In the first village we came to I found a telegraph office and sent word to the Argentine min-
ister in San Jose, advising him of our safe arrival in civilisation. The local policeman put his
humble hut at our disposal and whilst we cleaned and dried our drenched and muddy clothes
he was busy preparing us as good a meal as circumstances permitted, and the good man saw
to it that the horses should lack nothing.
The distance from this village to San Jose is about eighty miles and, as this part is all in-
habited, several other villages and a fair road exist. In spite of the torrential rains that fell all
the time, we covered the distance in two days, having had to pass a very bad night in an aban-
doned hut where we shivered in our soaking wet clothes and blankets until morning.
through the clouds and we had a wonderful view of the vast valley in which the town stands.
shower had started to pour down on us. Both the guide and myself had grown shaggy beards,
and we must have presented a gruesome sight when we finally rode through the streets of the
town. Two policemen guided us towards the Argentine Legation where a number of govern-
ment officials had gathered to give us a welcome. On this, as on other similar occasions, I
felt uncomfortable and embarrassed, for the people there were all dressed in their best, whilst
I had, as usual, arrived dirty and in rags. My boots were literally falling to pieces and were
covered with mud and my poncho and clothes were dripping like a wet sponge. However, I
had to step inside, shake hands with everybody, and make superhuman efforts to raise a smile
every now and again. Feeling sorry for the guide and the horses, who were outside in the rain,
I finished a glass of champagne as quickly as I could and then asked to be excused. The chief
of police had kindly made arrangements for the stabling of the animals and, having seen them
At the legation I had been given mail which had been forwarded there for me and I im-
mediately started to read some of it. My room was nice and warm and, before I realised it, I
had dropped off to sleep, and when I woke up twelve hours later I was still sitting in the same
position, with the only difference that the clothes I was still wearing were dry by that time. I
went to see the guide and the horses and then had a thorough clean up, after which I returned
to bed where I slept for another twelve hours. What a glorious feeling it was to be in a soft,
clean bed again, nothing to worry about and, above all, no insects.