Travel Reference
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they invariably die, one bat sucking enough blood to kill a hen. Natives say that vampires al-
ways return to the same wound for their next feed, and for this reason they smear a mixture of
vaseline and strychnine over the spot where the animal has been bitten, and if the bat returns
again he has to eat this mixture first, thus poisoning himself.
There are several ways of keeping vampires off horses, the most simple being to cover
them with rugs, but as the bat-infested regions are always hot, the horses do everything to rid
themselves of the uncomfortable covers. Any strong smelling disinfectant would give good
preventative, and I usually gave my animals a thorough friction with this simple and cheap
preparation, and sometimes sprinkled Indian pepper over them.
Experience teaches cattle to defend themselves against these bloodsuckers, which weaken
the strongest of them. My horses were bitten several times just in the place where the saddles
made most pressure, and it was no easy matter to saddle them after without producing sore
backs, but constant observation and care prevented pressure on the affected spots.
ite spot for sucking blood is on a person's big toe, and that they only attack when the victim is
soundly asleep. Personally I never had any trouble with them, although they fluttered in and
out of my habitation all night.
Along our trail we saw some places where treasure hunters had been busy excavating, for
we were again following one of the most important of the old Spanish gold trails, and in this
vicinity several valuable and historic treasures are suspected to have been buried.
Some of the inclines we had to climb were almost heart-breaking, and we had to be very
cautiousnottooverstrainouranimals.HadtheoldGreeksknownsomeoftheseAndean cues-
tas , as the steep inclines are called, they surely would have added the climbing of an endless
one to the trials of Tantalus. All along these cuestas were the bleached bones of burros and
ing to me not to overstrain my horses unnecessarily.
In a beautiful and fertile mountain valley we rested in a picturesque village, and there my
companion was obliged to change his mules. The cunning people asked exorbitant prices, for
they knew that he would either have to pay what they demanded or else go on foot. After
having tried to cure his infections and having chased around for mules for five days we were
finally readytopushon.Intheinterior ofPerutheIndianswillnotaccept papermoney,sothe
traveller must carry the heavy silver soles , and when we left my friend's load was consider-
ably lighter, for the mules had cost him the price of a motor car. In mountain sectors I reduced
my pack to a minimum, and when I had to carry silver coins enough to reach the next town
where there was a bank, the coins, firearms and ammunition made up the main weight of my
load. I have seen merchants who had to carry fair sums of money, and as the total amount was
in silver, the weight and bulk were so much that they required a special mule to carry it.
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