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Excursion Made from Quito to the River Napo, January to May, 1857

Author(s): William Jameson

Source: Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. 28 (1858), pp. 337-349
Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the
Institute of British Geographers)
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1798328
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( 337 )
XII.-Excursion madefrom Quito to tAleRiver l!Gapo,January
Read, JUne 14,1858.
HAVING onvariousoccasions visitedtheforestthatextendsfrom
the westernslopeof Pichinchato theshoresof the Pacific,I felt
desirousof descendingthe oppositeor easternridge,andpene-
tratingasfarasthebanksof theNapo Myobjectwastocompare
thenaturalproductions of a regionln manyrespectssimilar,but
whichI conceivedmightbe somewhatmodified by thecontinent
thatextendsformanyhundreds of milesto the shoresof the At-
lantic. Owingto the limitedtime at mydisposal,I canscarcely
pretendto have accomplished anything. A residenceof many
yearswolll(lbe necessary to acquireevenan imperfect knowledge
of the zoologicaldepartment, in whichthereis apparently more
varietythanin theproductiorls of the soil. Thelatterstatement
maynotbe altogether correct,becausefromthe difficulties atten-
danton the journeyI couldnot possiblyexaminethe immense
varietyof foresttreesthatformthe principal featureof a coulltry
which,sincethecreation,has remained unpeopledby thehutllan
race. I shallfeel satisfied,however, if I havebeenthe meansof
addinga fewnewspeciesto the cabinetof thenaturalist.
AssociatedwithProfessors Francisand Moore,of the United
States,I startedfromQuitoonthe 17thJanuary. Ourroadlay
acrossthevalleyof Chillo,whichseparates the twomainridgesof
theAndes. It is clothetlwitha vegetation of mimosa,a cactus,a
mulberry, anda wildcherry. In theafternoon we arrivedat the
farmof Itulcache,situatedat thebaseof theeasternchain.
Jan. 18.-rro-day wecommenced theascentof theeasternchains
ancl,leavint,thecultivateddistrict,weentereda regionproducing
nativegrasses,affordingpasturefor numerousherdsof cattle.
At 12,000feetwe entereda forestof Polylepis,a middling-sized
tree,the barkof whichpeelsof in shre(lsfromthe trunk. Above
this forest,whichpresentsa sombre-green tint,thereis another
zoneof grasses,with long Wilyleavescyfa yellowishgreen,and
still higheris the ridgeof Guamini,elevatedto rlearly15,00()
feet,andpresentirlg a fewsolitarytuftsof grass,intermingled with
shrubby" compositze " (Chuguiraga andAster),a Valerian, a Po-
tentilla,andotherEuropean genera. It wassnowinghardwhexl
we crossed,and,thenarrowpathbeingall butconcealed, I could
notbestowmuchattentiononanythingunconnected withmypro-
gress. Descending theeasternflankwearrived,throughbogand
mire,at theIndianvillageof Papallacta,* whereweremained for
the threefollowingdays preparing forour journeythroughthe
* Papa, potato; Ltactcc,a village.
338 s Excllssiotfzom Quitoto the Rivewl!Gapo.
Papallactais situatedon a grassydeclivity,and consistsof a few
straggling;huts of plank,with thatchedroofi. It is backedby an
amphitheatreof rocks of san(lstoneand basalt, overgrownwith
shrubbery. 'l'hevegetcltion in theneighbourhood consistsof Barlla-
desia spinl)sa,a SipEco campylus,a fuchsiascarcelydibtinctfrom
F. triphylla,Dumeriliapaniculata,c. Ac.
\Vith 16 Indianswe left Papallactaon the 25th JanuarZ. Tile
pathis tracedby the edge of a rapid torrent,and in manyplaces
there is scalcely rootnenoughto securea footing along its pre-
eRpitousbank. At 3 o'clock we halted at an uninhabitedhut,
where we )assed tlle night, aoldnext morning,on packingour
luggage, we foundthat nearlyall the freshprovisionwe had pur-
chasedin Papallactahad beenpurloinedbythe Indiansduringthe
Jan. 26.- Startedat half-past6 andpllrsue(lourjourneyalong
the bankof abroad rockystream. 'rhis we afterwardscrossedby
a rudely-constructed bridg;eforme(lof two logs. Bre shota huln-
mingbird (new to me), feelling on the flowersof an Erythryna.
At 12 arrisredat a station narnedGuila, wherewe found a hut
inhabitedby a single family,whoseoccupationis the makingof
large woodenbowlsand troughsfor the Quitomarket.
