at· one time as lów as 55 degrees. In
Bpite 01 OUr preeaution .jn not sleeping ·at
Bayladores, we had amule stoJen during the
night; 1 have Httle doubt that the depredators
w'ere part of a· body 0'/ troops who passed late
in the evening towards Bayladores, and who
must have seen our stud feeding in tllesavan-
nabelow.

,27th Morch. WeTe detained here till nine ,


in. the morning, making search, and writing' to
the authorities on the road, to' apprize them of
·the theft: at that hour we got off, and com-
meneed the aseent ofa small Paramo, called
Portachwlo. The natives regan! tbese spots,
96
where on the summit, it is generally very cold,
. with a respect almost amounting to awe. We
met a party descendingso mufHed up, that their
eyes and noses were the only parts exposed to
the atmosphere; they expressed surprise at our .
not being additionally clothed; but. to us the
temperature was most agreeable, being'at 60°.
The descent was extremely teflious and fatigue-
ing, by a winding road through a continuation
of forest nearly the whole way. We reached La
Grita, a distance of only five leagues, by two
o'c1ock, where we took up our residence with
the Curate. This town, .which is rather con-
siderable, is prettily situated on an eminence,
commanding a view oí a large portion of culti-
vated land, the whole hemmed in by high
mountains. The population is by no me~
proportioned to its size, many oí the houses
being deserteO.; but as it was a "Dia de Pro-
cession," there was a considerable inHux from
the neighbourhood. The women are mostly tall,
and with a few exceptions very plain, ~d much
disfigured with Goitres, a disease which pre-
vails 'to a great extent in tbis Jine oí moun-
tainous country.) We met with very indifferent ,
accommodation, owing to the late advance oí
Morales, which had impovérished the town.
The Port of Maracaibo, the key to this part of
_the .country being also in bis possession, all
97
intercourse with it is at a stand still. The
detachment with which he made that extra..
ordinary incursion, did not go beyond LaGrita;
indeed it is unaccountable how he was allowed
to proceed thus far, when he might have been I

opposed by very superior forces.

28th March. At day-light we continued our


march through a fertile, but little cultivated
country, with finely wooded mountains, and
several small rivers. The roadwascomparatively
good and level for the first five leagues, which
brought us to a very picturesque spot, called
El Cobre, from the copper mines in its neigh-
bourhood. There is a small house in the valley
destined ror the reception of couriers, who con-
vey letters from one part of the country 10 ano-
ther, where we obtained excellent bread' and /
water, at times a very acceptable repast! The
facili~ies given to correspondence from one part
ofEurope 10 anotber, are quite unknown.in this
country. Public dispatches, official and private
letters, are all conveyed by men who travel on
foot, and are relieved at every village; and
although they walk day and night, the commu-
nications are necessarily tardy, being forty days
between Caracas and Bogolá.; their bags seldom
-appeared very burthensome.
H
98
We had now to pus a PlJ1'tnna, called El .?Mm-
hadar, or HUmIller. ., in bis folmet
punge, says of it:

" We commenced the ascent of the Paramo.,


.. justly called El Zumhador, from theincessant
.. violenee of the wind upon its summit. The
'f aseent occupied ~s several hours, and is in

le some placea rendered extremely dangerous


" by the narrowness ilf the road and strength
.. oí the wind, which frequently threatens to
.. hurl both mule and rider into the abyas below•
.. We suffered most sensibly from the cold, and
" more from tbe wind, whieh was almost irre-
"sistible, and would orten drive the mules
" sideways several paces."

The approach to it was extremely grand fromo


the inereasing s~e and magniñcence of the
mountains, but as they were perfectly free r,om
douds, and the sun ahone with great bright~
ness, we· did not suft'er at aH froro the rarity Qf
the atmosphere, or the usually ooisterous wind.
On its sumroit, which we gained at one o'cl()Ck.
the thermometer was onlyat 60. Indeed, 1 felt
disappointed at so easy a passage, having pre-
pared for the usual difficulties. The view from
99
heDce was troly grand~ eomprebendilíg an im·
mense traet of country, aud terminating in a
sierrania, or ebain of mountains, whicb to a11
appearance were the highest from the level of
tbe plain of any we had seen, not excepting the
Silla of Caracas: their course laying from S. W.
ro N. E., and like, in tbe Silla, the mountain
in tbe centre being tbe higbest. After a long
descent by a stony and difficult road, we reacbed
a solitary house, ca11ed Los Caneis, where we
bad inteDded stopping for the night, but found
it previously occupied by a party of troops, who,
in charge of a commissary, were conducting
money and stores to La Grita: tbe latter was
much disposed to be quarrelsome, and as 8uffi-
cient time had not elapsed toobliterate the recol-
lection of our loss at La PIayta, we thougbt it
expedient not to expo.se ourselves to a similar
misfortune, and we proceeded a league and a
half farther, in perfect darkness, upon a most
rugged road; we arrived at another lone hut ten
league8 from whence we started in the morning.
The poor people were in bed, and not a littlo
alarmed at hearing so many voices; but -
no 800nel
.
were they apprised that we were Ingleses, tban
the door was opened, and we received a bearty
welcome; here we had barely room to sling
H 2
100 '

our hammocks, in a room where there was a


man ill of a fever; nevertbeless, after the fatigues'
of the day, we slept soundly. Savannah Larga,
tbe name of the place, is prettily situated in the
mountain. A small conuco, attacbed 10 the cot-
tage, furnished tbe family with an ample stoc~
of coffee, maize, plantains, and potatoes; here
with tbe least industry, the poorest may live in
comparative plenty.

29th March. At half past six we coutinued


our journey through a very interesting, fertile,
and wen cultivated country. The valley, which
widened as w"e approached the village ofTariva,

is well watered by the,river Tormes, and is ex-
tremely picturesque. The situation andoadvan-
tages of this district appeared to me such as
would recommend it to colonists, as there are
large portions of fine land in ~ant of cultiva-
torso The valley is bounded by the same Cor-
dillera we observed from the Paramo, its 10ftY
summits re-appearing aboye the clonds. We
stopped at a house at the entrance of the village,
the owners of whichhad formerly received--
with much hospitality, and we experienced
from them the same tr.eatment.
101
At five P. M. we left Tariva, having waited
the arrival of our baggage and spare mules,
those we ha.d ridden in the moroing being per-
fectly fagged. The road runs north óf the
village, and when we had attained the summit of
the eminence which commands the wholeextent
of vale, the ~sun w.as just setting, throwing on
this lovely landscape a variety of tints that
·greatly enhanced its already grand and inte-
restingefi'ect. We advanced- in obscurity for
two hours, and at eight we reached· the village
of Capachio" distant three leagues. Eighteen
months ago a public school on the Lancasterian
plan had been successfuUy established here, by
a priest namedMora, for the education of the
youth of the villa~e, many of whom had made
considerable progress in reading and writing.
We learot with much regret that this most
useful establishment had, for sorne reason; been
broken up. The first and most· important
object in this country should be the education
of the rising generation; that alone can eradi·
cate the apathy and laziness of the present
inhabitants, who moreover labour under
the disadvantages commop to aH Catholic
countri{ls. To carry into. efi'ect a plan for
general education, which might be done gra-
dually, and , at a comparatively small expence;
)02

and at the same time, with the concW'rence of


¡overnment, to distribute translations in Spa-
nish of the Hible, and a few othe& useful works,
would be one of the greatest benefits that could
be bestowed on this tractable, but priest-ridden
people, and worthy the magnanimous efforts
that have already been made, by some persons
in England, for the good of Colombia.

30th March. As soon as the moon rose we


continued our joumey. On our way we passed
the village of San Antonio de Cucuta, at three
in the moming, and a littl~ beyond crossed the
T¡l<~hina, a river that divides the immense pro-
vince of Venezuela, ofwhich we have now tra-
versed six hundred miles and ~wards, from the
kingdom of New Grenada. (tIeartily gJad were
we at four o'clock to take possession of an empty
house in Rosario de Cucut~; having completed
.8 fatiguing journey of twelve leagues in the last
twenty-four hours; our hammocks were soon
slung, and overcome with fatigue we slept
soundly till 0000. This briogs' me to the close
pf another division of our joumey; and 1 assure
your the prospect of a day or two's rest is most
comfortable.
103

I shall conclude this l~ttér with a cortlpatátive


view of the population of this provinee i~ ] 804,
ác~mnpanied b, ail extract of a letter, lately
addressed by Baron Humboldt to the Liberator
Bolivar, on the estimat-e<l populatioo of the
whGle of Ameriea in the year 1822:-

IN 1804, Venezuela contained,


lo Varinas ~ 500,000
tbe Governmeot oí Maracaiho 100,000
Cumana. 80,000
Guiana......................... 34:,000
Margarito...................... 14,000
728,000

The proportion oí whieh were

2-1Oths Whites 146,600


~10tlls Slavell••...,. ...•....•.•..•...•.•...•...•.......... t_ •• 218,4:00
4-1~ Free OOl,2()()
1-IOth Free Iodians....................................... 72,000
7~.OOO
, .

Statistieal caleulations on Ameríea, ftom a


letter addressed from París, by Baron Hum-
boldt to Bolivar, the Liberator and President of
Colombia:-
104
lU:T••T of T ••• ITORUL 81l•••Jrlcl.. in
square Le<lgues of lID to the EquatoriaJ POPIlLATiOK 111 1M2.
Degree.

Mexico, or New Spain........ '7~,830 •••••••••.•• 6;860,000


Guatimala............................ 16,740 1,660.000
Cuba and P~rto Rico.......... 4.430 800.000
e 1 b' jVenezuela......... 33.'700 -... ,900,000
o om la l N ew Grenada.... 68.250 1.800.000
Peru 42.160 '1.400.006
Cbili 14.240 1,100,000
Buenol Ayrel 126.770 2.000.000-

POlle81~onloftheSpanillh} 172.110 16.400,000


Amencanl ..
U nited State8 126,44.0 10.200,000
Brazilll ~................ 266.990 4.000,000

Tbe aboye superfices bave been calculated


witb much care from maps corrected by astro- •.
nomical observations: tbe computations having
been verified botb ,by myself and Mr. Mathieu,
Member of the Bureau of Longitude. The re-
sults differ from those contained in tbe table
publish~ in 1809, and inserted, in the Political
Reviewon Mexico, in which theinhabited
districts ,were alone calculated, not including
the desert tracts belonging 10 the various tribes
-, of independent natives. The extent of each
country to ita most distant limits, is now mea-
sured, which the respective populations may
one day occupy.

The population of the various parts of


America, belonging to the Spaniards, isvery
105

uncertain, nevertheless, each· branch has been


carefully examined according to t~e hi.test data,
that have come into my possession. This state-
ment should be looked upon in the same light
as the others published by me on America; th~t
is, as an attempt, which ought hereafter to be
perfected. The Statistical divisions can only
be brought to perfection and accuracy by de-
grees, in the same manner as the component
parts of the M~teorological and AstronomicaJ.
Tables.

Proportions that may assist in a comparison.

Spain contains 16,094 square leagues of 20


to the degrei-or, 2,854 toises-making 5,572
metrés.

The whole of Europe contains 304,710 square


leagues.

The whole of Southem America consists


of 581,891 square leagues.

( Signed) HUMBOLDT.
106

SOATA, 11th April, 1823-

Rosario de Cucuta will everbe famed


in the annals of Colombia, as the town in
which the first general Congress was held,
and where the Constitution was formed.
In 1820 the deputies of Venezuela and New
Grenada assembled here; their session lasted
three tnonths, and was held in the saet'isty
of the parish church. You will readily ima-
gine that our first pursuit, when refreshed frotn a
fatiguing joumey, was to visit tbis memorable
spot. At present there is nothing to commOe-
morate this important event; but the church in
which it took place is by far tbe neatest, and in
tbe best preserntiotl oí any we have hitherto
seen. The architecture is somewhat in the
moorish style, and would do honor to a country
more advanced in the arts. It is kept in the
nicest order-the least respect that can be paid
to its important history. Amidst a quantity oí
trash, it contains a j>liinting by a Mexican
artist of the name oí Páez; the chief figures
are a Madonna and child, evidently copied from
Raphael'l!I Madonoo del Pesce. The execution
surpasses wbat one might expect in a South
American artist. It is the offering of a late
bishop of Caracas, and was painted in 1774.
107

The appearance of the town, in the centre of


which is situated the church, is extremely pleas-
ing; surrounded byrich· haciendas, in excellent
condition, it is, as it were, in the midst of a de-
lightful garden. The perspective aUhe extremity
of each street terminates in beautiful vistas,
with high mountains in the back ground. The
town, which is not large, lies N. and S. and is
in itself neat and wel1 built. It has not suf.
fere~ from the earthquake thát desolated the
neighbouring provirice;' the hou$es, though not
large, have a clean appearance; the streets are
paved, with a current of water running through
the middle. The population ís proportione~ to
its size, and theyappear to in~ulge in much
amusement and gaiety.

~
.>one of the greatest curiosities we have met
.ith in this country is a ~?t .spring, distant from
.this town about a league;';in a N.W. direction.
We made a point of going to see it, and have
again to legret the destructión of our Jast ther-
mometer, by which we could áccurately have
ascertained the heat. The cettre of the spring
being in the middle of a swamp, prevented our
tryiog it where the heat must necessariJy have
been the greatest; but ftoro the bubbling which
appeared 00 the surface,'tbe water WflS eVldently
, in a state of ébullition.. The s~rplus water
, '-. finds a Qrain under ground and re-appears at
lOS
twenty yards distance; of course cooled in a
degree by its passage;' but even here the heat
is so great, that you cannot bear your hand in it
many seconds:.· The spirits of wine .thenno-
meter only indicatedheat as high as 120 to 0

which it immediately rose on being immérsed.


1 have no doubt, that· in the miqdle, an egg
might be boiled. It evidently partakes of mi-
neral properties: iron, 1 should think, both from
the taste, and the ferruginous' sediment, that is
left -in' its course. It is singular that vegeta-
tion is remarkably strong immediately round the
spring. When its properties are correctIy as-
certained, it wiIl in all probability be of impor-
tant use. At present it excites no attention.

The. inhabitants appear to 'be very fond of \


dancing; every evening they assemble in the
square to the number of fifty or sixty, and figure \
away with great animation to the most deafening
music, by the'light of paper lanthoms, and the
.glare of innumerable segars. The chief instru-
ments are calabashes filled with Indian corn,
which are rattled to the thrumming oí. guitars~ .

We found provisions much cheaper than in


Venezuela, and tolerably abundante Grapes
are grown in the neighbourhoQd, of a very good
quality; the first we have met with on ourway.
109

Money is prpportionablydepreciated; the dou-


bloon, for which we paid eighteen dollars and a
half at Caracas, here only circulat~s for six-
teeo.

2nd April. Having rested two days at Ro- -


sario, and efi'ected a change of baggage animals,
with an addition to our riding stock, we left it
this morning at 9.

Prom a gentle rise west of the town, there is


a very pretty view of Rosario, and San Antonio,
embosomed in haciendas; the latter is in Vene-
zuela, the former in the kingdom of New Gre-
nada. The(?>ad from, Rosari~) de Cucuta, in
• ~ch direction, lies through verdant avenues.
We passed· rich_ plántations of cocoa, cane,
1coffee,and cotton) The latter was only intro-
duced' here in the year 1782. It thrives in
almost any soil, provided it be dry, and sheltered
from the north winds, which are most destruc-
tive to it. It is allowed only to grow to the
height of six feet, and its numerous branches
are covered with pods containing the cotton
which envelops the seeds. Thesame plant will
produce severa! successive years, by being
properly pruned, but it is more genera\ly the
practice to plant fresh stocks, which always give
a larger quantity.
llO
The church is a eonspicuous and pieturesque
object from the eminenee aboye mentioned.
The first pa.rt of the road was a very steep and
rocky aseent, after which we traversed a level
traet of great fertility. The soil is generally
light, but good, and it might with ease be
cleared of the useless shrubs which at present
monopolize ¡t. 1 should think it wel1 ealculated.
for the vine, which is already brought to per-
feetion in the neighbourhood, although to a
limited extent. A great deal of rain having
fallen during our detention, we were apprehen-
sive that the riverwould have been impassable¡
however we afi"ected the passage witl1 no. other
ineonvenience than a wetting. A short ascent
bro~ght us to a beautiful plain, about a mile in
extent, another most favoured situation; its
only produce however are useless berbs, which
hide a multitude of snakes. The smal1 'village
ofCarillo is situated at the extremity. Here we
took up bur abode at an ftacienda, the owners
oC whieh, are proprietors of the plain. The
house where we lodged is one of the best in
the route, but in common with the rest, almost
void of furniture., The only fault to be found
here, is the abunuanee of serpents of different
denominations and sizes, with which the place
is infested, as well as those torrÍlentors, mos-
quitos; of the existence of the latte~, OU1"
111

perl!lons atfotded evident pro()f the following


morning; and the cQuutry people do not sti,
uut after dusk witlwut flam~~u~ to s~are th~
former.

