Travel Reference
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ettes, whilst imagining myself to be picking my choice from a long menu in some luxurious
Parisian restaurant, and possibly my animals were dreaming of green alfalfa fields and feed
boxes full of crisp, golden oats. To my great joy, I discovered a treasure wrapped up in a pa-
per in the saddle bags - a piece of unrefined sugar. In the morning I cut this into three pieces,
and whilst I made ready to start, the three of us chewed away, and when we had finished our
mouthfuls we tried to remember the pleasant taste by licking our slobbery lips.
For mountain travelling a compass is of no use, for it is impossible to leave the narrow
one has to guess which one to take, and leave the rest to chance. I was lucky that day, for in
the evening I sighted a small settlement on a slope, and when I arrived there the alcalde (al-
derman) told me I was in Paucara, and in spite of not being any the wiser for this piece of
information, I was glad to be there, for at least there were hopes of getting something to eat.
The Indian alcalde gave me quarters in an empty hut next to his, and after a while brought me
a steaming plate of barley soup and a bundle of straw for the horses. I could have taken many
times the amount of soup I was given, but even the small quantity I had made me feel like a
new man. When I went to look at the horses I found that they had already finished their feed,
and so I walked from hut to hut, trying my best to get them some more, and although I was
willing to pay any price for it, only one man reluctantly parted with a very little of his limited
At sunrise the alcalde put me on a trail, informing me that by following it I would hit the
Mejorada , which is the terminus of the Central Peruvian Railroad. More than once I thought I
must have gone the wrong way, for evening was approaching, and still I could see no railway
line. Rounding abendmyfears were dispelled, forfarbelow us,inagreen valley,Isaw athin
line, like a black thread that wound and twisted along the foot of the mountain. We were safe,
for this must be a railroad, a thing I had not seen for a long, long time.
At the top of a steep zig-zag I halted to re-saddle before starting the descent. Whilst I was
doing this a man arrived on a mule, and introduced himself as Herr X., a German mining en-
gineer. He almost cried whilst he related that he had been lost all night and that he felt as
At the railway terminus there was a small restaurant and store in a newly erected wooden
house. The hungry German rushed into it without even wasting time in first unsaddling his
of bread, into which he put his teeth with the ferocity of a starving tiger.
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