Ja?l.i2t3.-Arrivedat Baeza,consistingof threehuts in tlle midst
of the forest,and inhabitedby Indians. Here we remainedtwo
days,duringwhichI made a tolerablecollectionof beetles,par-
t;cularlythe smaller species, allied to the genus Coccinella. I
aIso procuredsoine Trochilidaeanll a specimen of An(ligena
Jan. 31.-Lett Baeza. 'rhe first portionof the road ascends
throllgha fJorest,afterwardsthele is a descentto a small stream,
crossingwhichwe againaseend througha thickmattingof Chtls-
atueascanderls. Tile path was exceedinglymiry. Dllring this
day's journeywe again met with Andigena hypoc,laucus, and a
green speciesbelongingto the same family. At 4 o'clockwe
campedon the bankof the Rio Vermejo.
IweD.1.- Commencedourjourney,crossingthe Rio Vermejoby
a bridge constructedof two slenderlogs; afterwardscontinueA
our route along the bankof the same river. In sotne partswe
wereobligedto travelfor a considerabledistanceoverlargestones,
whichin formertimeshad beenits channel. Severalorchids(new
to me)werecollected. 'lthedistancefromour last night'sbivouac
to Tanuyacu, where we halteal)may be about.five miles. AVe
arrivedat 3 o'clock.
Feb.2.-Started at 8, and at 11 arrivedorlthe bankof the Co-
sanga,overwhich we passed. This i3 the most formidableriver
(!nthe whole route. On a tree, overgrownwith TnossS I collected
specimcnsof an Utricularia,witha large purpleflowerand a stem
JAMESON'S Excursion
from Quitoto tAte
RiverNapo. 339
only 2 inches high. After crossingthe Cosangawe enter on an
extremelymiry road. At 2 we arrivedat a station,named El
Almorzadero,wherewe remainedfor the night.
Feb.3.-Started.at 9 and ascendedby a steep brokenpath to
the summit of the ri(lge named El Guacamayo(Huaca-mayu,
sacredriver). Fromthispointthereis a verylong and precipitous
descent,which occupiedus for fourhour3,during whichwe were
drenchedwith rain. At the foot of the mountainwe crosseda
}apidstream,and after travellinga coupleof lniles over a com-
parativelylevel surface, arrived at a station named Urcusique.
Here the vegetationpresentsa more tropical appearance. The
birdsobservedduringthis day'sjourneywereAndigena,oneortwo
species,Rupicola Peruviana,and Trogon pavoninus. Of plants
the trees affordedme somecuriousfernsand a fine Polytrichum.
Feb.4. -To-dayI founda Narcissus,with snow-whiteflowers
(It is spreadovera considerableextent of country,froznthe base
of the Guacamayoto the woodsof SantaRosa. Anotherplalltof
the sameorderis an Amaryllis,occurringin Archidona,wherethe
foresthas beenpartiallycut down. The Liliaceaearerarethrough-
out the Andes.) We advancedabout six miles, and at 2 camped
on the bankof the Rio Hondache.
Feb.5. Startedat 8. Roadnot quiteso badas that of yester-
day, exceptingwherewe had to cross some (leep ravizles. In a
river the Indianscaught some fishof the genus Catastomus,and
alsoa smallspeciesof crab. At half-past12 it comnlencedraining,
xvhichobligedus to campat a place two miles fartherone
- Beb.6. To-daywe advancedonly threemiles, froman appre-
hensionof its raining. Wc haltedat l2, havingsent on to Archi-
donafourof ollr Indiansto announceour approach. The distance
is said to be abouttwelvemiles.
Feb.7. Startedat 7 and ascendedfrom the riverbank by a
steepacclivity; afterwardsthe road becamecomparatively level.
Pasbedthe tamboof Curi-urcu(goldenmale), distant aboutsix
miles from Archidona. To-day I found some beautifulfernsof
the genera Lycopodiumand 'rrichomanes. Mr. Moore shot a
couple of finches, a completegem of seven differentcolotlrs.
Finallywe campedon the bankof the riverMundi-yac2l (X^ater),
threemiles distantfromArchidona.
Feb. 8. - At 11 we enteredArchidona. Aftertraversinga forest
for a spaceof 12 days, and havingour prospectin everydirection
circumscribedby trees,nothingcan be moreagreeablethan sud-
denly emergingfrom beneath a dense leafy canopyand finding
oneselfin an openspaceclothedwith herbageof a brightemerald
green,and enJoyinga view of the distanthorizon.