3rd April. Besides coifee, plantainl!l, &:c. ·the


estate averages a crop of ~50 mule loads of
cocoa, .which at the present reduced price of
aH agricultura! production, owing to the stag-
Ration of commerce on the side oí Marac;:~bo..
is worth 3,500 dollars. The housa and ha-
cienda are let at the low r~nt of 600 dollara.
(;Jff';; proceeded towards the source of the river .
. San José, which runs through these gfo~nds./
We were continually climbing and descendili"g
~ough steeps incumbered with huge loose stones;
-the pa~ howevel' is vel'Y &ne, with the river at
the botto.m rolling its accumulating waters over
a rocky bed. On either 'side the defUe, the
mountainous woods rise to ~ great height, ,w~th
masses of rock obtrudin,g through the tre.es.
Our curiosity to see ~ serpent was for the first
time gratified this morning, tb.e patbway being
obstructed by one. We sucGeeded in killing
him, afterfiring three times in tl'uly sportsman-
like style, that is, at a, long &hot; he proved to
be what the natives call a "Cafador," betweelJ.
six and S6ven feet in length, the head and half
the bodyyellow, the tail part blac~.
112

A new road has been made within ayearor


two from Carillo·to Pamplona, the olllyefi'ort
of the kind we have met .with. We traversed a
very tolerable wooden bridge thrown across the
San José, and commenced a very fatiguing and
long ascent leading to atable land, surrounded
by mountairts partiaUy covered with puturage,
and small cultivated spots inhabited by poor
Indiaos; the mountains rising ooe aboye the
other, terminate in an azure and cloudIess
sky, which appears ro rest on their aspiring
summits. On the left of us appeared at a great
depth, in a beautiful verdant vale of meadow
land, the village of C'~inacota, 1the most pic-
? --
turesque object imaginable, and greatly resem-
bling drawings 1 hav.e met with of Swiss scenery,
although 1 imagine this to be on a grander scale.
At this. spot we were at a great elevation
aboye the level of the sea, having for sorne
days gradually, though álmost constantly as-
cended; this i8 indicated by the rarity of the
air; we are still making a due southerly course
'among. the ramifications of the Andes. The
exuberant fertility of thesoil is very remarkable,
from 'every inch of which, vegetation appears to
shoot with irresistible force! We stopped for
the night at a lone house, about fi ve leagues
'from Carillo, at a place called Gallenazo, where
we obtained caQ.e for the mules, a fowl for
1I3

ourselves, and were .served with the. same


ready alacrity we have invariably met with.

4th April. Weproceeded early the following


Illorning along a gradual rise; the chain on
either side receding, presented partial, but
laxuriant cultivation, and sorne quantity of
cattle of a remarkably fine breed. The village
of Chopo is placed on an eminence, the approach
being by a sloping meadow of considerable
extent,. well stocked with horses and sheep.
The neighbouring country produces, in con$6-
quence of a moderate temperature, wheat and
maize, with a variety offine vegetables. We
made an .excellent breakfast upon a fowl, fr,esh
eggs, and milk, and two fine pines, which cost
the moderate sum of O1le rial! On leaving the
vale, the road which winds round the mountain
is comparatively good, commanding extensive
prl>spects, with occasional specimens of good
tillage, and a rich soil. ,On turning one ()f
these eminences we suddenly carne in view of
: ¡the city of Pamplona, placed in a vale about a
¡ .¡Jeague in extent, and hemmed in on a~ sides by
··./high· hilIs of variously coloured earth It was
1
a perfect panoramic seene of no ordillary beauty.
Tbe town is large, and_ divided into squares,
similar to Caracas, th~'streets running at right
';..,,>angles; a great many churches enliven the
1
114
eifect, and to each hou~e is attached' á pórtion
of garden ground, which at a distance have
a very. pretty appearance. The surrounding
ñelds a.re endosed by stone walls in a regUlar
manner, givingan 'air of proprietOTship which 18
not often met with, , hut exhibited littl-e vegeta-
tion, it being the winter season. Several streams
run thrpugh the vale from north to south. The
vel'Y 'picturesque efiect from the dis1.llntemi~
oonrie, was hardly realized '00 descending 00
tnetown; for many of thehouses areahaoooned, :
tlle str~ts' overgrown with gmss, and gar~ens(
aeglectedy, Contrary to our plan,' we staid a
W'hole· d8.y 'here, having met with 8.U old ac~
quaintance, 'Colonel Lyster, wi'th whom we
,took up 0lÍl" qua1'te!'s, and were entertained
, ' r
most hospitably.' There(are no less than ten. '
, ~urches and conventshere, a sufficient reRSon
'in. ·i'tself· fer ,the existing poverty; added tú
~ich,ithasbeenmade'amilitary station, and 'at
'presen.tis a 'tiepót fur in~ded soldiers;' upwards
'OÍ 300 of whom are in' the difFerent ftospitals.
Wevisit'6d the conventof F-ranciscannuns,
thirty-two in num-ber, wno,have tbereputation
of being·very rich. In thecharehthe:re is ihe
·most· splendid 'altar. piece imaginable, as rich
·as ~lding can make it, átid of .verY fhandsome
, 'WorkIhanship. A multitude-'Ofpaintings daco-
rate the walls, but none of any 'merito .'nte
116

Colbnelhappens to be a favourite with tb¡e


sisterhood, and receivelt frequent pre&ents ftD¡W.
them; during our stay they ~ent some e'l:ceUent,
preserves, fOl which they are very celebrated.
Too cathedral is o. good deal ornamented, but
the only article of merit or taste is .a paintiug>
of Sto Francis. The artist'lS name we'could 001'
leam, but the w07k ismuch 'ia too .tyIe of
Velasquez. The rest of theCDD.Vent8 are
vacated~ and ,the. ehurches eootaia nQthing'
remarkable. We visited a OolOOlbian:' f4unily
ber.e, who'are emigrants fmm Cueuta, iR con·;
sequenee.of Mondés! advanee; the femares were:
'tbe most favourable Specimens oí their sex that
we have had the 'ÍortAm.e' to meet with. This
is considered a very cold place, and in ia.ct w.e>
felt a considerable change of temperature, the
Blfera.ge dl1riug the day being about 60°, and in
tIle night as low'3.542".

.... 'Within. two daysjourney of this town, ,are fue.


gold mines of Veta, mentioned by Humboldt, they
ha'V8 not been regularly wol'ked for tile last cen-
tlury, but too Indiansoecasionally-brmggnms
t!o'SeU of a .considerable Bize. The.commandant
told -US that last year he had forwarded a solid
piece of gold to the capital, weighing upw:ards
of six pounds. We understood there were
mines ofcopperandsilverimmed.iately adjoiniag.
1 2
116

The population of Pamplona is about 3200,


amongst which are many objects frightful from
the'goitres.

6th April. It was nine in the morning of the


sixth before we left Pamplona accompanied by
Colanel Lyster. Tlie country assumes a sterile
appearance, excepting only the spontaneous
growth·ofa variety of mountain shrubs, sueh as
myrtle, box, acacia, &c. Our route lay south
through the same range that we have been
long traversing; the first part was a steep
ascent,but the road unusually good; owing prln-
cipally too the· nature of the soil, a species of
mica, so brilliant, asto have all the appearance
of silver.·

At the distance of two leagues is a delicious


springofwaterissuingfrom themountain, as cold
as if it were ¡ced, and ofexcellent flavour; even in
a country where the water is so good, this
was peculiarly grat~ful. On the summit of. a
mountain, at the distance of three leagues froID
Pamplona, and just aboye the small village oí-
Cacuta is·a lake of small dimensions, where the

• The existence in Venezuela of a mountain of this


substance, oí a gold colour, was the cause of aIl the fables
and rellear~es for tbe celebrated El Dorado.
111
river Apuré has jts sourc~; we díd not observe.
any outlet, consequently its waters must filter
through the soil till they form the small current
observable at the foot oí the emínence. The vil-
lage is a miserable hole, encompassed by a bar-·
ren soil; nevertheless, we observed some fine cat-
tIe feeding on the mountains. We continued the
same course, constantly ascending and descend-
ing lofty eminences, -«Thích extended to the
'right and left, 'and although mostly barren,
forming a grand scenery from their diversity of,
shapé and outline. It was nearly dusk when:
we arrived at the village of Chitagá, a distance
of nine leagues, situated on a high spot, CQm-
manding the vale. Although the Alcalde. put·
half the. village in requisitíon for our service,
we fared but badly, and our animal s worse..
The hoopi:ég cough hascommitted gteat ravages
here; indeed, ít is, surprisíng how any of the
children survive who are attacked by it, owing
tothe modeof treatment, and total absence of
medicines and medical aid; spirits-, and the
strongest_astringents being the usual means of
cure resorted. too We were told that Bolivar
íntended making this a positíonof some impor-
tance, but its want of natural resources seems
opposed to such a project. The chiefsuppott
of tbis place is grainand potatoes, with little
pasture, natural or artificial. The élimate is cool,
118

tbe max. in the day being 65°, and mino 48°,


d uring our stay.

7th April.We had been told to prepare for


a formidable undertaking, in the passage 'oí the
Paramo Almocadero. . Leaving Chitagá at an
early hour, we· began the aseent for the most
part gradual, and on a good road. N othing
can be more dreary and sterile tban this traet,
often losing sight of Chitagá; at tbe expiration
of five hours we gained the s.ummít of the Para- I
mo, without any other ineonveniende than chap- \
ped lips-,) from the extreme rarity of the atmos-
phere. "The sun shone with c10udless splendour,
and the glass did not fall below 62". 1t is not
however fabulous or imaginary, tliat ineonveni-
enee andeven danger are often experieneed in
traversiQg it, so great is the exposure to the
inc1emency of the atmosphere, to which many
a tl'aveller h~s fallen a victim, and is now buried
'on its summit. fHumanbones were even then
lying about, a~d some hundred rude' crosses, !
erected by the passing trave11er,~ither to 'Com-
o memora!e the fact of a mend emparfhhado (a
'Vietim of the ParartlO,) or 11 gratefuI ofl'ering ;at-
bis eseaping ¡ts danger. In a11 probábility this
iB the highest spot we ha'Ve gained in our jour-
ney, and 1 regret not having the means oí aseer-
taining the eIevation with precision..An hour
and a half of gradual deseent brought us to a farm /
lJ9

,house and Pulperia, where we proposed re-


I
, [naining the night, as there was good pasturage
/i~ the vicinity. We again had occasion to remark
the ,beauty of the cattle; multitij.des of goats
skipping on the moontilins, flocks of sheep.. and
a quantity of, breeding mares. lJatoju~do
is the name of the place. Th~ glass fell to
52° du:dng the night. The following moming
we found tq.at the heat of the sun, and rarity of
the air hadmore tluJn uau~lly scorched 11&.

8th April. Bence we proc~ded a~ an ea.rly


hour, through a stony vall~y, difficult and di~.
greeable fOl" man and beast.. At the distan~e of
a league and ~ half we passed the small and
~serable village of ,&rito, elevated alittle
a1;)ove the river l'equia,· and. at~oth~r half
league Servita, somathing better, :but poverty.
stricken withal : from the latter tQ the vill~geQf
Lft Corice¡x:ion, we observad a gn}-dual improvQi-
ment both in respect to fertility and cultivatiou,
apd a corresponding. increa&~ of cattle~ In
passing through the village we recogn~d an
acquaintance ml¡\de at Pa,mplona, G~tano Gar..
. cia, the Curate, ud at his invitation we halted
during the heat of the day. Our worthy hO!!tt
"
deserves the most favourable mention; to hi.
h~~pitality he .united every useful and moral
qua,Jity: Under his auspices the small . village
.
120

.and its inhabitants are in a state of amelioration.


Severa! new houses are in progress; a school
is established for the education of the children
gf too villagers; bis usefulness extends also to'
a knowledge oC medicine, a qualification as es-
sentíal as it is rare to be met with here; bis lite-
rary acquirements, and unbigotted generous sen-
timents, render him agreeable in society. Bis
house, kept in the neatest order, and pleasantly
situated, is a most desirable resting place for
travellers. 1t was witb regret we left hím late
in tbe afternoon to pursue our route. The as-
pect of the country improves considetably on
leaving the village; tbe valley well cultivated
with sugar-cane, maize &c. is watered by the
Tequia. At a short distance from the village is
a considerable formation of sulphur~ which im-
pregnates the surrounding atmosphere. The
proprietor derives no advantage from it, buien.-
. tirely neglects it. 'Ye had not an opportunity of
visiting it, having mistaken óur road, and instead
of going to Llano Anciso, found ourselves far
advanced towards Malaga. It . being too late
to rctum, we gained the latter, a considerable
vIllage situated midway on aslopingmountain of
great elevation; theland is in{ull cultivation, and
divided by hedges nearly to its rocky summit;·
abundance of fine cattle and horses were feed-
ing in the pasture wbich encompasses il. The
12i
Alealdé furnished us with a 10dging where the
only nuisance was such a progeny of half
starved pigs, that it was with difficulty our
animals could, even with our assistance, sec'ure
a part of their rations from their undaunted
assaults. Wbether from curiosity or r~spect 1
know not, but we were visited by a large por-
tion of tbe population, aH eager to exert tbem~
selves in our service. .

9th April. Tbe fol1owing morning we bad to


make godd tbe ground lost the preceding even-
ing; we descended by a winding and steep road
to the village of Llano Anciso, situated in the
midst of cultivated fields of sugar-cane and
maize, on a sloping bank gradually declining to
the river Tequia, which we crossed by a bridge
of rude and tottering workmanship; the popu-
lation of this village suffered exceedíngly from
the goitre. Tile deformity caused by this dis-
ease is reallyextraordinary, its victims having
Httle the appearance of human beings; and it
has gained such an extended empire in thé
countryas to engage the attention of the Go-
vernment, who have urged the Legislature "tó de-
cree a h.andsome premium for the discovery
of a cure or antidote to tbe evil.Jn-· 'riding
'throúgh"th'e village, we were repeatedly saluted
: with mira! no tienen Gotos! which signifies, see
,122

tbey haveno Goitrest thus, happily for its vic-


tiro, this disease is considered by thero ~s rather
ornamental than otberwise I Continuing alopg
the defile, narrowing by degrees, the country
gradually: loses its appeaxance of fertility, until
it terminates in arid and rocky mountains,
through which the Tequia continues to wind.
The aun now became exceedingly powerful, and
we had no resource but that 9f prpceeding to. Ca-
pitanejo; we therefore crossed by a steep ridge
of mountains, from this· .into ano~her parallel
chain, at the bottom of which was a river, and
froD), thence gained a second range oí still
greater elevation, from too summit oí which W8
had an extensive view of the vale of Capi.ta~
nejo, running N. and S. andwatered by a rapid
and considerable ~iver, the Chichamache; tbe
,left bank is well cijltivated with sugar~.cane.
which giveB it a liv,ely. appearance, and forms.a
plaasing contrast to the dark and ban:en moun·
tains which rise on the othar side. . lluring
the whole of our jou;rney 1 ,have not felt ,too
heat half so' oppressive as in crossing t~e
ridges. At two o'clock we reached the village,
nearly melted by a cloudless and vertical sun.
'.fhe(~pulation oí tbis village does not ~c~~/
; 200 to 250 souls, a large PT~PQrtion oí
which are rendered most unsigbtly froro the
before~mentioned diseáse, and a speciesof ele·
123
phantid.fis whi.ch 8wells their Iimba to a most
unnatural size.; The heat varied from 82 to '86
degrees during our stay' here, agreat transition
from the temperature we hadlateIy experienced.
We were entertairied hetewith a new species oí
"ermin, cucuracho8, about the size of a large
beetle, which found theirway into thehammocks.
A new church has Iately been built bere, and a
pretty bridge thrown across the muddy river;
the water was intolerably bad, the only place
where we have found itso.

10th April. ··We took our departure at an


.earIy hour, Qur wayIying across the bridge,
and followedthe course of the valley about a
league, accompanied by .the rapid and muddy
Chichamache; leaving it on the left, the load
winds up a high pass; the more we ascended
the more the soH improved, and on the sumlIlit,
which it took us two hours to gain, the cultiva- ,
tion is considerable; a -short deseent brought na
to Tipacaque, an estate belonging to a convent
of nuns, but now occupied by tlle, director oí
posts, where we staid during the heat of the
day; thechief produce is sugar-cane, corn, and
maize, enjoying1a temperate c1imate and rich
soil. In advancing further, we had sorne ex-
tensiva prospects; the road was diversified with
various wild flowers of great beauty, amongst
124

which, different 10rts oí box and tnyrtle were,


pre-eminent. In too course of the day we shot
a great many doves. The approach to Soata is
one of the most imposing sights imaginable.
. At the back of the town, which is situated
midway on a sloping eminence, the land divided
by hedges, like the sections oí a map, is culti-
vated to the very summit. The mountains here
appeared to concentrate their chains, forming a
vast amphi!heatre of prodigious height and
magnitude; one mass rises aboye another tiH
their heads are 10st in clouds. - A storm was
pending over their dark summits as we ap-
proached the town, and the effect ofthe thunder,
rolling from one chain to another in the distance,
was extremely grand. In itself Soata possesses
_little worthy of note. We availed ourselves of
the invitatio~ of the Alcalde, to make use oí his
house, where we received every civility, but
being attended by severa! of his family, who
were most unsightly victims to goitres, neutra-
lized all pleasurable feelings. We were detained
here a whole day in procuring a relay of mules
to conduct..the baggage to Bogotá,' which last
division of our journey 1 will describe in my
next.
125

BOGOTA, 25th April. 1823.

