Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
was being consumed in incredible quantities. To form an arena the village plaza was barrica-
ded off with wagons, poles, etc., the usual thing when a bullfight is to be held.
more amusing and humane than in the countries where the famous matadores perform only
when large sums are paid to them, for here the bulls are rarely killed or even injured, and no
horses are used. Usually the animal is driven into the village square through an opening in the
over a man. Once he is within the square, he viciously eyes the crowd and begins to throw
dust over his back by scratching the ground with his forelegs, every now and again bellowing
The Indians and mestizos then begin to take 'Dutch courage' out of their bottles, and as
soon as one has worked himself up to concert pitch he jumps down from the barricade with a
regular war-whoop and waves his poncho at the bull, who usually charges him at once. When
day a good one; if not, they leave in disgust and say the bulls were vacas (cows).
At night there were fireworks and more rockets, things the natives always enjoy and
without which no fiesta is held, and when this display was over a game of vacaloca (mad
cow) was started. In this a frame of wood, supposed to represent a cow, is carried by a man.
Two long horns are made of twisted wire and to the end of each of these they fix a ball of
boys, who pretend to be bullfighters by waving their ponchos at him.
The following day had a great treat in store for me. The tram from Guayaquil arrived, and
with it some newspapers, even the appearance of which I had almost forgotten.
The National Bank of Ecuador had suspended payment, my funds were running low, and
there were only two alternatives for me: go to Quito or down to Guayaquil with my letter of
Victor in charge of the horses whilst I went down by train, a journey of about six hours. The
engine drivers and conductors of the train were all Americans, and I passed most of the jour-
ney chatting with one of the latter.
An Ecuadorian evangelist, whom I later met near the Colombian border, had hewn Bible
verses in large black letters on some rocks along the line, so that travellers might read them
from the train. Just before the dangerous descent of the 'Nariz del Diablo' he had written in
large letters 'Prepare to meet God'; most comforting words for nervous travellers who have
heardaboutthemanyaccidentsthathavehappenedthere,especially beforemodernair-brakes
were introduced; indeed, there is a 'well-populated' cemetery below, where the victims of
these accidents are buried.
The further down we went the hotter did it become. We passed through several dirty vil-
lages of wooden houses, and the crowds of black and filthy people who crowded the stations
Search WWH ::

Custom Search