Archidonaconsistsof I knownot howmanyhouses,forthe greater
numberof them lay concealedin the forest. The few that are
z 2
340 JAMESON'S Quitoto theRimrl!Gapo
visiblewereunoccupied, exceptingone in whichtheIndianGo-
vernorresidedprotempore.XWe of the Cabildo,
or government house,builtforthe specialbenefitof the Spanish
Governor and hissuite: it is constructedcntirelyof bamboo and
thatched withgrass. Therewas,in fac,t,no one butourselvesin
the villag;e, notevena dog. Herewe remainfora dayor twoto
restfromthefatiguesof thejourney.$
Earlynextmorning we werevaitedonby theIndianGovernor
and his suite,or the justices(las justicias) as theyare termed.
Eachof thesefunctionaries carried a longstaSwitha silverhandle,
andwasattendedby severalIlldians,bringingus a supplyof ripe
plantains, yucas,the rootof an AruTrl calledMandi,fowls,and
eggs These severalarticles of food are all that Archidona
atz norc8.
TheIndians of Arcllidonat aretallerandoi a moresymmetrical
configuration than thoseof the cold table-lands of the interior.
Theireolollris of a deeperbronzeorred the lattertintbeing
probably communicated by theconstant andliberaluse of annotto
dressconsists of buttwoarticles a smallponcho of a coarsecotton
manufacture, dyedpurple,anda pairof veryshortdrawers of the
samematerialleavingthe legs and thigllscompletely exposed.
The hairis uni^rersally black and occasionally, althoughvery
rarely,curled. They use neitherhat nor shirt,andare unac-
quainted withtheuseof soap. A neek]ace of beadsof whiteenamel
is a decoration ingreatrequest, withthewomen,whose
formandfeaturesI mustconfessareinferiorto thoseof themen.
Probablythis maybe occasioned by the hardworkto whichthe
formeraresubjected inearlylife 'rheirlanguageis theQuichlla,
being the sameas that spokenby the Indiansof the interior.
They preferlivinCapartfromthe Spanishrace in the distant
recessesof theforest,wheretheycultivatevarioustropicalplants
thatservethemas food; but whattheypreferto everyotherkind
of alimentis the pulpor fruitof a palmnamedchonto. It is
producedin clusters,each fruit being of the size of a pigeon'segg,
andof a deep redcolour.- It is boiledin waterto separatethe
nut,andthepulpis formed- intoa masst)resenting a brightorange
tint. All that is nownecessary is to diSuselt in cold waterand
drinkit oR
Hulltingis theirchiefoccupation, andeveryvarietyof ame is
,vrocuredby the dexterous use of thebloxv}ipeoThepoisonwith
$ ArchidoIla was founded in the early times of Spanish power, a1ldwas once a
flourishing 6tation of the Jesuit Miss}onaries.-C. iP.M.
t The Indians of Archidona are of the same raee as the natives of Quito. They
both speak a corrupt dialect of the Quichua Language.
Acuna, in 16aS9,found tbat the best route from Qllito to the Napo was by way of
Archidona,-C. B. M.
3AMESoN's from Qv*oto theRiverNapo.
Excursion 341
whichthearrowsare tippedis preparedin theBrazilianfrontierand
sent to the Napo as an articleof t.raffic.
They havenodomesticanimalsexceptingthe hog. Cattlehave
not been introduced,althoughthere is abundanceof pasturefor
theirsupport. Of the featheredtribea commonfowlis exchanged
for 2 lbs. of salt, or sold for a quarterdollar They domesticate
severalnativebirds,among nvhichI observedthe agami (Psophia
crepitans)and the pauxi (Craxalector),whichassociatewith the
They prepareardent spirits from the fermentedfruit of the
plantain: its qualityis bad. Of the cerealiano speciesis held in
estimation,not even maize,a grainof Americanorigin. Rice can
be obtainedin limitedquantityin SantaRosa, whereit is raised
by the few Spaniardsthereestablished. The sugar-caneattainsa
large size; but it is not, as in civilizedcountries,made available
br the preparationof sugar,rum, or ulolasses.
tRheIndian eats all sortsof offal. While I was preparingthe
skinsof variousbirdsobtainedin the forest,the soft parts were
greedilycovetefland appropriated by these savages,and devoured
with the intestines.
During the day we were unceasinglytormentedby sand-flies.
The In(lian, who, as before remarked,is nearly in a state of
nudity,is constantlyslappinghis arms and thighs to kill or drive
awaythese minuteinsects. To a personignorantof the causeall
this appearsvery ludicrous. The flies disappearat sunset; but
tile traveller who passes the night unprotectedby a lnosquito
curtainwill mostprobablyawakewithhis handsand feet bleeding
fromthe bites of a smallbat. It is not the vampire,but a much
smalleranimalof the size of the commonEuropeanspecies. The
woundis inflictedinstantaneously, witha loss of substanceas if the
parthad been dug out by an ironinstrument.