12th April. A short distance from the town


of Soatawe met a detachment of seven hundred
'-
recruit~, commanded by Col. Manby, who were
marching towards the line of operations round
Maracaibó.. • 1 believe that we have now passed
the most difficult and elevated .spots in this ex-
tensive branch oí the Andes, in which we have
been immersed thirty-one days; the mountains
are gradually diminishing. The bridge over a
river which we had to pass, having been carried
away the preceding night by the violence of the
mountain torrent, we were obliged to make a
détour to reach the village of Susacco, about
three leagues distant, where we made a halt, to
give time for the baggage to' come' up; and
were most hospitably and generously enter-
tained in the house of Madame Calderon, a very
superior ·woman. Far from being able to'in-'
duce her to accept any recompence for her kind
reception, she said that one of her greatest plea-
sures, as she co~ceived it to be her duty, was
to administer to the wants of travellers, espe-
cially when they were fóreigners! At three we
proceeded gradually to ascend a mountain,
which was cultivated in all directions; a num-
ber of cottages being scattered about, to each
126

of which was attached from ten to twenty acres


ofland, producing ,,:heat, potatoes, &c. of very
good quality. Before we had gained the sum-
mit, a heavy,storm came 00, which soon ren-
dered the road so slippei'y, it being a clarey
soil, that with difficulty our animals eould keep
their footing, which forced us to take shelter
fortbe Bight in a. small hut by the road side;
the eold was very intense, and with impatieJl(le
we waited for day-light to proceed on' uUr
JOurney.

13th Apil. The next morning our road


continued 'very slip.pery and dangerous, partí-
cularly during the remainder of the aS'cent; the
eountry on either side is remarkably fertile,
each oottage being surr~nded with corn lands,
in a clean and thriving state. We had a long
deseent to the parish' of Sation,where we arriv~d
between nine and ten; its scite is on an e1evated
plain, backed by a semi-circular mouotain of
coasidel!able extent and height, presenting every
app~arance ·oí a rich and prolific soil, although
imperfectly eultivated. It being Sunday and
market..day, the village, as is customary on
811Ch o~casions, was aU bustle; there were
assembled in the squate from twelve to fifteen
hundred' persons of different classes and avoca-
ÚOIl8; Iaone comer the cornmandant was ex-
121
eroisilig the militia-the ne plus ultra Oí aH
awkward squads! and who went through their
evolutions w-ith characteristic lei6ure-in.another
the country people had assembled with their
various Willes and produce; while ,athers were
pouring'into the church at the call oí the S»,..
cristan's beH. A most striking improvement
was observablehere, in tlle comparative ahsellce
ofthe goitreS', which have attended u.s through
so la~ a portion of the couritry; indeed;
>

iml'Ongst the cFowd, '\Ve did not faH to distin~


guish. sorne. pretty faces, half enveloped inblue
. mantles, with which tbey cover their hleads..arid
shoulder~, a straw hat surmoUntiqgit, bIue
petticoats and sandals mÍlde of cord; 'too tout-
ensemble is not unlike the style oí dress of the-
Welsh peasantry.

· The temperature here was moderate and


a-greeable.

At tbe distanceof half a league is another


small village of the same name, only calledtlae
pueb/,,;' or tMl'll. Afte!' a trifling adv'ance, we
'9rere again oompelled ta seek sheloor '~)l' the
nigbt·in a miserable pulperia, by the·road side)
in'Conseqnence :oí ,a!l'l approaching . marro, and.
the badness -oftbe I'OO.ds. 1 doubt if we have
been as badly Iod~d eIsewhere. In a smaU
128

hove), the half of which was occupied witl;l OUI:'


luggage, we had barely room to suspend our
hammocks, the country people, who were over-
taken by the storm in their returo from mass,
and the Sunday festivities, were pouring in like
drowned rats, and occupying the outbouses and
pulpería, solacing themselves ~thguarapo. Not
without difficulty could we procure any pas-
turage for our train oí twenty~two mules; to-
wards night the family came- creeping into the
hut-men, women, and children, about a dozen
oí tbem, besides dogs, cats, and poultry, a1l
pigging together.

14th April. Therain having ceased, we were


glad to be off at an earIy hour; a gradual and
slippery descent brought us to the river Cki-
quito-a mountain stream running with great
force. At Soapagá, distant' two leagues, we fed
the mules, and continued our course for Serinsa.
Thus far there is a striking differenee between
Venezuela and New' Grenada; the former is
more wooded, less peopled, and, generally
speaking, morefertile, but as we now gra~ually
leave the ebain of Andes, the 'soil is better cul7"
tirated; numerous huts and eottages present
themselves, each of which possesses a portion.
of ground more than sufficient to support the
inhabitants; the roads eontinue to improve as
129

we aQ.va.J)(:e. We d~scended into the vale of


Serinsa, pr~$enting a ,differen,t aspeet to ~ny of
the varied scenea thathav~ oceuÍTed during the
journey; ,th~ contrast is Qlost striking-an ex-
tensive ~d perfectly even flat, varying from a
qllarter to half a mile in bre~th, is bounded on
ea.ch sideby ,a range ,of moderately high moun-
tains of arable land; the valley is in general
eultivation, and remarkab1y fert;ile, produeing
fine erops of' ínaize, wheat, beans, potaioes,
peas, &e. aH of whÍch were in a state of spring-
like verdure, and cultivated with the ,utmost
regularity and cleanliness. Verdant meadow
landsinterseet the tillage,; the river Serinsa
(lower dQ.wn called the Chiquito), slowly wind-,
ing throl,Jgh the midst, with a placidity more
resembling "the soft-flowing Avon," than a
mountain stream in Ameriea; th~ whole extent
of the ,v~.uey, whieh with different "winding~
may be t,hree or four leagues in length, is ex-
'tfeIUely weU peopled ;m~y of the cottag~s
were adorned with flowers, and ver¡ neat; the
land bdongiug io, eaeh individual is partitioned
offby ,mud walls, or hedges,giving a further
appearq.nce oí eivilization and independence,
and the pasturage is ahund1lntly stocked with
8heep,-~en, and horses. It is uponthe whole
a mQ~t interesting tract,and gives a favoura1:}le
opinion of the,kingdom of New Grenada. We
K
130

took a' sligbt repast at the house of the village


eurate, which is abont half-way in the vale.
According to bis account, the parish contains a
population of upwards of 3000 persons. In
the earIy part of the révolution these people
made extraordinary exertions in the cause of
the patriots. When Bolivar arrived with his
army, worn out with fatigue, from the banks of
tbeApure, they cIothed them-remounted their
officers, .and a great part of the cavalry, and
supplied them with necessaries at their .own
expence. 118 known patriotism brought.upon
it, during its subsequent occupation by the
Spaniards the greatest hardsbips, and contribn-
tions out 'of number. It was late· in the
aftemoon when we left the parochia;. ato the
distance of half a league is the pueblo oí the
same name, and it was quite dark before we
had half completed the evening's marcho ,We
had infinite difficulty in proceeding, owing lo the
.intricacy of the road, and although we met a
great many persons returning towards Serinsa
{rom a neighbouring market, they were a.ll so
completely énguarapad(} (drunk with guarapo,)
that we could ohtain no sort of information
froro them. We reached Santa Rosa late in
the evening-three leagues from Serinsa~where
we found tbe people in a similar state of inloxi-
cation, and we were obliged .to take forcible
possession of the Alcalde's hOlise. The village
131

is large and populous. We were awakened at


an"early hour by a contination of the evening's
revel, the Alcalde having a pulpería attached to
bis house.
,
15th April.· The (country continued very
¡fertile and well .cultivated.· A~ the distance of
ftwo leagues is nlitáma,
i -,,'
a small {straggling
., ,
viI-
/ lage, in a rich and productive· plain, enclosed
,; by· distant heights, among which was pointed
~ out to us the field of Bargas, where the Spa-
¡ niards received, from itB consequences, a most
· important defeat from the patriots, commanded
; by Bolivar, who, with a force of 900 men,
, great part of whom were English, badly armed
, and equipped, and almost overcome by a har-
¡ rassing march from the. banks "o! the Apure,
· completely routed the enemy, who were 4900
strong" possessing a body oC 600 cavalry, well
mou"ñted,besidelil artillery, ~he whole well
provided, clothed, and fed. (From hence
\ ,
pass-
ing a defile in the mountains, the road opened
into an extensive plain abounding in large herds
· of oxen, sheep, and horses, and consisting"en-
tirely of pasture land without any trees.
Having traversed about three leagues, we rested
for a few h{)urs at the village ofPaypa, in the
house of the commandant, Mr. Monroy, who
treated us with .the greatest hospitality and
K 2
132

atteJ?tion. . This village was the head quarters


of the Spaniards previous to the affair at Bar-
gas, which at the expiration of a. few days, was
followed by the more decisive battle of Boyacá,
and the consequen~ occupation of Santa Fé, by
thepatriots, on which occasion Bolivat entered
in triumph. In the aftemoon we proceeded
along the plain,. which has nothing remarkable
but its barren aspecto On too road we met
Col. Jacksonproceeding to take command of
the division we passed on leaving Soatá.
At .the distance of four leagues we quitted the
road, and crossing theplain, arrived at the vil-
lage of Tuta, where Mr. Monroy recommended
us 10 pass the night. We werereceived by the
eurate, Antonio Guevara., with the greatest I

cordiality; he was brought up in the college oí


Bogota, and wascontemporary with Mr. Zea.
a'his man, superior in information and in liberal
sentiment to almostany of his countrymen that
we have met with, is doomed topas~his ~ys
i~ a small sequestered village :his most plea-
surable momenUi are those inwhich he can
enjoy.the society of foreigners and enlightened
travellers, passing from and to the ,<?apital, the
number ofwhich is however limited, owing to the
village standing at a distance from the high load.
The conversation of this christia.n-like and cha-
. ritable man was highly interesting. Known 10
IDost of the leading characters of his country,
133

hé gave us many pleasing anecdotes regarding


them, and described with great energy the
events of Bárgas aod Boyaca, and the enthu-
siasm which the name of. Bolivar inspired.
Witness also to the atrocities of the Spaniards,
under Boves and Morales, he related circum-
stancas of cruelty committed by them, which
would be hardlycredible had he not been himself
an eye-witness of tOOm. lt seemed as if he could
not sufficientJy load us with attentiol'ls. We
had not been in the house five minutes before
sweetmeats and chocolate were served-in a
short time cakes aOO liqueurs-and afterwards a
substantial supper; clean beds were alsopre-
pared-a luxury we had not enjoyed except in
Valencia.

The curates in catholic countries, more than


in others, are, in consequence of tbe unlimited
power they possess qver the minds of their pa-
rishioners, either the most useful and valuable
class of men, as in the present instance, or on
the contrary, destructive of every social tie,
when theyabuse the confidence with which, by
virtue of their avocation, ihey are illvested.
It was late the fol1owing morning before we left
this amiable character, who is an honour to his
profession.

16th, April. Reached Tunja, a distance of


134

four leagues, at one o'dock. This town, which


is the capital of a department, is situated on -
aneminence, and seen at a considerable distance,
surrounded by stony .heights and swampy
meadows. We had gained a day's márch upon
our baggage, ror the purpose of devoting it to
seeing this place, which we understood to be
worth attention, b~t were disappointed ona·
nearer acquaintance. The Alcalde quartered us
on a person 9f the name of Banos, who isin
the habit of receiving aH the English who pass,
and that most hospitably, if we may judge by
the .attention we received from himself and
daughter. The only manufactory we have seen
in the -country, is one belonging to him, of salt-
petre, with which he supplies the government
works at Bogotá; the premises are extensive,
and formerly gave employment to upwards of
200 men. The earth, from which the salt is
extracted is found in abundance in the vicinity,
but its proportion is small, being about one
arroba in one hundred of earth. The little
chemical science he is master of, was acquired
from ll'French gentleman, of the name of Jolivet,
who wasmade away with by.the Spaniards, as
Wi'l.S their custom with all m~n oí ability, whose

infiuence in society they very justly (from their


vicious system of government) dreaded. In the
height of their power the difficulty oí ingress
135

was so great, thaf very few Europeans got


beyond the coast. No one could embark for
Spanish Amenea without theking's permission,
which. was never given but for eODllIlereial un-
dertakings, and then only for two ,years. To
foreigners it was never granted, but under very
heavy mes, and then they were not allowed to
go into the interior. There is little worthy of
notice in the town, excepting the churches and
convents, oC the latter there are five, two of
nuns, and three of Criars. We could not see any.
of the former, ofwhich Santa Clara is. the
principal--a rich order. The monks are of the
ordets oC Sto Francis, Sto Dominick, and Juan
de Dios, they w~re civil in shewing us aH that
was to be seen in their respective monasteries,
the ornaments oC which consist chiefly in a
profusion oC image~and gilt work, v~ry rieh
but gaudy, with a great many pietures, the
plurality being mere trash, but containing sorne
few oí merito A Magdalene in the Franeiscan
eonvent is ~mongst the best. The parish
church is. well worth visiting, as it eontains
several very old pictures oC merjt, apparently
by Spanish masters. The arehitecture oC these
edifices is oC the simplest, aI).d frequently
tne rudest kind; the portal to the Parochia is
however an exception, it is carved in stone; and .
of tolerable exeeution. Sto Juan de Dios is
136

converted into an hospital for the IlÍitital1' aIld


poor of the place. Of a11 religious orders, this
is probably the only one that is at aU usefnl to
society. One of their professions is !be 8cience
ofmedicine, which they study in its different

branches, and give advice and medicine gratis.
During our stay one oí the monks l'isited 80r'
Baños; he had lately artived from the army in
Quito, whe'f~ he had been filling the oflice of
Surgeon General; he served in the same cap.
city during the campaigns in Venezuela and New
Grenada, baving held that post tenyeara. 1
should not omit to mention the Colegio de BoJacá,
or public college, laOOly established here,
wherein the higher classes aretaught philo80phy,
Illathematics, lind divinity, and for the poor afthe
town is established a school on the Lancasterian
plan. We visiood it while the boys were tbéN',
and were struck with the regularity witb wWc:a
it is cónducted, as well as too fine appearance
of the youths, sixty in number, sevetál of whom
had made con~erable ptogtess.· Tbe teJn-
pet8.ture' very pleasant, varying trom 5-8° to 70·.
but in taking exetcise, we aU ~xperieñ.ced 00
oppressiye sensation at the chest froin the tarity
of the atmosphere.

18th Aprit~ Left our kind host at oine in tIre


moming; the couotry still open an<;l bare, but
137
-vety su~eptible of cúltitati'Oll; ~t the distance
of two Ieagues we reached the m~morable ft~ld
of Boyacá, where the Spaniards ofNew Grenada
. received their death blow from tlie redoubtabte
Bulivar, aided by his brave British Auxiliaries;
the respective positions were pointed out tO' us
by an inhabitant of the place. The Spaniards
had their centre in a plain, protected in front
by a small river and ravine; theirrightoccupied
a rising gr<;mnd, beyond which was the bridge
oí Boyacá, defended by the artillery; here it
was that their position WaB first forced bythe
English troops; who gained tbe bridgé, and.
charged up to thé mouths of the guns, aH oí
whichwere taken, together with the ·Spanis&.
general,. Barreira, his stair, and a large number
uf prisoners. Thus have we 'Visíted, what, in
future ages, will in all probability be looked
upon as the classic ground of Colombia, Cara-
bobo f Bargas l Hoyacal

Beyond this,' tbe country assumes a much


.betteraspect, 8pontaneous vegetation re-appears,
the roads .are good,. and free from stones, the
soH in cultivation, and tolerably peopled. We
halted at thevillage'of Yenta Quemada, and dined.
It deserves no other mention, than that it pos-
sesses an obliging and civil Pulpero.
138

Starting again late in the evemng, we had ;l


most delightful ride by the light of themoon,
the night being mild', and the roads as even as
in ,any gentleman's park in England. We
passed a valley about midway, charmingly
situated, and susceptible of the highest cultiva-
tion, an~ there are many well arranged farros,
in one field we counted no less than twenty-one
ploughs at work !

