Travel Reference
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north of Peru, I found the people very hospitable; they have not much to give, but what they
have is offered with a good heart.
The climate here is delightful, for the place is situated among hills in a valley over 1,300
feet above sea level. To the north and east are high mountains, their peaks wrapped in a thick
mantle of mists where the hot air, rising from the warm parts below, is condensed. Across the
river, about half a mile as the crow flies, I could see Macara, the small Ecuadorian border vil-
I was held up until next afternoon because the river had risen so much during the night
that it was not advisable to attempt to cross it until it had gone down considerably, and in the
meantime we amused ourselves breaking in a few mules belonging to the hacienda where I
was a guest. I witnessed some wicked bucking, kicking and biting, and some excellent riding.
The waters looked safer during the afternoon, so a man came to show me the place where I
could cross. Acting according to his advice I reached terra firma in Ecuador without incident,
and although the border is supposed to be guarded by a capitan with a few soldados , none of
them were to be seen that day.
The Highland of Ecuador
When I reached the village of Macara I wished to pay my respects to the jefe politico , as the
local authorities arecalled inEcuador,butIfoundthat he,like the capitan ,wasout.However,
another autoridad of minor calibre came to ask me what I wanted, and when I told him who I
was he did all but kiss me, and informed me that they had long ago received orders to attend
to me in case I should enter their country through this village.
Hearingtheshoutsofmynewfriend,whowasgivingloud vivas fortheArgentineandmy-
self, a little crowd collected around us, wondering what all the fuss was about. By this time
the horses were getting nervous, and Mancha, unaccustomed to such noise and to so many
people around him, put back his ears and lifted one of his hind legs, his usual way of showing
disapproval and a fair warning to people to keep at a distance. Gato being of a more resigned
temperament simply stood there with his ears down, as if bored stiff.
Intheeveningthe jefe politico arrived,andIhadtospendhalfthenighttelling himandhis
for, and even the last child went to see the Argentinos , as they naïvely called them.
In spite of the invitation to stay for a few days I saddled early, and at sunrise we were
in these parts. A steady uphill climb, partly along the river Macara and partly through dense
tropical forest-land, brought us to the foot of the mountains which were towering before us,
the upper regions wrapped in heavy mists. By way of contrast, where we were it was hot and
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