I'eb. 9. Of hummingbirdswe procuredtwo speciesof Phae-
thornisandthe scarlet'ranegerof the UnitedStates. I alsofound,
overhangingthe rierer,a small epiphytaland semi-aquaticfern,
to the rootsof whichwere appendedtuberclesfilledwithants.
Fe7s.12.-Arrived at Tena, 10 lniles distant from Archidona,
and on the road to the.Napo.$ This is a new village,and the
Indianshadjust finishedthe cabildo,of whichwe, as usual, took
possession. It is picturesquelysituatedon the banksof a stream
flowingto the Napo.
Feb. 13. From'rena to Napo there is a distanceof aboutsix
miles. We remaine(lat the port of the Napo till the 22nd,andI
found it nearlyimpracticableto enter the surroundingforest - a
$ Acuna says that the distane.e from Archidona to Napo is one day's journey v.n
foot in winter, and that in summer the journey may be performed cu horsebacls. w
342 JAMESON'S from Quitoto the River l!Gapo.
difficultyarising from the quantitatof luxuriantgrassand jungle
that had sprurlgup in all (lirections. The villageconsistsof about
125or 30 house?3, constructedof cane, on a ]evel with the ground,
and thatchedwithgrass.
Feb. 19. I took leave of ProfessorsFrancisand Moore these
gentlemen,rather than return xvithme to Quito, preferringto
descendthe Amazoll and embarkin Para for the UnitedStates.
I now felt desirousof visiting the villages of Aguanoand Santa
Rosa, situated on the left bank of the Napo, atld considerably
I embarkedin a canoenladeof a single log, 13 yards long by
X in breadth,and havitlg a flat bottom. I took three Indians,
and without an effort on theirpart we descendedat the rate of
sevenknots. I he streamis in manyplaces shallow,and foamed
overlarge massesof primitiverock When theriveris smrollen by
freshets,the navigationis considereddangerous. All that is re-
quired is to steer the canoe in a right directionto avoid these
obstacles. We arrivedat Aguano in somewhatless than three
hoursand a half, and I was imlnediatelywaitedon by the Indian
Governorand the justices,fromwhom I obtainedthe customary
supply of provisionsin exchange for cotton, cloth, needles, an(l
On the oppositebank someIndians wereoccupiedin washing
the gravelforgold-dust. Tlle quantityof preciousmetalcollected
by each individualis trifling,scarcelyamounting,I am told, to a
casultam(96 grains)in threeor fourdays.
To-day we had for dinnerthe fleshof the sea-cow,namedVaca
marinabythe Spaniards. It is brought,salted,fromthe Maranon,
an(l,although fishy,is tolerablywell tasted. It is probablythe
fleshof the manati.*
An Indian broughtme 34 specimensof Chrycophorachryso-
chlora. l'his splendidbeetleis very colnmon,feedingonan arbo-
Feb. 'SS.- The Indians killed a jaguar in the neighbouring
forest. They hadcut of the tail; but it measured,fromthe nose
to the rootof that appendage,45 illches. It provedto be a male,
and was not consideredfull-grown.
We shot a kingfisher,whoselerJgth,includingthe tail,measured
7 inches(throatwhite,breastferruginous,bellywhite; head, back,
and tail dark green; coxrertsof the wings spotted with white).
Three speciesof swallowinhabitthe banksof the Napo, one of
whichis distinguishedby the predominance of whitein tlleplumage.
Of aquaticbirdsthere is a tringa,prettilymarkedwithblackand
* The Indians of the Napo make shields of the skin of this fresh-water seal.
The vctcamarina abounds in the Amazons and its affluents. It feeds onthe
herbage which hangs from the banks of the rivers.-C. R. M.
JAMESON'S Excursion
from Quitoto thelZi;e7 ldpo. 343
white,an egret. a cormforant,
and a du(k; but of the latterI
cannotsayanytilingforwantof specimens.
March 2.-I embarked forSantaRosaandarrivedearlyonthe
sameday. I wasnextvisitedby the SpanishGovernor,to whom,
duringmy brief sojournon the banksof theNapo,I amindebted
formanyacts of killdness. This person,wlloheldthe rankof licu-
tenant-colonel in theEeuatorianarmy,hadbeen18 Inonthsago tried
fol the crimeof assassination,eonvicted,and eondemnedto suffer
the penaltyofdeath;butthe Presi(lentofthe Republic,in considera-
tion of f(3rulerservicesas an offieer,modifiedthe senteneeof thelaw
by ballishinghim for 10 yearsto the Napo. Here by goodeonduct
he meritedthe approbationof the late (;overnolw of this province,
who,during,an abseneeof 7 monthsin Quito, actuallyauthorized
llim (tlle convict)to aet ill the salneeapaeitythat he elid.