Completed our ninth league on arriving at a


pl;lee, caBed La Pila-a lone house where we
were obliged to pass the night; the only place
we had to put our heads into was ,a small venta
or shop, where our hosteas served out duché (a
fermented liquor made from maize and honey. )
in liberal potations to some thirsty peon8 who
had posse$sion of the apartment. The servants
having missed the road, we found ourselves
without hammocks. and were driven 10 the
alternative of perambulating and star-gazing
the whole night, or roosting, i~ 'common with
the hostess, servants, children, muleteers, &c.
~n the damp earthen floor-fatigue decided in
favour of the latter alternative, in spite of tbe
efHuvia arising from fermented liquor. rancid
meat, &c. with which the hut was fu~ished.
Wrapped in our cloaks we took'our stations in
the midst, and had almost forgotten the disa-
139

(greableness of· the situation, when at midnight


the servants arrived, and wehad the satisfac-
tión of getting into our hammocks, suspended
over numerous sleeping beauties-and beasts!

19th Aprit. We left La Pila the following


morning, and arrived at tbe village of Alto Viego
without any thing remarkable occurring; hence
the country widens considerably, and presents
a rich fiat well cultivated with wheat and other
grain, to t4e very smnmit oí the hills. A great
many houses are scattered over the plain, and
it presents altogether an aspect of plenty. At .
.. the village of Chocontá, 'which is in the midst of
the plain, pleasantly situated, we stopped to
dine. At two o'dock we continuedour route
through a fertile country, and by a gentle
rise, wereached a height from whence we had
a fine prospect oí the vale oí San Vicente:
it is more extensive than even the valley of
Caracas: the, view from the aboye is lively
and pict~resque, as much of the country
seen from hence is pasture land, well stocked
with cattle of everydescription, and watered
py the river Bogotá. At a distance are the
villages called the Pueblos. We descended to
the plain, which in sorne parts is very marshy,
consequently well stocked with game, especially
heroDs of beautiful plumage, sorne of which we
shot. As it grew dusk we sought for lodging
140
in tlle I\ouse fJI the eumte of a ama}} village,
called Esquelé, about a mile off the matn road,
and· learnt here, by a Bogotá Gazette, that ihe
meeting oí. the first National Congress had i
commenced. A messenger was dispatched to I
tire capital to prepare lodgings for us, having
heard how difficult it was to obtain a house
or apartments, owing to the inHux of strangers
anddeputies. It was neartwelve the following
day ere ou,r baggage came up, without which
we conld not proceed.

20th Apil. We reached Guachasipá, 000 of


the Pueblos, and finished the day's joumey by
halting at another village, about a mile beyond
n, called Tocnnsipá-a stage oC only three
leagues. A large portion of the plain con-
tinned to present'.a marshy surface, but ",ith
the advantage of the river winding through it
a little trouble and expence would render it
capable of cultivation; the rest is well stocked
with wheat, potatoes, &c. At ten at night
- left us, .far the purpose of proceeding 10
Bogotá, and arranging matters before our árri-
val. We followed the next morning at an
early hour, with a view of reaching our desti-
nation in the evening.

21st April. From the bridge of Sopo we


141

haO. adistant view of alarge village, <:aHed


Zipaquirá, where there are very valuable salt
mines, belonging to the government-thence,
turning the f00t of a rangeof'hills that runN.
and S. we ~ntePed the line ,of plain that
conducUl ;to the capital. It is of considerable
width ;the horizon still botmdedby distant
moun1aills, and the .fiatpresenting an appear-
ance of highcultivation; in the midst l!UI18 the
river Bogotr;;the séenery was highly pleasing.
We passed "el. rich hacíe'Jlda, presentedto the
Vice-President Santander by his friends since
too Revolution. Too ;cir.cumstance is comme-
moratedbyan !insoription ·on too portal. Our
approach lo ..the capital (which we caught the
first momentary .glimpse of from an eminence
four leagues distantfromit,) was annf>unced by
different :parties oí equestrians who we met
riding at fuIl speed (the accustomed pace) on
small but active horses-mules being compara-
tively out of use, excepting for travelling.
We overtook our baggage at the village of Su-
saquia, distant only four miles froro Bogotá,
where it was agreed that we should await a
messenger froro - - ; here we took up our quar-
ters at tha. Alcalde's, who we found a very obli-
ging Ínan; from hence we hadoa splendid view of
the plain which extends in front of the capital;
142'

on this side of the river are very fine corn


lands.

23rd April. Owing to the express which


was sent to urge ,us 10 proceed immediately
having missed us, we, were detained here till
this moming, when we started at an early hour,
more and' more as1onished, as we advanced,
at the neglected state of the valuable land that
actually joins the capital, and tne bad state oí
the roads.

Thus, at the expiration o( two months, we


entered the capital of the Republic, Santa, Fé
de Bogotá, not only ingood health, but really
without any sensible fatigue, from so long but
very interesting a journey.
143

,,-BOGOTA; 'lO!'" June, 1823.'

Afier a stay of nearly two months at the


Capital, it is probable that recent occurrences
will Tender it necessary for me to returo to
Europe; but, as the time of my departnre is
dependant upon circumstances over' which 1
have no control, 1 will no longer defer sending
you such particulars of Bogotá as 1 have had
time to commit to paper,

Not having succeeded in' procuring a house,


owing to the great infiux of deputies and stran-
/ gers during the sess,ion of Congress, we were aH
, kindly received by a frieod, uotil such time as
, we could suit ourselves with one, at a small
Quinta delightfuUy situated .on the A.lameda or
public walk, which forros ooe of the principal
entrances tothe city. The road is enclosed on
, either side by fragrant hedges of rose bushes,
and a variety of wild fiowers of luxuriant
. growth. It is the usual promenade on Suodays
and féstivals.: The members of the Governmeot,
the Senate and Congress, gentry and mohility,
assemble here indiscriminately, either on foot
or on horseback.
144

At the expiration of a week we fortunately


, succeeded in engaging the principal part oí a
house, in the Calle de Sto Juan de Dios, where
we have each a good' bed room, an office, and
eatingroom; in thecentreis asmall court planted
w.ith ,pinks and roses, round which an open gal-
lery communicates with the respective apart-
ments, the usual style of building in
tWs country, and generaUy convenient on
account oí the heat. The usual s.carcity oí
furniture is as apparent here as at Caracas; we
have with difficulty succéeded in procuring a
bedstead each, a table, a few chairs, and
matting for our rooms, but being as well off as
our n~hbours, have no just cause of com-
plaint.

The fust Sunday,after our arrival, it being the '


customary e~iquette, we paid our respects to '
'the Vice-President Santander andthe ministers
Gual, Castillo and Relrtrepo. In the absence
of.Bolivar the executiveauthority is vested
in the {ormer, who, Qccupies the palace of
the late Viceroy, which excepting the state!
apartment.s, is far from astonishing one with its
aplendouI:!iOf architectural beauty; it is in fact
a very humble edifice, inferior to many private
houses. General Santander has every appear-
ance of being an affable and gentleman-like
145

man with a good person, and the manners of'


one who has seen much of the world. SOr
Gual, the Secretary for Foreign Atfairs, is con-
sidered to be a man of talent, and has perha,ps,
more weight than any other ,in the council of
ministers. Castillo bears a character of great'
integrity, joined to extensive knowledge,and
éasy eloquence; he is the minister of the Haci-
- enda (Finance) j Sor' Restrepo, of th~ home
department, also a polite, and well educated
man, is at present charged with a compila-
tion of a history of the revolution; and as .he .
possesses, in virtue of his office, the most authen-
tic documents, it may be looked forward to as
a genuine narrative of facts. General Briseno
Mendez is the minister of war, aIÍd is also very
well spoken of. Besides the aboye, we visited
the Bishop of Maracaibo and Merida, a member
of thesenate, aud at present the only mitre in .
the Republic; for although Bogotá and C~cas
are each Bishoprics, they are now vacant. . He
is a reverend and respectable looking old man,
zealous.in the support and interest of the church,
and as 1 am informed attentive to· foreigners.
General Oudinetta, the President of the senate,
also bears a very respectable character. We
likewise visited Dr. Pena, formerly the Judge
of the Alta Corte, (High Court,) aman of ex-
tensiye information and agreable manners.
L
146

.As the capital of a republicof such great


extent, trituated in the heart of the immense
c()ntinent oí South America, the-site oí Bogotá
is peculiarly advantageous, both as regards its
comparative facility of outward communication,
and its singular adv&ntages ()f climate, soil, and
picturesque position. '

The eommunication with the Caribbean sea,


by the Rio Grande (Magdalena) is very ex:pedi-
tious; neglected, as aH the roads in this country
are, l1tthe present time, it is only athree day!
joumey 10 tbe town oí Honda, situated on the
east bank of the Magdalena, from whence the
. post generally reaches the coast in seven days,
owing to the extraordinary velocity of thecur-
rent-to ascend, the disproportion is immense!
'¡t is IIOt at allúncommon, after the rainy season,
to be delayed from fifty to sixty daya, iti. navi-
gating from Santa Marthato Honda, a difference
that at first appears hardly credible, b\tt tke
fact affords oí itself some idea of the force oí too
current; this tedious method of travelling i6
however likely soon to be remediad, a contract
. having been mada with the' govemment for-
establi8hing steam vessels on the Magdalena,
l1t the same time to forro a new lOad too com-
municate with the capital, ud cums whieh
are to. rotlnect the cities oí· Carthageaaand
147

Santa Martha witb the Magdalena; although


froro the magnitude of the undertaking, sorne
doubts are enterte.ined of it8 being carried
speedily into effeet. On the other side, running
in a north-easterly direction, is the river MeÜ1,
emptying itself into the Orinoco, at about one
lnmdred leagues from the Atlantie, by which
the communieation is equally rapid, in propor-
don to the distance. Fromthe capital to the
Meta, is a journey of three or four daY8, which,
, in addition to its greatedengtb, of eourse leaves
a deeided preferenee, as far as the commeree
of Bogotá is concemed, to thenavigation oí the
Magdalena.

The advantages of 'the climate aremost


striking, situated wíthin the ñfth degree of north
latitude, Bogotá enjoys a temperature that i8
singularly constant, and agreeable; during the
whole time that we have been here, the thermo-
meter has neve~ varied more than five degrees,
that is, from 58° to 63°, and we haTe nevertheless
had frequent changes of weather ; for the first
fortnight it rainad continually, when the mini·
mum was 58"; we have since had beauti(ully
clear days, with warm sun; in the same posi-
tion, the thermometer has not been higher than
63°. Thecause ofso moderateand agreeablea
elimate i8 oí course attributable to the great
L2
148

~}evation of the table land upon which the city


is situated, being 8615 feet aboye the leve} of the \
sea. The consequence is an extreme rarity oí \
the air, which, for the flrst w~k is very oppres- !
~iv~ ,to aH strangers, causing a difficulty of i
breathing, and an unpleasant sensation at the:
chest. After a few days however one becoq¡es.',
accustomed ,to it. Q~ exposing yourself much
to the sun here, it takes greater effectupon the
skin. than in warmer climates; 1 experienced
this to a great degree, one day tha~ 1 rode to
th~ falls of Tequendama; in. twenty-four hours.
the skiil pealed off my face, alth~ugh at,the time
1 had fel t no inconvenience from the h~

This city, which is in 4°6 N. Lat. and 78°,30.


D1

W. Long. is built at the foot of one oí t~e .


highest mountains in a range of eminenc.es,
running in an amphitheatrical form, nearly from
N. to S. It is a little elevated aboye the ext~n­
sive plain that lies before it, bounded .again by
variously shaped' mountains, at a distance pf
about thirty leagues. This plain, from the
extreme richness of the soil, might be a perfect
garden; that part immediately joining the
town, is formed into Potreros, or places for
grazing cattle, but by far the greater portiop is
either common, overgrown with shrul>s,. or
marshy ground that ~ight be drained w:ith great
149

facility, as the rÍver Bogotá 'serpentines through


the centre ofthe plain, about three leaguesdistant
from the city~ which has assumed itsname. It
was originally caBed Santa Fé, to which was
added de Bogotá, but since the expulsion of
the Spaniards, it goes solely by the latter title'.

There exists a difference of opinion upon: th~


stiperiority oí site of Bogo'tá, sorne preferring.
that of Caracas; but 1 think the former is de-
cidedly preferable. especially as the climaie of
Bogotá is more adapted toEnglish constitutions,
arid is favorable to greater bodily exertion.

¡ rThe two lofty and ro?ky mountaiil~ that 1


i have before mentioned.at the back of Bogotá,
said to' be 17,000 feet aboye the surface of'the
/ sea: are caBed Mont' Serrat and Guadaloupe;
th~y completely shelter the town from easterly
winds, and are the means of its being well
supplied with water. ~ tlle summit of each
,/ is a conveny where the natives ascend on cer-
tain days in the year/and 1 am told monks are
sent there for penance":-such it certainly must
be, for their summits are more frequentIy in,
than out of the clouds. 1 undertook this
joumey one morning. and never was more

!gratified, than with the view of the city and


• plain of Bogotá, and the amazmg variety, and
150
~uty of the mounWn s~ tbat grow at the
~~ck. It is a perfect botanic garden) the
aacent is very circuitous and diilicult of' access.

Several persons have agreed in informing me


that the population of Bogotá. ,xceeds 35,000 i
the streets always appear well filled. There
i~ ~owever, a larger proportion of monks,
nllp.i, an.d clergy, than in any other part, or
perhaps in the whole Republic cQlllbined.
When seen from the mountains at the back it
has a very pretiy effect. The streets, all built
at right angles, have an appearance of great
regularity, and have a stream of water con-
ltantly flowmg in the centre; there are, also,
severa! handsome public fountains. Great ai
is the extent oí the city, 1 think. 1 am oot
much out in computing that the churches and
convents cover one half of the ground. The~e
are no less than thirtg-threc, which, with their '
respective domes and tower~, very much en-
liven the view oí the city, altbough essentially
they must prey upon the industry and property
of its inh~bitants.J These are really the only
edifices that distinguish themselves. The reli-,
gious m~nia l\~s now happily subsideq, and the
people of Bogot~, exceptmg, only the populace,
have thrown off th~ yoke oí q1ind an<:\ ~cit
obedienc~, with which ~e Spanish Govern-
1~1

IneJ)t ~de lum VMmlll ,oí the pciestho9d,


(tbereby keep41g them both in suDj.ection and
ignorance,) aad are become independent of ita
ppwer, and the belief of theit infallibility.
Many of the cooveats are in part, and oihus
wholly deaerte.d smee the Revolution; never-
theless there is still a redundant RUlnber of
d;J:ODleIl! The ground that some of the conventa
cover is immense.

The streets are genemlly narrow, a11 of them


paved, aad tlie principal: C¡>OOS have foot-paths.
By far tb.e live~est, and buil.t wi~h t~ greatest '
regularity, 15 the Calle Real. The ground .
floors of the houses, are occupied by shops,
with one story above, each habitation hav~g a
la,rge wooden balcony painted green. Tbis
street is well paved; and as there are no carts,
or vehicles of any description, the traffie being
~U1erto e,chwivel-y. c~~ried o,n ~h m~s, ~t
does n,* reqw.re fr~q~\ ~epai~. At too ex-
tremity of the Calle Real is the principal
~qu~e, wl;l~re tlle di\ib ~~~~~ ~, held; one
sid~ be41g occupiijd QY t}w P~lW~ tlw otb~r
qy too (:l,lSt~ 4ou~" the ~b.~ ~. i~
~e~.

Bogotá is well s"pp.lie~ wi~h a11 t~e n~~­


sacies of life; :ql~_, vegetabl~s, '4ld¡ poultry, We.
162

very abundant, but there is no fish. With the


exception of pines and granadillas, the fruits are
neither so fine nor so plentiful as in warmer
regions, notwithstanding they enumerate thirty
different sorts. Articles oí luxury are rare, and
very expensive. Very tolerable French wines,
however, were to be had during our stay, at the
rate of five to six shillings a botde; but at'
present it frequently occurs that the stock is
exhausted before fresh supplies arrive. Euro-
pean manufactures are likewise sold; but gene-
rally at extravagant prices, and often ·of very
inferior quality. .The fol1owing artieles will
give some idea of their relative value.
A Rat, 16 dollars. A dozen of common Tum-
Pair of Boots, 16 dollars. hlers, 10 dollars.
Coat of inferior Clotb, 30 Do. common Cups ud Su-
dollars. cers, 9 dollars.
Superfine Cloth Coat, 60 dollars.

The principal merchants of Bogotá send to


Jamaica to purchase their stock of goods.

The costume of the inhabitants. is singular,


especially. that oí the women. 'Á lady of the, . .
first iIDportánce and a common person dress in ~
the same style when they walk out. A black ~
gown in the Spanish fashion; a square piece oí
blue cloth which covers their heads, and hangs
down to their waists; with this they generally
153
envelope themselves, so as barely to leave the
face visible; over ittheyweara large black beaver
or silk hat, with a very broad' brirn~ This at first
sight has a most singular and outré appear-
ance; the ladies allow it to be a barbarous
fashion, but want courage to break through the
custom. About the feet, as with their penin-
sular progenitors, there is considerable coquetry.
The common people on certain occasions are
very smart; but as the women of this class, as
well as the men, are bare-footed, their bugled
and lace-trirnmed dresses· appear very much
out of character. The paasants, over other
garments, wear a full kind of mantle called a
roquilla, formed of a long square of cloth, or
: striped cotton manufacture of the country; .a
hole in the centre',admits the head, and it falls
loosely over the shoulders, completely pro-
tecting the body. The arms being hid, it gives
'the wearer a very indolent appearance, but 'it
has acertain degree of elegance from its
hanging in easy folds.

