Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
other ahead, and frequently one has by no means finished with the eternal zig-zags even when
the second has been surmounted.
The Indians in these parts may appear to be sullen, but yet I found them kind and hospit-
able. I shall always remember how well a solitary woman treated us when we arrived at her
hut. Her husband was away, and so she was left alone with the children. She prepared food
for us, and in return I gave her and the children some chocolate, for the good woman refused
to accept money. We spread our blankets under a low shelter where we slept alongside some
pigs, but when one is tired and the nights cold one is satisfied with any kind of protection.
When daylight permitted we were glad to be off again, for it was bitterly cold, and my fingers
were stiff and aching.
Below us the valleys and hollows were still wrapped in inky darkness whilst the first rays
of the sun gave the highest peaks the appearance of glowing heaps of charcoal. By degrees,
as the sun rose higher, the light crept further and further down the slopes, until it shone on
the heavy mists below. Soon our shivering bodies began to feel the agreeable warmth, and
the puffs of vapour that came out of the horses' nostrils with every breath became fainter and
fainter as the atmosphere warmed up.
After some time the sea of mist began to heave and roll, and here and there we could see
again a heavy mass of white would gather and rise above the rest, assuming grotesque shapes
of gigantic human heads or strange monsters that looked as if they were rising out of an angry
and foaming sea. Slowly the mists rose until they reached us; then for a while the sun looked
like a grey disc until it completely disappeared behind a thick curtain, and then a damp chill
began to penetrate through our clothes. I was hoping that the clouds and fogs would lift to-
evening thunder began to rumble in the distance, and suddenly a furious storm began to rage
around us. The Indian, who was carrying our small food supply on his back, hurried ahead,
and when we found an overhanging rock we took shelter under it. The rain poured down in
such torrents that I was thankful not to be on a slope or in one of those trails in a hollow.
When the storm had passed the Indian left me, and, thinking he had merely gone to see
what the weather was likely to do, I sat down to wait for him. After about a quarter of an hour
I began to wonder what was keeping the man away for so long, and went to look for him, but
although I searched in every direction and called, there was no sign of him. It was already
dusk and still he did not appear, so I unsaddled and prepared to spend the night under the rock
where we had taken refuge during the storm. Obviously the cunning Indian had returned to-
wards home, taking with him all my food supplies, and as I had paid him in advance he must
have thought it foolish to face further hardships, especially during an abnormally severe rainy
make the best of it until dawn would permit us to continue. There was no grass, so the horses
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