I met withfourotherwhitepeopleresidingin SantaRosa-two
Peruvians,a Portuguese,and a nativeof :Harbacoas.They had
formedsmall establishmentsin the neigElbourhood yieldingplan-
tains, yucas, rice, sugar-eane,and eoffee, in qllantity merely
sufficientfortheirownprivateeonsumption, therebeingno demand
for these neeessaryartieles.
lliarch6. I took a eanoeand erossedthe river,whiehmight
t)e about.3()0 yards in breadth. I was aceompaniedby sollle
Indians belongingr to the tribe ealled Zaparos. These salages,
whoseonly articleof elothingconsistsof a shirtmadeof the bark
of a tree, inhabita territorynamedCane'los,and are irla state of
continualwarfarewith ,he neighbouringtribes.* They have no
fixed residence,but roamthroughthe pathlessforest,arrivingat
any desiredpointby a peculiariculty they possess,>-hich maybe
terme(l instinct. sWaran(l hunting are their chief occllpations.
They are unacquainted with the llse of firearms,but assaulttheir
enembeswiththe speal. This weaon is gellerallymadeof a hartl
wood,namedchonta,producedby a speciesof the palm Their
huntingimplelnentsare the bodaqllera,or blowpipe,a tube made
of hardtimber,five yardsin lengthandal out threequartersof all
inch in diameter. A slnallarrowof splitcane,fiveincheslong and
pointedlikea needle,is wlappedat tlle othelextremitywithcotton
so as to fit the tube, andits pointis (lippe(lin a poisonousextract
preparedof certainvegetablejuices. An ample sllpplyof tllese
arrows,readyfor use, and containedin a bambootube, is usually
slung acrossthe shoulder. 'rhus equippe(l,they plul)geinto the
forestin pursuitof game, and so potentis the poison,that whena
large animal,as the tiger, is sligiltlywounded,it is speedilyover-
powered.t rrhesame {:ataldlup;is emploredbtrthe Indiallof the

* This is the land of wvhichGOI1Za10Pizarro +rent in search.-C. R. M.

t Acuna says that this poison destros life the moment the arrow draws blood.
344 JAMESON'S from Quitoto theRiverl!Gapo.
Amazonin attackinghis enemy. TnSantaRosa I was presented
with one of these implementsin the shapeof a javelin formedof
hardwood,three yards in length,finelypolished,pointedat the
extremity,and poisoned. This I was told is used as a missile,and
with unerringeffiect.
Wherlthe nativeIndianof the Napo, from harsh treatmentby
the whites,takesrefugein the forest,the Zaparois employed,like
a bloodhoun(l, to discoverhis retreat. It is merelysufficientto
pointout in a general liva-the supposeddirectionof the fugitive,
and the Zaparois neverknownto returnwithouthis prey.
Canelosis coveredby an impenetrableforest, intersectedby
riversand ravine.S.It derives its name from the cinnamon,with
whichit abounds,constitutingan importantarticleof commerce
with the interior. The dried calyx alone is used as a spice, and
its flavourresemblesa mixtureof cinnaIllonand cloves. Stream
gold is also collectedin small quantity,but of a superiorquality,
yieldingat the rateof 23 carats. Twineis manufactured fromthe
fibresof a plantof the orderBromeliacene.
While I was perambulatingthe woodsof SantaRosa, the Za-
parosamused themselvesby felling a givantic tree, tenantedby
variousbirds,which had built theirnests in its branches. After
about twohours'workwith the hatchet,the tree fell witha loud
crash,and immediatelythere wa3 a rushto securethe youngbirds.
On one of the highestbranchesa pair of fishinghawkshad built
their nest. Duringthe opelationof felling, the old birdsdid not
stir, but whenthe tree was in the act of falling,they, along with
the otherbirds,took flight. The nest of the hawkcontainedbut
one bird,clothedwithwhitedown. Still lowertherewereseveral
pensilenestsof an orioleand a molmot,all withyoung; and lastly,
where the branchesof the tree bifurcatedfrom the trunk,were
severalnests of hornets. I was told that this is the usual way by
which the Indiansobtain and domesticatemonkeys,parrots,and
otherbirdsof the forest.
The language of the Zaparo is not the Quichua,bllt another
dialect,quite distinctand unintelligible.
March9. Embarkedon my return, accompaniedby three
Indiansprovidedwith long poles,to force the canoeagainst the
current. It requiresfourdaysto ascend to the point fromwhich
I originallystarted, whereasthe descent frotn thence to Santa
Rosa is achievedin six hours. About 4 o'clockwe arrivedat the
desertedvillage of Napotoa,wherewe remainedfor the night.