/Á;[ar as 1 had an opportunity of j udging,


i Bogotá is the most justly celebrated place in
i the whole Republic for beautiful ·woÍnen. . The
j change is the more striking, after the hideous
, population one meets with in many of the
: towns and \"illages in the great extent of
,
eountry between the tw.o capitala.-' 1t is np.t·
from a few instances that one i's
loo to form
such &11 opinion; the majority of tbe femaJe sex
here heing &.irly entitled to tms reputation.
From the coolness of the climate their com-
plexions are Baturally fair, and very clear.
They inherit at the same time the fine expre&-
sive dark eyes, and regularity oí features, of the
Spanish women, although partaking but in a
slight degree oí their elegant figures,. ()wing to
the careless manner of dreasing, and Betting olf
their pellSOlls. tIQwever they have pretty foet a
ud an easy camage, fur whieh the former are
greatly distinguished. Oo.e oonnot help OOing
strqck at this agreeable change; but frv,ro, ~o
great a superíonty of personal appeara.IJ¡Ce, t~f6
is the more to regret in the absence of th~
eDdowments oí mind and conduct, tl1at alone
render beauty permanen.tly attractive-; Tb,e
illusion ia here. destroy.ed by the absenee oí
botb ! Thert(áfe per.hap~ few cities (it is tu ~ t ".
hoped so at least,) where the womeD are so \'
generalIy cíepraveV and although there are, no
doubt, indivi~uals. of uncorrupted lIllorals, and
virtuous condue~, it iB: ~o evident \ha.\ tbeir
Bumber is-bu! small.

/0fhe heavy rains having in part $u~4, m y)


curiositywas much excited to viiit ihe ~~e1¡l.rate4 /
l~

Sallo, or falls of(Í'egQendam~~ while aug~ented


by the great increase OÍ ~e waters. I left the
city at day break, crossing the plafn in a south-
weaterly direction. At the distaDce of three
leagnes and a half is the vill~e of Soacha.
situated in the plain. lWd eneompassed by fertile
com laDds; from hence 10 the river Bogotá W3.8
about half a league, ,where 1 w~ obliged to leave
my horse, and erols the rivel in a eaaoe, it
having overllown iti banks 10 a considerable
ext-ent; tbe width migbt be about that of the
Thamel at Chelsea. Having engaged a guide
at the village~ we were both accommodated witb
fresh horses at an h«ienda, to enable UB 10 eom~
plete tbe expedition. Too road from-'t-bis lies
aeross the ridge of moun.tains. whieh foim& the
boundary of the plain in the south-west, fr~
the summit oí whieh there was a grand view of
the low land; a la.rge portion of it beiag inu..
dated. had aU the appearance of an exteuwe
lake, witb variouely sl1aped hills rising abruptly
frem its waters. The hori7.0D on too oppo&ite
side of the plain, formed by a long range of
eminences of various hejgh~, was very pietu~
re1ctUe. Thia taIl Íi ane of the world's greatest
wonders, probably the most extraordinary of its
kioo. even in this country,. where ~e constantly
see nature in her ~nmdest, and moet fantastic
forms; froro tbe riveJ.l to the fall is a. diJItance of
166
about a league. Having ascended the heights"
the country becomes aH at once most luxuriant
in wood, and wild shrubs of peculiar beauty·;
a long, and winding descent succeeded through
a dark tbicket, from wbence, at a considerable
distance, you first bear tbe roaring oftbe waters;
a quarter of a mile from the Salto, we were
again obliged to leave our horses, and descend
by.a precipitous patb-way to tbe brink of the
precipice; but how can 1 convey to you any idea
of thé tremendous sight it offers! The river 1
before mentioned, having wound through the
plain, contracts at this point into a narrow, but
deep bed, not exceeding forty feet in breadth;
the banks on eitber side are clotbed witb trees
through which it flows with!!!creased forcé,
owing to its confined limits. ~ Imagi~e yourself -z
placed at the edge of the precipice,)on a level
with the bed of the river, and" disi~nt from it \
about fifty yards, you~bserve this immense body ¡
of water precipitated to the depth ofsi.r hundred :
and fifty feet, ·with indescribable force, into a
capacious basin, the sides of which consist of
solid perpendicular roclY It is almost -pre-
sumption to attempt the description óf a sjght
; so sublimely beautiful !
,
This overwhelming body of water, when. it
first parts from its bed, forms a broad arch of ~
157

glossyappearance, a little lower down it assumes


a Heecy fonn, 'and ultimately in its progress
downwards, shoots forth into millions of tubular
shapes, which chase each oth~r more like sky
rockets than any thing else 1 can compare them
to~ The changes are as singularIy beautiful, aS
they are varied, owing to the difference of'
gravitation, and rapid evaporation, which takes
placebefore reaching the bottom. The noise
with which this imm~nse body of water falls is
quite astounding; (sending up dense clouds of
'J v.apour, which rise to a considerable h.eight, and
minglewith the atmosphere, forming in their
ascent the most brilliant rainbows) The most
conclusive proof of the extraordinaryevapora-
tion, is the comparatively sIÍllill stream which
runs'off from the foot of'the fal!. To give you
sorne idea of its tremendous force, it 'is an
asserted fact, that experiments have more than
once been made of forcing a bullock into the
stream, and that no vestige ofhim has been found
at the bottom, but a few of his,bones. To give
dueeffect to this mighty work, nature seems to
have lavished all the grand accompaniments of
scenery, io reilder it the most wonderfuland
enchanting of objects; froro the roéky sides of
its immense basin, hung with shrubs and bushes,
numerous springs, and tributary streams add
their mite to the grand effect. At the bottom
liB

~ water wbich runa off, rushes impetuously


along a stony bed, overhung with trees, and
loses itself in a.dark winding of the rock. From
tbe level of the river where you stand to witness
this sublime scene, the mountains rise to a great
height, and are completely covered ",itb wood;
and ato one opening is an extensive prospect,
which on a clear dayencompasses some distant
lOOuntains in tl1e province. of -Antioquia, whose
summitsare clotbed in perpetualsnow. HOTering
over tbe frightful chasm, are various birds of
the most beautiful plumage, peculiar to the
spot, and differing from ~j I have before seen.

Another of the natural curi08ities of this


province, is a Iake I!lUpposed to have been fre-
quented by the early Indians for tbe purpose
of worshipping their idoIs. It has ever been
imagined that considerable treasure is deposited
in it& hed. An individual has lately undertaken
lo drain it, and has expended large sums of
money in too process, but for want of funds he
will probably 800n be obliged toabandon the
work. 1 saw at a gentleman's bouse in Bogotá
an idol of solid gold, that had been recovered
from this lake, it was about three inches in
height, ando resembled the objects of Hindoo
worsbip.


159

Of aH the religious edifices in tbis country,


the cathedral of Bogotá deserves most particular
mention. In any cduntry in Europe it would
be considered 11 handsome building, although
far frombeing constructed on strict architectural,
principIes. The design is however bold, and
the general effect grand and imposing. The
interior is built aecording to the Corinthian
order. The nave is separated from the aisles by
two rows of very massive pillars, six.in each,
the Burface of which is a white composition
brought 10 a high polish, forming a good contrast
with their rich1y gílded capitals. Under a lofty
dome in the centreof the building, the principal
altar is raised, a splendid struoture of dazzl,ng
brightness from the richness of its gilding. The
choir which faces it at the entrance, is very
spacious,and richIy carved, with a profusion oí
gold work; various cape/las, dedicated to dif-
ferent saints, surround the whole. They are
verysplendidly ornamented, and contain sorne
good paintings, execu~ed by a native arti8t.
The variolls works that ad01'n the cathedralare
aU of 'hisexecution.

In a chapel, adjoiningthe same, there are a


few very good paintings by Spamshand ltalian
masters.
160

The church of Sto Juan de Dios has a full


length ebrist, also finely executed. This, and
the Dominican convent are the most spacious
of any; but 1 shall take another opportunity of
describing the se~eral religious edifices more
minutely.

Unquestionably the principal object of in-


terest and importance, hoth as regareis too
present, and future state of the Republic, is the
national Congress; and 1 have to regret, that
want of time has prevented my frequently at-
teriding the debates, as 1 otherwise should have
done; 1 will however give you sOIne ide~ of its
institutions and prerogatives.

The national power is divided into three


distinct bodies ;-the legislative, executive, an.d
judicial.

The legislative authority consists of the Se-


nate and House of Representatives, the sanc-
tion of both being necessary to enact a law
which may originate with either, excepting su~h
as have a reference to contributions and im-
posts; these have their origin in the House of
Representatives.

To pass a law, three discussions are necessary


161

in either house, with the interva] of a day at


least between each reading, unless in such cases
as are declared to be urgent, when the latter'
regulation is over-ruled, and the first, second,
and third reading may 'pass in three distinct,
but consecutive sessions.

.A project or proposition for a la,w having been


thrown out from ,one chamber, cannot be pre-
sented a second time until tpe following year;
an4 no,law constitutionally determined upon in
both houses, can have efi"ect,. until signed by
the executive; .should it think fit, to withold
its signature, th~ project must be returnedto
the house where it originated, accompanied by
the proposed alterations, within ten d~ys after
its ,receipt. It then undergoes fresh discussion,
abd if approved by a majority of two-thirds of
the members present, passes into a law, even
without the signature and approbation of the
executive-:-so that in fact, the executive has no
absolute vote, nor even has it the power to pro-
pose a law, but orily to present matter wh.ich is
taken into consideration, and upon which a law
may be founded; neither can the President,
Vice-President. the Ministers of the High Court
of Justice, Secretaries of State, Intendants,
Governors, &c. form part of the legislative body,
either as Senators, or Members of the lower
M
162

House. In fact, its powers are virtually re-


stricted to carrying ioto effect'the laws that are
enacted.

In the general elections, each province qaines


a Represeotative for every 30,000 Bouls; in any
particular ooe, should there be an excess oí
J 5,000, it appoints an 'additiolial tnember; this
proportioo of one Repr~eotative to every 30,000
persons will 'be' in force until the tlUmber of
members amouot to lOO-and although the 'po-
~ulation augment; tlie number of deptitieswill
ootdo so, rintil the proportioo corresponds to
one for every 40,000; in this case they may
furtber increase, until the number of Represen-
tatives amount to 150. ' ;

To beconíe a Representative, it is necessary,


besides possessingthequalificationsofan elector,
lo' be a' resident, or nati\Te of the province for
which you are-elected, a two years residence in
I

the country imm~d¡ately prior to yourelection-


to possess' án estate'of'the \Calue of 2,000 dollars,
'or an iri~dme' 'of 500 dollars, or' to be profeS~r
of ascience.

'Persons nof ;llorn in éolombia can; t>ecome


'R~preséiiÍlltives, after telght years' resid~nce'in
163

tbe republic... ,and on being possessed of an estate


ofthe vallle of 10,000.doUars.

The house of Representatives has the exclu-


sive right of impeaching' before the Senate,
either the· President or Vice-President, and .the
Ministersof the High COUTt of Justice, in cases
wbere 'their conduct militates against tbe good
of the republic.

.'The eleetion oí a Representative is -ror four


·years.

'./'he &nate is composed of Senators, elected


for tbedifferent departments, eacb namingfour.
Their function lasts for eight years, but at the
end of the fourtb year, one half for eacb depart-
ment are replaced by' fresh ones, tlie secéding
'members being'determined by loto

Besides possessing tbe qualifications oí an


elector, a Senator must be tbirty years oí age, a
'resident, or native ofibe depattment, for wItich
be iselected, and have lived' in the republic
three years imtnediately prior to bis election.
IHe must possess a property of 4,000 dóllars '
value, or an income of 500. dollars, or be profes-
sor of a science.
M 2
164

Persons not born in Colombia must have re-


sided in it twelve years, and posseslf estates to
the value of 16,000 dollars, to become Senators.

The e.recutive power is vested in a President,


who must possess aH tbe requisite qualifications
of a Senator; he is elected for four yeara, and
can be only re-elected once, wi,t.hout an inter-
mission of one other nomination.

A Vice-President is also named, who perfonns


tbe functions of the former during bis absence',
or in case of death or secessio,n.

In the absence of both, the President of the


Senate is the executive power.

To assist the President he has a council com·


posed of the Vice-President, one of the ministers
of the High Court of Justice, nominated by
himself, and thé Secretaries of S~te.

:rbe. constitution recognises five Secretaries,


that for Foreign Affairs; the Interior; Hacienda,
or Finance; the Marine;, and Seéretary at
War; the two latter are at present united in
the same persono
165

E!lch Secretary is the organ, through which


the Executive delil'ers its orders to the. Subor-
dinate authorities; and it.ls the duty oí either
to give such information verbally, or in writing,
to both Houses, as may be required of them, in
their respective capacities.

The Judicial or third power: in the state, is


thatwh~ch at present is the least defined; nor
is it probable, from tbe present advanced state
of the session, that the civil and penal code
~ill be drawn up before tbe next meeting of
Congress.

As.it stands at present, the attributes of tbe


High Court of Justice are-that at least five
J udges shall be named for the election of one,
three of whom are to be proposed by the Exe-
cutive lo the House.of Representatives, who
reduce the number to two, the Senate finally
fixing upon the individual.

The HighCourt of Justice i~ to take cogni-


zance of aH contentions of Ambassadors, Minis-
ters,. Consuls, or Diplomatic Agents of all
countries, which may result from treaties, or
negociations, entered into by the Executive, and
any differences that may arise in tbe superior
tribunals.
166

- Of súperior Courts of Justice, and inferior


Judges, the Constitution says, that for the
present the Congress will name such as it may
think necessary in the different departmentS;
the Executive nominating for the approval oí
the .. Alta CO'rte," the chief Judges. The inferiór
ones to continue their funetions, aceording to a
temporary law, until such time as the Con~ess
9hal1 regulate the administration of justicff.

This i8 a brief outline of the three cOIlstituent


powers in the- nation.
,
- -The discussions in both Houses are open to i

the public; exeepting oil such caSes when it is i

jttdged expedient that, it should be otherwise.


This reserve exists less in file Senate, than in
the lower House. The fOrmer is held in a large
haH in the Convent of Sto Domingo~ the centre
being railed off for membets; the public st&.bd-
. ing at their backs without tlle partitiau. but
s~.fficiently near to make it very inconvenient;
/~t one end of the apartment is a kind of throne
foi' tñe Presidenl (General Oudinetta),( elevated !
"bove the re~t~'- and decórated with silk hang- '
ings, áhd the arms of the Republie; on bis
right is a portrait óf the Liberator Balivar,.
pla-ced thete by orderaf the Congress. In an \
assembly of this nature, so recently establisbul;
167

and compos'ed of, members who necessarily haya ,


Bot had great opportunities of witn~ssing the '
proeeedings of more civilized nations, it would
be absurd to expect much eloquence, generally
the resultofa finished education, and much prac-
tice in tbe art of speaking. -X~trict~ meana
ofacquiring knowledge during the old Govern-
ment, and the recency of their institutions, will
fumish a suffieient excuse; bllt, neVertheless,
much pleasure and satisfaction may be derived
from attending their debates. The principIe
which seems to actuate their· endeayour:s, is a
search after truth, and to administer justice in
the most liberal point of ~iew. In arfÍving at
these desirable ends, there i8 frequently a good
deal ofextraileous argument, but their decisions
are such as do honour to their endeavours, ánd
prove that they ate both conscious oí tbe im-
portance of the duty they have to perform, and
"_ the trust reposed in then{ The speeches are
mostly very shart, but have the merít ot
generaUy bearing upon the point in ques~ion,
without any attempt at rhetoric; it is, never~
the)ess surpri$ing, tha facility with which almost
every meIÍlber deliv~rs·his sentiments. In, a
new 8&Bembly, QJle naturally expects to find a
cliffidenceand hesitation. where people expresa
themselves fOf the first time ip public, onsuh-
jects which ,reqJlire a,c~rtaip. degr~e of o,rd~r and
168

analysis; but here it is done with aH the ease


of common conversation. The longest speeches
1 have heard have not exceeded twenty minutes;
the general average may be .from. five to 'ten.

, Among the best of the speaken( in the Se-


nate '( Qf which there are but sixteen members 1;
prese~ the number ~~nsisting of forty,) is Sor
Soto, aman of very liberal sentiments, and oí'
good understanding; he is looked upon as one of
the abJest of that body. Mr. Hurtado is another
who expresses himsclfwith.considera'blefluency.
But none exceeds in liberalism and indepen-
dence Padre Breceno, member for the Depart-
ment of the Orinoco. He seeros ·particularly
tenacious of any encroachment of the executive
authority. He speaks frequently, and very
much to the purpose. :The old Bishop of Me-
rida is very 'forid of giving bis opinion on all
subjects, consequently ofien loses himself,
which never fails to draw upon him the mirth;.
of the House; however he very good-naturedly'
and wisely joins in the laugh against bimself.
He is not one of those who facilitatethe pro- "
gress of business. D ' - said of him, "Il a
été tres bon pour l'independence, mais, il est-
fort mauvais pour la liberté." However he
bears an excellent prívate character, and is
very zealous in' the support' of the church.
169

The Vice-President Torres is aman of tolerable


eloquence and good reasoning, bui rather too
.. muchinclined (aceording to report,) to the side
óf power. He has of late generally offieiated,
in eonsequence of the illness oí Oudinetta,
whose charaeter stands very high for impar-
tiality, and his opinions are generally respected.
General Nariño, formerIy Viee-Presidentofthe
Republic, is aman of considerable talent, but
during his administration, is said to have eX,er-
cised his power with great severity.,1t is only
of late that he has taken his seat in the House,
in consequence of charges (emanating (rom an
unknowrr source, but published in the '!fficia1
Paper,) having been brought against hiín,
which, as théy implicated' his competeney to
hold the office of a Senator, it was necessary
for him to disprove, before he could enter upon
his functions. They amounted to an accusa-
tion of his having applied certain' public monies
to his own us'e, and of his having been in-
solvent, either of which would have been suffi-
cient to have deposed him; but he succeeded
in completely clearing his character before his
judges~ (the Senate,) of the accusations brought,
anonyrnously against hím. He made an at-
tempt to form an opposition partyin the Se-
nate, being personally inimicar to Santander;
(a circumstance which must be considered as
170

nnfortunate at~timewhenthe gréatestunanimity


is absolutelynecessary to ensure prosperity.)
A subsequent reconciliation has taken place be"
tween these Magnates, which has given general
satisfaetion.

The Legislature is deprived of the talent oí


two of its best orators, Gual and Castillo, they
being in office as Secretaries of State,. rf had
a favourable opport~nity, of hearing) the former \
upon two occasions; the one (on the expe-
diency of granting General Bol,ivar permissi;n)
to march to the assist~ce of the Peruvian~
the other in vindication of a treaty entered
into, of offensive and defensive allianee, with
the Republics Qf Buenos Ayres, Chili, and
Peru: on the former point, in particular he
displayed great eloquence-'pointing out tbe
honor that would accrue to the Republic of
Colombia, which had been the first lo assert
and achieve her independence, "and would be
the lá$t to sh.eathe her victorious sword, while
an enemy remained tp be expelled, even from
the territory of her allies. Tba policy of tbe
, measure was subject for differeDCe or opioion,
sorne considering it házardous, that the 'IfIUZÜa-
spring of the Republic sMllld he allowed to quit
its ,telTitory, ud be ¡:em€?ved to so gr.e8.t a ,diB-
UJ,nce ¡lS Pero, wh~ tbe .enemy w.e.re in actual
171

possessionof theprincipal points on the IÍorthern


coast, making frequent incursions, and keeping
a large extent of territory in constant alano.
This objection was combatted by Gual with
great energy; he stated the probability of the
subjection of the Patriots in the south, the
Spaniards inthat quarter beinge;videlltly superior
at that moment; in which case, they would in
aH likelihood enter Colombia, andrecommence
too war. Of all the speaker!! that I haye heard,
he is decidedly the only one who may justly.
be considered an orator; he certainly possesses
advantages wbich entitle him to the distinction;.
a good person, witha manly voice, and easy
actibn; a' great fluency of words,' and, in
theory at least, a competent knowledge of
European Governments, and the principIes
upon which they acto

The sessions are held In the morning from


nine till two,' and agam In the evening from
seven to nine..
~ .....
/' In the Chamber of Representatives there is
more party spirit, owing to the larger propor-
tion of clergy, who seldom take the liberal side
of a question;' the two ends of the house are
I denominated, the mounto.i1t8 and the valky; the
1 former eónsisting of the liberals and. sQIIle of
172

\ the priest§) is by far the most numerous, and


boasts the greater talent; and although the
~atter are less tolerant, it is justice to them as a
body, to acknowledge that they'are certainly
actuated by a spirit of freedom and justice,
that does infinite credit to the country. There
(lÍ3.ve not assembled much aboye ñfty members' I
in t11e present congress; the nu~ber elected\
being eighty-five-the deficiency is cbiefly in
the deputies for Quito, very few of whom
have arrived,
. the distance being s~ greaC
'

Tbe Hous~ of Representatives is immediately


facing the Senate; they occupy a very long
room, the centre being railed off as in the otherí
the Presl~ent's seat is in the middle, opposite
to which is a portrait of Bolivar. Here tbere
are three Secretaries, aH of whom are Memben¡,
andperform their double functions; tbey have
not, however, yet arrived at tbe system of taking
down speeches in short hand-a plan that woUld
be highly beneficial; for when aman knows
that his sentiments are to' be laid before tbe
public, he is naturally more cautious in his
language. There are certain Committees formed,
to whorn a11 proj~cts and petitions are referred
prior to tbeir being discussed; when their
report is drawn up, the, House generally enters
upon thetopic in rotation, ,unless any important
F3
affáir intervenes; and in cases where informa- .
tion is required from the Executive to"eiucidate
a subject, the Secretary to whose department
it refers, is invited to attend. He gives hisex- .
planations, but neither votes, or takes' part in
the debate; unIess to enlighten the subject.ln
anassembly so recently formed, it is matter oC
astónishment the regularity that prevails. It is
ofrate occurrence that a member is ealled to ..
order, the deb,ates being conducted in an orderly
and ,9..~et manner-no personality is indulged
in. /1 was present, for the first time. during an
'; interestingdebate on a petition presented by a
\ student" for the church, whom the Bishop oC
; Popayan had refused admittance into holy
I orders. onaccount of his illegitimacY;l .The
paint for ai"gument was, 1st. Whetber an inno-
eent person should be made to su~er for the
crime of bis parents. 2ndly. If the bonds of
society '8.Iid public morality would not be' better
maintained by visiting the parents with punish-
ment and disgTaee, than permitting the guiltless
oft'spring' to suffer' through life the ódium and
disadvantages ineurred, by being placed in an
unfortunate situation, and towhom no blame
\

could attach. The priests maintained, that the


greatest check to vice would be given, by the '
phildren suffering the disadvantages arising
from tlle parenfs crime ;' because the strongest
174

tiein ,nat111'e ¡being that 'of parental afl'eetion,


tbe'consideration of the disgrace 00, be incurred
:bythe child, ,would-act as the greatest'preven-
tative of ,immoralityon the part ()f the parents.
ffhis opinion was combatad -in thefirst place,
on the manifest injustiee of an innoeent penon
suft'ering for the guilty ;-upon the experienee,
,not abstraet' theóry ~f the question, -whe~her
isu(!h retlections are ofsuffieient weight, or if they
'effeetuaUy deter aman' flom error; and itwas
iinsisted that i t -'Would be' a more expedient
lJIlethod: tostigmatize the au1ih.ors of the evil, and
'by SOlne heavy punishment to 'make them feel
lthe injury 'done to soeiety. It 'is evident tbat
-the latter is 'the purest reásoning; but 'süll it
'waS pleasing to oSee that upon the main object,'
-the views of aH párties were directed· to the same
'end'"-that of preserving tha public morals in the
"greatest purity: the latter opinion was the most
-prevalent, and the petition was admitted.

Sor Cayeedo,. the President,is a ¡mm uni-


'Vefsally respeeted; .he is. of one of the first
1

families here,. and fills the Chair with equal


eredit to bimself' and serviee to, the eountry-
whóse interest he stndies and promotes with
1Lll the disinterested zealof an erilightened alid
'justrman-combating thenarrow-minded paliey
:of; sorne individual s, who either· tbroughpersonal
176
intlerest orblind· prejudice, 'Would have done
an irreparable injury to the credit úf their
country.·

Sor Pedro Mosquera IS perhaps the most


fluent speaker in the' Chamber of Representa-
tives, and his reasoning is invariably in suppore
of a liberal policy.

Dr. Palacio is also a very clever man, and oí


sound principIe, and enlightened ideas.

Padre Santander is likewise quite the liberal,


giving his decided support to the maintenance
of a political system in Europe, which has so
miraculously raised the credit of this country to
so high a pitch: ind~ed none but the most in-
experienced would have aided in destroying so
nóble all edifice.

The Secretary Herrera is a very clever man,


and, as far as: 1 can judge, the most correct
. speaker in the House. Col.Olivarez is anothér
distinguished patriot and tolerable speaker;
and Borreros' zeal yields to none in the support
of a liberal policy. Amongst the priests there
are sorne good speakers; but the greater elo-
quence is in the Mountain.
• The Author alludes lo the discussion on Mr. ~ea'll
loan.
176
.-J .....

'Amongst the most important laws enacted


this Session are.....·

l. One decreeing the universal adoption of


public Schools throughout the Republic.

2. A law establishing a copper currency to


a certain extent.

3. Another tending .to encourage emigration


to the soil of Colombia.

4. A decree of Government; facilitating the


grant of lands to Colonists, with particular
immunities.

5. A law authorizing the Executive eithei to


continue, augment, or decrease the Navál and
Military Force.

6. A law granting the exclusive right of


navigating with Steam Vessels (the Magdalena)
to certain individuals, under certain conditions.
1 am, &c.
177

S~NTA. MARTB.A, Atlgwt 6,1823.

The day ~fter to-morrow is likely to be the


term oí my present visi~ to Colombia, after
spending.exactly six months in the country. 1
have engaged a passage by a small Schooner to
Jamaica, whence 1 purpose taking tbe earli~t
conveyance 10 Europe.

_.- B.ut 10 resume my Journal; leít Bogo~ on


i
Sunday, June 22, at half-pasl three, :p. :l\:t.o
passing through Foqtibon to the village of'
Serresuela, a distance of five and a half leagues,.
where ii was adviseable to stop, the mules being.
already fagged, owing 10 low cOBdition ;-both
places are in the plain.

23rd Junt. Aided by a clear' moo.n at half·


past three in the moming, ,1 pro,ceededtowards
Facatativá,(éñtering the. mountains west of the
plain ?9 Bogotá at half-past' six; with great
dlfficulty reached the Venta of Cerraderá at the
foot of the Paramo of the same name, at Nine in
the Moming. This is nine leagues from the
capital, and7494 feet aboye the level of the
sea. .As yet no sensible change of climate.
The mountains are well wooded. 1 reaclied
N
178

Villeta at 8ix in the Evening. The lOad hither


is actually appalling, constantly mounting or
descending on a rough pavement, toro up by
the violence ofthe mountain torrent, andtotally
neglected since its first formation. The mules
with the utmost difficulty keep their footing,
baving to jump trom one mass to anotller at the
imminent risk of tbe rider's neck; o~ on the
other band, where the roadhas not been paved,
deep ruts are formed by the constant trame in
wet weather, in which at every step the animals
are imme1'8ed up to tbeil' girths. As an agt"e-
, ment de plua, it rained incessaBtIy· foro tbree
houtB dMing' tbis stage ;(áñd .. was thrice lm~
horsed in descending, (the 1a8t time in a bog)
in consequence of hanng lost my cropper.
'Ilhere are sorne terrible passes between Caracas
and Bogotá, but none' to compete with this
road from the capital to the point of embarka- .
tion·on
.
the Magdalena, andprobably the most;I
fi'equented- in the coun~ry. Before the endl
of the day l, found a great changa in the!'
temperature, having descende.~ ) from an
élevation of 749.( feet to 3~. The country is
.ery luxuria~t and picturesque. TIte (ónly
objects that attract attention in the village, are! I
the women, who in spite of tbeir creMn· colóur,' i
are particularly good looking.· In tbe nightthe'
minimlm of heatwas 16°. It· being the Eve'OÍ
179

St,,; ,,JoItJl. 'partietl fA: calabash mUBician., abdl


noi8Y rev811eiifpr~ttid my getting much rest..
)J

24th JUTJI!. At:three-in theIOOI:ning began'


a- steep aild fatigumg ascent, which occupied!
fonr hourB; éalled' the Alt() del T1'igo; The .8110;
rose iil golden splendour.from bebind BIlexteuded ,
ranga ()f the Andes; tie '$ummiu oí, ttle ditferent
heighm were distinctly 'Yisible, and a-beautiful
azure sky. totaUy free from clouds, ap¡>eared
to rest ontheirele'vated' summits; butthe,most
strikin-g ~beauty -in -tbis' sceDe Was' 'derived from
all tl\é. vapoots;-líavrng. accumula.ted in' the
vaUey, and enenditf~r to: about midway up the
mountains; in the form: df' undulating waves oí
fleecy whiteness; the eft'ect was the most-
singular of any tbmg I ever beheld, having a11
the appéarmce ,of, aruftled sea of snow-the
variously sbaped ~untaiti8 looking like so
many rocks and isla.nds. N-o sooner had the sun
rlsen, than· his' rays began to sUraet the mists,
which gradually rising, displayed a variety
of the most brilliant colours. In a short time the
scene was' totally changed, and theverdant val·
leys becaRle clearlyvisible. 1 reacbed Guardull8,
seventeen leagues from Bogotá, at nine,
hávingdriven my mule before me a great por-
tion of the deep deseent which leads to that
to~. The' country df)ntinues very gra.ud; -butJ
N~'2
180

not much cultivated.· Tbe town is prettily


situatéd in a small and fertile plain~ 1 ,was
received by Col. La Costa, to whom 1 had a letter
of iotroductiOD, .with great kindness...- . 1 COGld
noí procure flesh animala until fO\lr in Uie aiter~·
nooo, Wben desÍl'ous ofreaching tAe ~,of rny
jóumeythat evening, 118ft too towaat the,
comlÍlencement of a very heavythnndá""\8torm...;
but before 1 could. gain the Cool of the moun..
tain, the rain arid hail came down with 8uch
violence as obliged -me to shelter, and ,ultimatelJ
to give up the idea' of attempting, ,tile -~cent~,
that evening. The additional guide,; wQcKn -11'
fotind, it necéBsary to bringwith lqe f1'Oll1 Qwtr-
duas, assured me thatitwouldnotoJ,lly beuselest;-
.but extremely dangeroas.to pr09eed wh~the
roads were jnundated. 1 therefore reluctantly.
returned to theColonE:!l"f meeting on too road j
the greater p,ai"t of the inhabitants (decked out:
in a11 their holida.yfinery)' scampering home.in
aH directions. "It .heing Sto ,John's dar. they
liad' beeo enjoyirig t~eir favourit.e sports, bUlbl
baiting and cock-fighting, borse-racing, &c. in
the neighbouring'fields, when overtaken by tite
storm; . it contióued u'ntil late at njght, ae- \
~om:paDled by tremendoU8_peal"ofthu~r,aIMl(
more vivid lightning tban ¡. had se$j in any
part of' the Andes ~ too atnlbSphere .\vas in ~.
continua! blaze for sorne OOUI'B, tl)e eWect beiag
grand beyond description.
181

.25th June.':· 1 set out about fQuro'eloek.


The deseent to the plain,watered by too Rio ..
Magdalena, exceeded in length any that 1 had
experienced; itrequires aU the confidence
gi\'en by practice, aOO the convietion of a
mule's great caution, to enable one to drop from
one bank or rock to another, with any degree
of confidence. On gaining the Hat the heat
.beeame oppressive, and (l" found myself
again among the custoUla-ry inhabitants· of a
wann climate; birds of most beautiful plu-
mage, a' great variety of wild fiowers of bril-
liant colours,lizards, soakes, &:c. The mule
nearly trod upon one of the latter, of the most
venemous kiod, without my, having pe!ceived.
it, called the coral,. its head aoo' tail being of a
bright red, exactly resembling t11,at substaoce;
too body a light brown. marked with 'rings.
¡ .At' the top of a high bank; at too westem
. extremity oí the plaio, the majestic Magdalena
first opeoed to my view, winding between.two
1 ehains of 10ftY and, woody' mountains; its
width even here canoQt be less than a quarter
oí a ¡nile, aad the impetuosity with which it
flows is graod io·tbe extreme. 1 left the mule
at an' lodían hut, aod ernbarked in a canDe, for
Honda, situated 00 the west bank, and reacbed
the town at eleven· o'clock-a distance of
twenty-two leagues fromthe capital.
182

Thefirst object of my seareh W1l8 a eanoe, or


small-craft, to enaure a 8~dy conveyanee
down to Mompox, bq.t 1 learnt tOOre was not
one either ror sale or hire; the only means gf
proceeding waB by a champan, then taking iR
ber cargo~ and likely to depart in two or tbree
days.