March10. At half-pastS?arrivedat Aguano,wherewe stayed
the twofollowingdays,the state of the riverbeingsuchas to render
the ascentunsai. I purchased,for the priceof threedollars,half
* The language of the Zaparrosis one of tbe great family of dialects allied to
the Panoand Omagua. - (7.R. Z.
from QuitototheRiverNa7)o.
JAMESON'S' Excursion 345
a hundredweightof rock salt, brollghtfrom the banks of the
Amazon. This is used as an articleof trafficwith the Indiansof
the Napo and Archidonato obtainprovisions,
Marc/e12.- LeftAguanoafterengagingtwoIndians,in addition
to thosefromSantaRosa. The latterpartof the ascentis attended
with more serious difficulties. I had to-day an opportunityof
examiningthe rock formingthe bed of the river,which in some
placesis composedof clay slate, in othersof mica,withnodulesof
quartz. At 3 we arrivedat a pointnamedLatas, over whichthe
currentfoamedwith appallingforce. We had all of us to dis-
embark,and the Indiansby main foreedraggedthe canoeup the
rapid. Here the bankof the riverformeda lofty precipice,over
whichit was impossibleto descend,and we had, consequently,to
cut our way throughthe forest,regainingthe riverat a moreac-
cessiblepoint. After a vast deal of labourand fatiguewe, a little
beforesunset,foundourselvesoncemoreon the bankof the river,
and, to my great satisfaction,the canoe was waiting for us.
Passingto the opposite banknvefounda house,and thereremained
for the night.
March13. Embarkedat 8, andat 10 arrivedat the portof the
During thi.sshortexpeditionall I have seen convincesme that
tlle Napo cannotin the present centuryever becomea place of
importancein any point of view, whethercommercialor agricul-
tural. FromQuitoit is all but inaccessibleaftera long and pro-
tractedjourneyon foot overrocksand precipices,to saynothingof
the formidableriversit is necessaryto ford. On the otherhaild,
the voyageto the Amazonrequires15 days; but the returnfrom
thenceis not accomplishedin less thanthree months,OWillg to the
forceof the current. These considerations mustfor ever paralyse
the hopesof the colonistwhomightfeel inclinedto forman esta-
blishmenton its banks.*
MarcAt17. Returningto Archidorla,whereI arrivedlate in
the afternootl. There was not a single Indian in the town and
consequently no provisionsprocurable. We shouldhave ha(lto go
to bedsupperlesswereit notfora smallsupplybroughtfromQuito
previousto un(lertakingthe journey. Here I was doomedto
remainfor more thana month,waitillgthe arrival of the newly-
A Governorof Napo receiveshis appointmenteveryfouryears,
underthe pompoustitle of Governorof the East (Gobernadordel
Oriente). From the public treasuryhe draws a salaryof 700
dollars, but this amountwouldnot be worthhis acceptancewere
* Acuna, Villavicencio, and others, who knew the whole course of the Napo
from Archidona to its junction with the Amazons, were of a different opinion.-
s ExcursionftomQuitoto the River Nspo.
he not permittedto trafficwith the Indians,which,in his official
capacity,he easily contrivesto do to the exclusionof all excepting
a few privilegedindividuals,probablyhis own relations. Once
installedin office,he assembAes the Indians whoresidesithin llis
jurisdiction,and distributesto eachvariousarticlespurchasedin
Quito,suchas cottonclothof Itldianmanufacture, cutlery,needles,
thread,&c., obligingthem,within a sery limite(l time,to present
in exchangegold-dustand twine. This wouldbe fair enoughdid
the compensation in the articlesto be receivedbear a just propor-
tion in value to the goods distributed. An Indian, fbr instance,
receivesfiveyardsof coarsecottc)ncloth, worthaltogether2s. 6d.
in Englishmoney,and pays in returnone castellanoof gcald-dust,
whoseintrinsicvalue is four times the amount. In like mannera
poundof twine is purchasedat the rrte of 6d. and sold in Quito
for half-a-crown. Is it, therefore,to be wonderedat that a Go-
vernor, when his term of ofEce expiresRhas amassedprobably
60001.or 80001. a verv considerablefortunein this country?
March 2x. To-day the brotherFin-law of the late Governor
arrived,and I requestedof him to use his influencein procuring
for me 12 ArchidonianIndians,with whom I could return to
Quito. At length Friday, the l0th of April, arrived,tlle day
appoirltedfor my finaldeparture. VV7ith 15 Indianscarryingmy
luggage I startedahead at 8 o'clock,and at half-past12 arrived
at the tamboof Curiurcu. The Indians,however,did not appear
till 5, and I beganto fear theymighthavereturnedto Archido1la,
carryingwith theln my bed and provisions. The road was very
April ll.- Torrentsof rain,which continuedwith very slight
intermissions throughoutthe day. We madea shortjourneyand
campedOI1the fartherbank of the Osoyacu,passing the night
beneatha shedhastilyconstructed.