26th Junt.. A constant breeze (rom tbe east


maltes tbis place s\lppor~ble; the heat would
otherwise be intolerable; atnoon in ~ ~hade
the glass is at 93-the mininum at nig~t 80;
the mosquitos are very troubl~ome, and a very
diminutive fIy, called tjin. the bite Qf Which
draw8 blood, and causea a Dl\1Ch gNa\er degre~
ef irritation. tJiattbat of the former. Th~ ~ite
of Honda is preUy and rOQ1~ntic. Being t~
port to the capital,. theFe is s9m~ co~er~
amied 00, and a very consid~rable number 9f
lndíans and mules employed in the transpoI1
of goods. Que is astonishefl at th~ weight
ltOme of the Cormer will ~~; the JIloTe 80
from the steepneas oí the ~oun~ t~y.~V4'
1'0 ascend, a.ad almolt imp~ble ,tate of t~
roads. There ar~ wep wbP <;8JU frolJl seV~1l
tQ eight arrobaa. wi~ w)¡it::h th~y re~h Bog9t4
in eight dilYlS, eaming &o~ ~v~ to ~\l~
clollars by their journey. TIJa IWe pf a IIUJk
averages five dollars.
183
TJ¡e river GUille JOlas its waters to tbe
Magdalena in the centre of Honda; it is a
broad though shallow stream, and rushes down
with considerable force, rendering the passage
to and fro$ the wwn very hazardous. The
consequence ¡s, th~t 1111 large boaU¡, especial1y
those that are laden, stop either at the Bogotá
or Honda Bodegas (warehouses on either bank
at about
, half a mile from the town,) whence the
goods are sent to their r~spective destinations.
A wooden bridge Qf ~Q~sidel'¡iple elevation ~
thrown across the former .riva:.

29th June.· Afier sorne trouble witb tbe pilet,


. who did not liket0 ri5k himself in a aman canoe,
)
" which 1 at last súceeeded ,in purchasing" W8
. pushed off from the shore:~ Wbe». all. placed fu
tbis nutshelJ,with OUI' baggage inibe ,éenttt,
the Bogas (rowers) and myself la the.fure\pb.1't1
~itting between eaeh others legs, and tbe pilot
at the rudder, almost every ineh was eovered,
it oot beingaboie twenty feal' h:lng; our sakty
requirecl thst we sho1l1d reII1am penectly atilh .
In this condition we bagan ro. deseend, theéUrreat
running at least six miles an.hwr.BykeepiDg
steady, although too canoe was notmore thaa
four inebes out of water, 1 conceived we weme
tolerably safe, until we reached the rapids, widl
which the first day's naTigation abounds. Theee
184

are eaused as well by tbe declivity of tbe riyer,


as by numerous sharp tumings whieh it mues.
In certain places the impetuosity of the stream
is so great that it causes a number of conflicting
cUlTents, raisi~g waves and eddies that threaten
to engulph even much larger boats than ours.
~ fi~st dangerous pass thatoccurs is where the
river Guarinu falls into the Magdalena; the i
descent was rather nervous work, but from the ( \
buoyancyof our boat, a very few waves broke I
over us, and only wetted us a little) We \
Passed aH the other rapids, of which there are
eleven, witb equal suceess.

In the eourse of the day we passed the fol-


lowing rivers, which fall into the Magdalena,
Rio Negro, Rio Claro, and Rio de la Mren.
Also the tWo small Indian vil1ages oí GUf,lrumo
and Buena VISta, consisting each of about twelve
houses.
...,-.
. To persons navigating this river in a eODveni-
, ently rigged vessel, and so as to be protected .
from the heat of the SUD, the voyage would be
delightful and interesting beyond descrip~ion, its
course continuaUyserpentining either through
high· ehains oí mountains, -rocky Passes, or
the most luxuriant woods. We d~cended about
seventy miles, from the morning until sun set,
when it was necessary to moor our boat , ,
on a ,
185
(sand bank to pass' the night, for during the
: rainy season the 'Magdalena overflows its banks,
i inundating ~hole villages, and tearing up trees
! by the roots, which are carried down with the
stream in such abundance 'as to render the
navigation dangerous after dark. The waters
at' this timehad begun to subside, altiiough
\ flowing with great violence~ I believe it was
never known to be higherthan this last season,
when a great portion of the town of Honda was
under' water.

After supper we spread our mats upon the


sand, the stáriy heavens forming our canqpy;
the night was very hot, and rendered doubly
painful,' by swarms of mosquitos, the flitting of
bats, and other nocturnal animals, about our
heads,not to mentian our dread of alligators
and tigers'''; for although the former seldom
,leave' the river in the night, it is difficult for a
nov;ce to be perfectly at ease, on a place where
he has secn them baskióg' iñ the day time; from
the latter we were more protected, being iso-
lated 'froin thé woods, and by our· fire being
kept up during the night. In addition to
~ur; imaginary evils, we suffered real incon-
venienée'f\'om aheavy storm which came on
abc>ut twelveo'clock, accompanied by thunder
and'lightning. This left me no alternative, but
to get up and sit in my c10ak untU day break,
ISG
. UDder tIle partial sbelter of aa OOlbrella. Sueh
were the features of our mt night's bivtJfMIC oa
the Magdalena. The storm having ceased, we
re-embarked at sil[. At noon in theshade,'llle
thermometer was 82°.

30th June. W e'~ere saluted by the roaring of \


a tiger on the opposite bank; the first sound of 1
the kind 1ever heard, but not on that aceount the !
more agreeable; they rarely ever come down
to the river but during the night, burying them-
selves in the depths of the forest in the day
time. The tiger or jaguar of the country sel-
dom attacks men uoless provoked, .hut he is R'
formidable enemy 10 the ka!lman or alligator,
wmch he frequently surprises when asleep 00'
the banks, by springing 'upon his back; tbe
alligator if a young one, is sure to fall a victim ;
the larger ones sometimes succeed in running
, with their antllgonjst ioto too river, when in his
tum he is' conquered . by the numbers with
which he is irnmediately surrounded. When
the tiger has ,occasion to cross the river, before;
entering it,ha sets up a tremendous roar, the
kaymans imrnediately disperse, and he crosses
in safety. Another inhabitant oí this magnifi-,
cent river, is the turtle, which abound in a1l
parts of it,and which, as we1l as it~ eggs, depo-
sited at certain &eaSQDS in Ute sand, arepre,ed '
m
. n by both 1be uymaB _ tiger. At tbose
perlods the tigelS é~medQwn in great nUII;lbers
.. search of them; !alge quantities are also
\ consumed by the lndiaDs~

/l\fter passing tb.e mountainous district, the


river eontmueAJ gradually to widen on either
¡side, overhung by very extensive forests. We
!reached the vi~lage oí N are. situated on the left
.bank, at half past eleven. It was here neces-
:sary lo shpw oJJ.r p.allSports, and 1 thought i~
,expedient to exchange the canDe for a larger
on~ the Indians continuing to assert the risk
of proceeding f8,ftber in so ¡mall a boat, and I
c&uld no longer· di~peI3se with an awning,
haviqg suffered grea.tly from· the increasing
power 'of the ~J),; 1 sllcceeded in lJiaking aJ;l
exchange for. Dile tllat will carry me to Pueblo
V¡~o. Left a loaded Ci!hampari bere, thirt!J-one
do,¡¡s froro Mompox, bound upwards.

A 1iule J:>elow the village" tbe river Junta


jaina ~heM~1ialena, after traversing a part of
the provjnc~ ·of.Antioqwa. Its stream hence to
~pa~ ~ 8,1llall Indian haJnlet of twelve
houses, i~ divided by severa! hlanda, all ()f
which ~ well wooded, ud have a very pi~
tureaque ~ppearance. A few Indié\Il h\ltsare
likewj~e interllpersetl on tbe - banks, the 'nha.-
188
bitants of whieh· stibsilt .upon tbe 'eh of tite
river, and by cultivating small spotS of plantaina
and cocoa; the coco&. nut tree gróws wild all
along the banks. At one oí these cottages,
we landed to form an awning oí leaves. At
Garapata the mats were spread upon the
ground, and we slept till two, when the IilOOn
being up we again proceeded.

This day's work 1 reckon at lixty-five miles;


the thermometer .at noon in the shade was at
85°.

1st July. The morningso cold and damp


that 1 was obliged to have Í'écOurse 10 a blanket
and my capote; tbe dews during the night are
very heavy. At day-light passed the small village
of Sto Bartolomé, stopping for half an hour to
breakfast at tbe hut of an IndiaD. A little lower
down, the river Nuevo joins the Magdalena;
Made' great progress in the course of this day,
not stopping again until eight at night, having ~
run at least one hundred and twenty miles.
Maximum of heat 90° in the shade. The sun-
set was one of the grandest sights. imaginable;
its rays falling on a high distant mountain, over
which apPeared a heavy thunder-~torm; the
blackness of the cloud being finely contrasted
with tbe fiery red with wbich it was fringed.
189

Every night we have had thunder and lightning,:


more or less distant. The atm08phere. in this
direction appears to contain more electricity
than inany pait oí thecountry 1 have traversed,
tbe ignition was general in a11 directiollB.

2d Ju/y. At half past twelve tIle rising of the


I moon pennitted us to leavéour mooring, greeted
as yesterday by the growling oí a tiger, near
the: encam'pment. We dropped down. with the
stream at about six ,knots an hour, breakfasted
at S.Pablo, and arrived at Badillo about six in
the evening.To-day the river has increased very
much in width, and the scenery'has been ex-
tremely grand; it assumes, in itsvarious sweeps,
the aspect ,oí a, large lake, fringed with forest
trees oí great. variety and beauty. There is a
great abundance and singular variety oí beau-
tiful birds in these' extensive woods, their move-
ments affordjng constant novelty and admira...
tion: thewild turkey, glUlcnar.aca. (American
pheasant), differeut kinds of cranes, Hamingos,
herons, great variety oí wild fowl, parrots, ma-
cawa, and smaller birds of equally beautiful
phimage, andhQTdes oí lIlonkeys, w~e dread~
(ul¡howlings.keepthe woOds inconstant uproar;,
SDákes. oí alHUllQs are very numerous, and the
Indiq,llssa¡y, there,lare,. as weJI as tigers, many
liQus, and liorna wolves; the hutterflies are·not
190

Ure least interesting. from their ouIÍlbera aud


great brilliancy oí colours.

.. ¡N~thiDª so much beapeaks tbe· inadequate ~


population of this couotry, as the negleeted and I
wild state of 80 desirable a tract of land as that i
watered by tM Magdalena, capa:t>Ie of growing ¡
the most valuable proouce to exchange for ma.... \
nufactures, and with e-rery faciHty for its expor- i
tation. In the space of some hundred miles'
tIlat 1 have now descended, there are probably
not íDore tban thirty isolated. and poor huís;
none of which ha\Te aboye an acre of cleared
land, over· and abore a few small villages;

The usual solitude· bas been broken to-day by


the passing of several champam, ladeo with
merchandize for Honda. The export of bullian
being subject to a very heavy tu, the retums
ál'emostly made in cot1oo, Ilides. sugar, aad.
dyewoods, those of the IDOst valuable quality
growing in this district; cocoa aOO cofl'ee. are,
compal'atively speaking, little cultivated.

It is most labonous work (or the /JoglU (In..


dian boatmen) to punt up these· beavy boats;
10u frequentIy see twenty menat wOlk with
long poles, and· it is by the utmost· exertiOll
they keep the boat in motion, so &tron.g. il· ~
191

cúrrent; indeed. in roany places drey are driven


bade ando forced to regain the lost ground by
tbe aid of ropes ana pullies, which they attach
to trees. Some idea of the force of the stream
marbe formed by the comparative time of the
passage up and down. 1 now expect to reach
Mompox in five days; to ascend from thence to
Flbnda the loaded boats average from thirty-
five to forty days. It is a prettysight to see
the ftnlians at work in champans; every thing
próce'eds with the utmost reguIarity, eaeh man
keeping time with his voice, so that they are
,hearo 'at a 'considerable distance. tWhen two
Iboats meet, the salutations on both sides are
Imost vociferous and abusive, each party endea-
o
vouring to surpass the other in the obscenity
Jand opprobrium of their langnage} yet, when
together, they appear to act in pé~feetconcord.
,..Tlíese men, in their manners and habits, are
! most- disgu¡;tin~y filthy-the beasts of the field
have a much .righer sense of decency 1 They
have the character also of being great rogues.
but- 1 have no reason to eomplain of any of
those 1 have had to deal with. It is surprising
what work they get through. It may seem a
solecism, hut as far ás my experience goes, 1
think in-bot c1imates the natives are more capa-
ble oÍ" excessive fatigue, and exert themselves
192

occasionally in a more extraordinary depe tban


the labouring c1asses of the north. For instance,
the enormous weights that some· of the Indians
carry ón their backs up the mountains from
Hqnda to Bogotá.. . A boga wiIl work at the
paddle (which is much more labQrious ~an the
oar) for sixteen orseventeen hours outof twenty-
four, {or a succession ofmany days, and exposed
to a tropical sun. Having landed at Budillo
with the intention only of preparing sup~r, and
cQntinuing our course all night, our plan was
frustrated by one of those tremendous storms to
which the tropics, and especially those parts
where the large rivers are situated, are so sub-
jeet. The thunder and lightning was most
awful, accompanied by such torrents of rain and
gusts of wind, that tbreatened to carry every
thing before them.

3d July. The wind having .abated by two in the


moming, we were enabled to proeeed.

In the course of to.. . day we passed the villages


ofMorales·, Rio Viejo, and Regidor; we followed
tbe course of the Brafo Ocana, which branehes
off from the main body-a small stream leading
from hence up to the. town, from which
. . . . it is
named, on account o(the current being stronge~
193

than in the Magdalena; the two join again at


Regidor. The heat to-day has been ~xcessive,
maximum 93°, without a breath of airo '

By promising a reward 1 induced the bogas


to proceed throughout theday, making une
stoppage of half an hour, and also kept them at /
work the whole of the night, which proved very
stormy; duringthis time we'passed the villages
of Sto Pedro, Tamalanáqúe,' El Poñon, El
Banco, Tnjayca, Guamar, Leira Margari~a,
Leirá S. Fernando, 8. Sebastian, and Menco-
giquejo; likewise the river Cesare, proceeding
from the lake of Zapatosa, and the Bra~o de
Lobo, connecting the two principal rivers in the
north-west part of thecontinent-the Magda-
lena and Cauea.

r; the last thirty-four hours we cannot have


,made less than two hundred and ten miles, dur-
l. • ~ .~
,,' mg that tIme we landed but once. * 1 never
, suffered so mucho from mosquitos as during the
Dight; there is no deseribing the state of irrita-
'tion caused by them. .
,
4th July. At noon we reached the city of
Mompox; thought it expedient to remain here
'. Thesc occasional delays are inevitable, /to give tbe
,'\
, bOlas time to cook their meals.,'.
o
194

the_rest of the afternoon, in the fi~t 'pla~~, ,to, ..


procure an° additíona(; bog,a~ t to ¡'e'pla~~,.th~.
pilót, who 'had falle~ sie~, an~ to.ha;ve . o~rs ...
made, with'whích we shou)d proceed with more
rapidity than by the padd~e. I )V~,inf~fm~d
tlíat 1_ eou1d de~oond ~itl1. "~afety, ~n th~ osame
•• J , •• ' •• "

ca'noe to Pueblo, Viejo" but nQt to Santa


, • ,..- •••-- ,. ~ . - J

Martha;l. ror which reason ~ p~opos~~ landmg ,


r j ., . • 1 , . " - o·, '-

at the former place, and crossing w~th ¡nules.


to' )Sania Martha, dIstant' fro~ thence seven
leagués.. l . 'o'; .. '-

Considerable commerce is earried on with.,


this city, it b'e~ng ihe' entre¡>?t b~~w~en the'"
eoast a'nd the
. ,1
capital:
.
aH merehandize
. .. . " l -.
i~ sent,_ l ~ -~ j. I •

bythériver to 13ogót~; at a very 'great expense.


In thé first place fr~ S. Martha. to :Mompox, .
the charge is either five or six dollars per load,
which. eonsists ."of ten
,
,arrobas.· . Should
.'. L.·
the
package be véry bulky;'something add~tionat~o:.
expeetéd; frorD Mompox to Ho»da,.'eo·sts ten
doÍ1ars 'more; and it ' ~ay be,rec~oned '~~at ~h~!
land eonveyanee to B'ogot1 ,am,oun~' to. ~!x ... will
or elght dolhírs; .so thllt' exclusive ~f quties, • '" • '_ _ J ••

eommissions, warehousing, packing, porterage,


&c. ten arrobas, or 2501bs.. weight of goods, will .
: _ 1 . ' ¡, . .,,' 1 ~

cost for transport only, froro Santa Mar¡h~ lo .


Bogotá,' between twenty-one' ~nd' t~enty-(our
dollars.
195
Tbe city consists of three very long streets,
running parallelwith the rivet for at least a
mile ; the houses a.re generally large and com-
modious, but consist of one floor only. It is
well supplied with all artic1es of provision, at
moderate prices. The population, inc1udingthe
neighbouring ,villages, is estimated at 15.000.

Several gun-boats are stationed here for the


protection of the navigation.

5th July. , 1 le,ft Mompox at day-break, hav-


ing efi'ected the alterations necessary' for the
completion of my expedition. Passed in the
course of the day the village of S. Senon.
S. Fernando, S. Anna, Talayqua•. Pinto, Ta~ .
calon, : Tacamoc:ho, and" towards the evening.
made the mouth of the river Cauca, where it
join~ its immense body of waters to those of the
Magdalena, having run almost aparallel course
with the sam~. For a river scene none can be
.more grand than the junetion of these two ma-
jestie streams, whose waters seem to contend
with each other for the superiority,~and it is
not till after a distance <;>f severalleagues, that
the c1earer' stream of the Cauea is ultimately.
ingulphed in the more muddy Magdalena. At
the point where they meet, the scenery is
strikingly beautiful; the banks of each being
o 2
196

clothed' with wood. - The picturesque little


village of Vinto, built in a grove of cocoa nut
trees, and characterized by two mango trees in
the centre Ca peculiarity observable in most of
the villages on the river) forros a beautiful object
on the west bank, at the spot where the rivers
meet; Fine rising woodlands to the S. W., and
l}lue mountains to the north, add greatly to the
grandeur and majesty of the scene.

At sun-set a heavy squall came on, obliging


us to lay to for nearly three hours; the surface
of the water became so much agitated as to have
more the appearance of a foamíng sea -than an
inland river. The pilot assured me, we could
not proceed without imminent risk until the
wind abated; heavy rains succeeded. We con-
tinued, nevertheless, to run down with the
stream the whole of the night, having no longer
any apprehension from sand banks, with which
the river abounds aboye Mompox, ando from its
extended width the less likelihood of running
foul of floating trees. In the night we passed
S. Bruno, Plato. and Teneriffe, havingrun by mid..
night about seventy-two miles. The heat to-
day wás aboye aH precedent; the thermometer
under t,he shade of the awning at three in the
afternoon being at lOO"! the mínimum during
the night 75".
197

The;mosquitos increase, ifpossible, in number,


!lnd my body was in a state of general inflam-,
mation from their repeated attacks. As to
: getting sleep during the night, it is next to an
impossibilit)'" and instead of being refreshed. in '
the moming after the heat of the preceding day,
1 rose in a state of general¡Vritation.

6th July. At nine iq the 'moming landed at


Nivito, to allow the bogas to buy fish, and prepare
, their 'provision for the day. The intermediate
village between this and Teneriffe, is S. Augus-
,tin, and after it, we passed Ducal, Baranea
Vitjo, Baranea Nueva (here is a branch of the,
Jiver caIled El Digue, which conducts to Car-
thagena,) and Pedraca. At Ducal, were oblig-ed
to bring to ~t the signal of a gun-boat, and give
an account of ourselves.

At noon the Cierrania of S. Martha appeared


, in sight at a great distance; the mountains are
of an extraordinary elevation. 'l\faximum of
temperature to-day 92°. We passed the villages
. S. Antonia, Peñon, and Punta Gorda. An excel-
- lent opportunity presented itselffor the first time
of examining a kayman; 1 had before seen
hundreds basking on the banks with their huge
mouths open, and floating on the surface, but
none sufficiently near to judge of their propor-
,tions. In the present instance, one of large di-
198

mensions was fioating down the stream, its


appearance fully justifying the dread enter-
tained of them when met in their own elemento
Every part of this animal is covered with a thick
scale of uncommon hardness, perfectlr impene-
trable to a musket-balll It was at least four-
teen feet long; the \>OOy five, the tail five, and
the head four; the mouth of this crocodile being
armed with from seventy-five to eighty teeth,
and tusks which havea most formidahle ap~
pearance. It was with much difficulty we suc- .
ceeded in knocking out one of the tUlfks by the
. help of a' small hatchet. It is generally of a
dark brown colour, excepting only the belly,
, which is a pale yellow; and along the ba~k.
from the head to the tail, is a row of projecting
pyramidal scales; its fore-feet are covered with
the same hard substance, and arméd with for-
midable cJaws, those on the hinder one~ being
much the largest. N ature seems to have pro-
vided against the too rapid increaae of ~hese.
monsters, for they fottunately destroy the·
greater number of their young as soon as
hatched: like the turtle, they deposit and
carefully cOYer. óver their eggs in the sand
banks.

We continued our course the. whole of this


night, for the first time, beiQ,g favoured by clear
weather.
199

· In tbe last twenty-four bours "1 consider tb~t


we bave niarle oue bundred and twenty miles;
passéd in· tlle ' nightGu'lymaro,· Remolino, and
Sitio Nuevo. '

7th JuZg. Wben day-ligbt appeared fJ found


: myselfunexpectedly near tbe terlIliQ'ation of roy
i voyage ¿n tbel\1agd'alena. Tbis IÍl~jestic river.
to
· in itselralone a mine of wealtb the luxuriant
, and universally fertile country through whicb lit
í runs, surpasses, in ¡ts natural richness and

· grartdeur of scenery, aH that ipossibly ,can ~e


;imaginéd•. stúdded .with númerous be~~t~ful
;' islands,and' réceiviIíg inn)lfi?erable. magnifi-
¡ cent tríbuÚiry stTeams, particuiarlytbe Ca~~~,
án auxilíary of almost equal force and dimen-
sion9

Át the moIÍlent of quitting the sublime sce~e


we e'ntiréd á. narro~ strait. conducting from
hence through a cJtain of smalllakes to Cien~ga.
The súil was risingbehind tbe lofty cordillera
ofSanta Martba, giving additional splendimr io
óne of tlie grandest views on the river. It forms
liere. as it were. an e~tensive lake; distant
mountains appear in the south-east; i~ th~' east
rises the chain at the back of Santa Martha,
si:t thousand feet aboye the l~vel of the sea.
Thé' tower of the church of Baranquilla is seen
200

in p. neighbouring wood. The distant roaring of


the sea, after an inland course of two thousand
miles, brought with it the most pleasurable
anticipations of the vicinity of that ocean which
was to convey me to my countryand my friends.

Upon entering the Caños we had a most te-


p.ious andlaborious navigation of twelve hours,
~wing to the shallowness of the water, and the
great obstruction from a weed which floats down
from the 'Cauca, lmitting t~gether, and forming
,analmost impenetrable harriero . The CJarin is
almost the first we entered, abou~ two leagues
, in length; ,to this succeeds a number of oth~r
sinalllak~s, call~d the Cienega de quatro Bocas,
, Guatinoja, de Soledad; BE;nja, de la Cruz, Ca-
nalete, Pasearo, Negro, Sucio, Redonda, and
Honda, to ,the Cienega (a very extensive salt-wa-
" ~er lake.) , In the last twepty-four hours have
"
not made aboye seventy-five miles;' heat QO".
,

It was dusk :when: we reaehed the Cienega,


and the bogas having toiled three 'successive days
and nights, it. was necessary to, allow them
a few hours repose b~for~ ,w~ couJd' ~ross to
Pueblo YieJo~

8th JuZg. At one in the morning unmoOf'd;


a. high west wind Tendered the passage of t4e
201

lake rough aOO inconvenient, being' Illuch ex·


posed to the surf in so low a canoe." '

Landed at Pueblo Viejo at six in the moming;


'precisely nine days from the timeof leaving
Honda. A Rungo having just left for Santa
Martha, and -no other conveyance offering until
the following day, 1 had no altemative but
crossing the country with mules, for which
purpose sent an express to Pueblo Nuevo to
have them in readiness. Went myself in the
canoe to the Savannah, whence without 10ss of
time proceeded to Santa Martha, distant seven
leagues, which city 1 reached in the aftemoon,
after a buming ride over a sandy road, suffering
excessively from thirst, and tbe heat, not only
of the day, but from the constitutional one,
contracted in a succession of nine days naviga.
tion on the river in an open boato

Being unexpéctedly detained here, affords


me the opportunityof givingyou sorne account of
this part of the coast. very kindly invited
me 10 make his house my residence, but for
which it would have been. irksome indeed,-for
-of aH the .dull towns J have beenin, this sur-
passes them. An. unoccupied man has no re-
source ·in S. Martha; the excessive heat, which
is seldom below' 90°, prevents your moving
202

about by day,and the only recreations are


batbing moming afid evening, walking eitber 0'0 ,
tbe beacb, or in extensive labyrintbs of :wood at
tbe baek of tbe' town, which 'are cool and agree-
able, although harbouring a great variety' ana
J . I

. abundance of snakes; .they 'extend for' sorne


'miles in aneasterly direction, ahd:are termiriated
by mountains of a great elevation, ·which gra-
duaUy rise tUi tbey attain 'the heigbt of ;16,4'HJ ,
feet from the level of the sea: such is the ele-
vation of tbe Nevada, so called {rom its being
,covered with perpetual snow! these form 'a
back ground oto the town, all of thero clothell
witn fine timber or brush wdod. Tbé ln:tet-
mediate flat is interspeTsed withoutnerous
Ro'Sas or Quilltas, where the fruits aod vegetabh~s
are gtown to supply the maTket ;brit as they
c.refly belong to poor people, fe\V of thema~
in any kind of order.Fronting tbe:west is th~ ,
port, open to the sea only in that quarter, other-
wise surrortnded by bigh latid, arid veÍ'y strongly
fortified. In the centre of the channel is tbe
n Moro;" a rocky ífiouñtain; a fortress on its

sUlIl'mit commands the entrance on' eitber side,


besides several otlter fortifications, whicli if in
pl'óper order,and well manned; 1vouId 'rend-el'
tms one of the strongest holds on !he coast. Oh
ascending the headJand, whicn protects tlté-iJllár~
bour'from northerly winds, 011 tlie oue side is It
203

highly picturesque ,and panoramic vie.w of too


town and bay; on tbe other a great.extent oC
ocean, with the bold coast of Terra Firma,
stretchingto windward. We used ver.y much
10 eojoy the freshness of the breezes ,'on tWs
spot, it ,,!>eing many degrees ,cooler tthan ~the
town. "Santa Martha is so hid :by:headland§J
that it is difficult to make from the ocep,o, .un-
~,ss when running along the ahore. The .an-
chorage is safe, excepting in gales from the
westward, wJ;lich very seldom prevail; but when
th~y dQ, the .vessels are frequently driv.en on
shore, but receive no damage, the be~h -being
,of fine sand, in which is a veiy large portionef
,sorne metallic substance; .¡ was told platina, :but
think it lUuch more likely to be lead, a JP.ine ,oC it
hay~g Qeetl discovereq! under the citadel, parti.-
cles of which are pr~bably dislodg.ed by the sea.
o/'"
Tbe towI(' is large, and contains several good
.. houses) The cathedta.l is a very conspicuous
object, bpth in the appro~h by hind and sea,
1:mt :Q.eitheI: in architecture or interna! oma...
ments, is there any thing in it worth mention.

The population is very much reducad' from


a variety of causes, not exceeding at tile, present
time from 4 to 5,00.0 soJJls; amongst which are
the general desolation caused by the war,' anP.
204

the number oC families tbat bave been banisbed


. from tbeir adberence 10 the Spanish cause.

In tbe time of tbe Spaniards, this was a very


considerable commercial city, enjoying almost
.tbe exclusive importation of manufactures for
.Bogotá, and a great part of tbe interior, owing
to its ready communication witb tbe river Mag-
dalena. Now th~re ar~tabove a dozen mer- .._
cbants of any not, in tbe place, and too business
carried on is comparatively trifling. Tbe com:- '
.mercial importanée of S: Martha has,. during
.tbe war, beenmuch injured by this circum~
stance, and migbt be perbaps permanently so,
if a contract lately made by the government,
witb a gentleman at Bogotá, were carried into
effect, for tbe exclusive privilege.of navigating
the Magdalena for twenty years witb steam
yessels, with the condition of forming a direct
communication between the river and Cartba-
gana by a canal, wbicb is to be in. progress
witbin the year.. This would tend to remove
much of tbe trade from Santa Martha to Car-
thagena.

Before I left tbe capital, a measure was before


the Congress, for making a free port of, and
building a town at Savanilla, near tbe mouth of
tbe river: strong interest was opposed to the
205

measure, but the ultimate· decision .appears -


dubious. If earried· into effeet, it will most
materially injure both the above-mentioned
cities, but prove at the same time a general
benefit to ·the interior. It appears singular,
that goods shipped direct fr,om Englarid, and
well assorted for the· market, cannot be sold at
as low a rate, as those sent over from J amaiea,
which have to payadditional· port charges,
commission, &c. It either arises fromJamaica
being a kind of dep6t ror the manufactures of
England: sales are often made there at a sacrifibe
to the owner, to ensure a quick return, of whieh .
the Jews, who are numerous in Jamaica, take
advantage, and are thereby enabled to undersell
other mercha:nts, when· the Colombians come
into that market; over and aboye which, the
latter in landing their purchases here, .contrive
to compromise for the duties with the officers
of the -customs; for such peculation it is well
knownhas been, and probably is still carried on
to a great extent. On the other hand, the English
merchant, who arrives here with goods, is made .
to pay the full amount of grievously heavy
imposts!

The returns made -from hence are either in


specie, to' export which, a heavy duty' is in-
eurred; or else in cotton, bides, and dye
206
woods, chiefly thé· Nicaragua, or PaÍo dé Rio
. Hacha.'

The Governor told me that fro'm tbe 16th to


the 18th ult. PadiUa was in possession bf Mara-
caibo, Moraleg having evacuated it ·'to' prevent"
the junction of the olockading arrny with' the
forcean the laí~ "/ The"mbvemeiits b( Padilla
oceasioned the retürn' of Morales~ when not
havmg an 'adequate':fotcé' 'to resist his éntry,
Parlillaretired from the town,'carryingaway
I I
with him, or destroying aU the stores and am-
munition, after razing theworks, and spiking
the cannon',
'.
14th July. In ihe middle oí the night, aC~'1
couitts were received~ that aftet 'arióther severe 1
struggle, in w-hich theÍ"e had been greatsl~üghter
on both' sides, the city of·Maracaiho was re- f
occupied by' the Patriots; Morales' force being~'"
in a great measure destroyed, he esmiped'¡'
to San Carlos,'where he is shut 'up witb 'ónly1
200 men~' Streetby street was defended' byf, .
the Spaniards, before they were driven out. ¡.
No sooner was this intelligen'ce made PUbliC\
here, (at one in the morning) than the most
noisy' and boisterous rejoicings comm~nced i~ •
the town. The cathOOral beUs ning a deafening \
peal, which lasted until daylight; parties ¡
207
parad~tbe, streets, si~~g ~4 knoQkiag,a* aH
tbe doors; ,tbe military were let, loose, ~d a
, general firing of musquetry took place for the
\ re~t of the~oigpt. Th~ banrlparadedthe streets,
, bo~fir.es, we,r#, ID~~' and Jire. wQrks let oif in aH:
'directions},. Sup~.Aea~piijg diaéQrd,. ,upon.·the l '
whole~ n~ver was hea~d 'QeforeJ '
/-'-
15th July__ (To.-d~y .~hesh(}ps are·shut t ;and
\ th~ rejoicings continue with qnabatecl vigour)
o"

,16th July;.. " Thehila~it.y Qf the mob exhibited,'


. íts;el(injfthe. memt ex;traorqinary mann.er.. In"
I the. ev~~~,ng: a pall )V3,s¡.giveno.by,the, garrison. '

• officE1rs,J !:wb}qJJ. ~ff~ded.. m~,.an op.por.tunity of·


s~~ing ,,'Oijl~o.pf.,lh~"principal íam"lie81 inthel:
town, Tbp WO.~~ :~eof. a darkcolour, and
generally. spea~in.g,j)lain, ~arele8S of their dress
and person, and far from fascinating in their
manqerE\~. The.Spanish .country dances and
wa1,tzi~g, l.\re,. nlOst in famur. with tuero; . these
wer~ k~pt ~p wifh. great.spirit, and-some degree'
of elegance; especially the former, ·tbe .figures'
of whjq\l.. "ne varied, and very pretty. A
. singular circumstance at these entertainments
, is, that tbey are in a manner open to the public;
wherever music is heard, persons uninvited
make no scrupfe of wa'lking in and viewing tbe
entertainments; far fro~ being molested they
208
are aUowed to take their stations with the
bidden guests !

17th July. A gentleman who arrived to~day


from Carthagena, speaks of that town as being
healthy and weIl-built; its site, a neck of land
stretching out to sea, enjoyiI!g almost constant
sea breezes; it has a -.good port, and cheerful
society; but its greatest drawback is, a scarcity
ofwater, that which ¡s used being coIlected and
kept in larga tanks. He had lately been at
Mexico, which he described tobe a superb
city, containing 120,000 inhabitants; it is dis-
tant only ten days journey from Vera Cruz, and
twelve from Tampico-a. good road connecting
these ports with the capital; the coast is dan-
gerom¡ to anchor on, and very unhealthy, owing
to stagnant waters and extensive forests.

1st August. A schooner- ca~e in to-day, in


which Ihave .engaged a passage to Kingston;'
an 1, 1 trust, 1 shaIl soon. have 'the pleasure of·
being with you.
1 am, &c.

J. U.-.J.II. Pr¡IItlr, T.~I. W./t.

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