April 12. Rainedduringthewholenight,andcontinuedso till
half-past10, at Mhichhourwe proceededono11rjourney. At half-
past 4 arrivedat the tamboof Ntinacaspi. Road very miryfrom
the continuedrain.
April 13.-Started at 9, and at half-pastll reachedthe barlk
of the Rio ESondachea deep stream,as the name implies. It
was moreoververv much swollen,and we could not cross to the
oppositebank; we were,consequently,obliged to remainfor the
night. It rainedheavilytill 3 o'clockin the afternoon.
April 14.-Early this morningI found myself in a very em-
barrassingsituation. One-half of the Indianswho carried 1l3y
baggage deserted during the night and returnedto Archidona,
whileanotherIndia, in whomI had someconfidencefthrewaway
my collectionof plantsand insectsanll proceededin all opposite
directioIl,underthe ostensiblepretext,as I was afterwardstold,of
JAMESON'S Excursion
from Quitoto theRiverlMclpo.347
accompanying anignorantCatholic.
appointed to offi-
ciateascurateoftheprovince.We werealtogether fiveinnumber,
in a boundless
forest,remotefromanyhumanhaT3itation, scarcely
shelteredfromthe rain,and with a scantysupplyof provisions.
Afterdue considerationI sent a messengerto Archidona witha
noterequestingtheaidof six Indians,forotherwise it will be im-
formeto proceed. HereI supposeI lnustremainforat
leastfourdays; foruntil I amjoinedby thepeoplefromArchi-
dona,and withthemthe provisions, I am forcel to be verycareful
in expendingmy actualsupply. I have,by way of reserve,a few
poundsof rice, whichI darenot touchtill I makefartherprogress
on my journeyhomeward,or till I crossthe Cosanga,the passage
of which,when swollen,cannotbe edected. It is a muchmore
formidablestream than the Hon(lache,where I am at present
April IS.- It ceased rainingduring the precedingnight. Of
birdswe saw a yellow-breastedtollcan,whose plaintivenote re-
soundedthroughthe forest. 2N verylarge butterfly,withwing3 of
a rich blue, wasby no meansuncommon.
It i3 not to be wonderedat that the countryas far as the Napo
is deluged by perpetualrain,for we are on the easternside and
withina few miles of a lofty ridgeSclothedwithan impenetrable
forest and shroudedin mist, namedEl Guacamayo. From the
base to the summitthereis, I should suppose,an ascentof 6000
feet, and in the spaceof fourhourswe passfroma warmto a cool
climate. The descenton the westernside, telwminating in the Co-
sanga is muchless collsiderable.
It did not rain till 2, and, being fSvouredwith a few hoursof
fairweather,I masetlabledto add to mycollectionseveralnew
fernsandsomeLepidopters, caughtontheriverbank. AVeshot
a ruplcola,
withobscureplumage. At 3 raininghea^7ily, andcont
tinuedso durlngthewholenight
April 16.-Still raining
till 7 A.M. At 11 recommenced raining.
At 4 P.M.thermometer 66?. At balf-past7 P.X.we felt a strong
shockof an earthquake, whichlastednearlya minute,and ssras
attendedby a crash,occasioned by thefall of trees in theizest,
givingriseto a sensation
sufficiently awfulin thissolitaryspot.
April 18.-I couldwaitnolongerfortheIntlians, andtherefore,
at the risk of losing my collections, I started at 9 on my return to
Archidona. I hase no alternatinre,for my provisionsare nearly
exhausted. From Archidona,distant two da.ys'journey?I can
send six Indians to fetchmy luggage. I begin to distrustthese
people, and shall write to Quito for Indiansof thfeinteriorto
accompanyme to my home.
At halfLpast4 arrivedat the Osoyatu,whichI could not cross
on accountof the flood.
from Quitofo theRiverNapo.
April] 9-Crossed the river and proceeded. At half-past9
arrivedat the tamboof Curiurcu,where I met with si2 Indians
bringingme the provisionsI had appliedfor, now too late to be of
muchserviceto lne. Sentfour of themto Hondacheto conveym-
luggage to Archidona,whereI arrivedabout3 o'clock.
Here terglinatesmy journeyfor the present. Were I svfayed
by superstltion,I nlight say the bad luck attendingit was occa-
sionedby settingout on Friday,and especiallyon a Go()dFriday.
The idea of travellingto Quito over a narrowpath, in many
placesknee-deepin mud, and of fordingrapidand deep streams,
is anythingbut agreeable. Nor are the fatiguesof the journey
relievedby the contemp]ation of the variedproductionsof the soil,
whichfor the mostpartpassunnoticed,for the simplereasonthat,
to anroidthe formidableimpedimentsof thornsand stakes,every
step onwardmustbe warilymade. Anotherobstacle,less danger-
ous but perhapsmoreinconvenient, is the occurrenceof fallentrees
undergoingdifferentstages of decay,forthe nativesnevertake the
troubleof clearirlgthe road. To suchgrievancesadd theconstant
tropicalshowerswith which the tra^reller is drenched. Hungry
andfatigued,he maybe fortunateenoughto arrivetowardsevening
at one of thosemiserableshedswhichmay,probably,standin need
of someadditionalrepair. Then comesthe difficultyof lightinga
fire withwoodfreshlycut and hardlycombustible, but whichemits
volumesof smoke. At last he retiresto rest with the comfortable
assurancethat similartrialsmust be enduredthe day following,
and for Inanydaysin succession.
April 25.-This morningthe brother-in-lawof the late Go-
vernorset out on a commercialtour to the Napo and its depen-
dencies,leaving me in the governmenthouse,where I intend to
wait the arrivalof the new Governor. Besides myself,son, and
servant,the only other occupantis a young man who,for some
crime,has beenbanishedto the Napo for a periodof six months.
H e is the naturalsonof a gewltleman,a nativeof Guayaquil,known
by the surnameof E1Peljuicio,froma habitof calumniating every
one whohasthemisfortune to makehisacquaintance.Sincevisiting
this provinceit has beenmy lot to be broughtinto contactwith
April26.- An Indianarrivedyesterdayeveningwiththe joyful
tidings that the Governorwould arrive to-day. He accordingly
made his appearancein the afteriloon,and was receivedwith all
due llonour,passingto his future residenceunderarchesmadeof
palm-leaves. To me it was a novel spectacle. Only conceiveto
yourselfthe Governorof the Easternprovinceenteringbarefooted,
all bedaubedwith mud and mire,and acconlpaniedby a host of
wi]dIndians. He is a manof colour,and holdsthe rankof lieu-
tenant-colonelin the Ecuatorianarmy. Formerlyhe wasby trade
of t71eStateof San Salvador.
Description 349

a shoemaker,and might, to the presentday, have exercisedthat

vocationbut for the revolutionof 1845, caused by the very un-
populargovernmentof GeneralFlores. He (the Governor)took
an activepart in the revolutionarystruggle, exchangingthe awl
for the sword. The late President,GeneralUrvina,conferredon
him his presentappointment as a requitalfor his services.
I spentfour daysvery agreeablyin the companyof this worthy
person,whoobliginglyfurnishedme withthe numberof IndiansI
requiredfor my journeyto Quito. On the eveningbeforemy de-
parture I receiveda note fromMr. Edwards,an Americanesta-
bli3he(1on the Napo, stating that Proissor Francis had been
dangerouslywoundedby the aceidentaldischargeof Mr.Moore's
gun in the handsof fle latter. This accidentoccurreda few days
ago in Santa Elosa. I have every reasonto be grateful to the
Divine Providencefor preservingme in sound health during this
lont and perilousjourlley. I started fromArchiclonaon the 1st
of May, and arrivedirl Quito on the 14th of the salnemontEl.

of theStateof San Sulvador,Ce7ztral
XIII. Description
by JOHNPOWER,Esq, E.R.G.8.
Read, JUne 14, 1858.
THE Republic of San Salvadoris that part of CentralArxlerica
which extends,on the Pacificcoast, from87? 37' to 90? 2' longi-
tude east, and from13? 7' to 14? 24' latitudenorth. The whole
State is 55 leaguesin lengthby 23 ill meanbreadth,and contains
therefore(a little more or less) about 1265 square leagues of
territory;the greatest length lies between the River Goascoran
and the River Paza, and its narrowestpart from the Bay of
La Unionto the eastern frontiernearSantaAna. A line drawn
fromthe portof La Libertad to the townof (Sitala(department
of Chalatenanjo)would show its greatest breadth,while another
fromthe unionof theRiverTorolawiththe Lempa,to the opening
of the latter in the sea, would be the measureof its narrowest
width. San Salvadoris boundedonly to the nv., N., and N.W.
by other States, on the E. and s. by the water of the Pacific;
betweenGuatemalaand Hondurason one side, and San Salvador
on the other, the frontiersare formed by almost inaccessible
chains of mountains. The eastern line of limit3 begins in the
Bay of La Union,ascends the RiverGoascoranto the 1110Uthof
the River Pescado, following;the latter up to its head waters,
fromwhenceit crossesthe mountainsto tlle RiverTorola, leaves