Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
For the first time I had omitted to bring a spare set of horseshoes with me and, as bad luck
would have it, Mancha had to lose a shoe just then. Luckily I noticed it in time, and after a
short search we found the lost treasure. I had a few nails but no hammer, so I made one out of
a stone, and after no end of trouble managed to tack the iron on again.
Halfway up a mountain we had to sleep in a solitary, ruined hut. The roof had fallen down
Indians whowere ontheir waytoTehuant-|epec arrived, andsospace forsleeping wasscarce.
I lay down in a corner but, tired as I was, I could not sleep, for so many insects of all sizes
and kinds worried me, that I thought I must be lying on an ant-hill. I went outside to undress
and shake my clothes, and then I sat down and began to smoke whilst I watched the animals
graze, and, to pass away time, I went to have a look at the sleepers, whose strange positions
and the expressions on their faces fascinated me. A fire was still glowing in the middle of the
mud floor and the bright moon shone on some of the men through the open roof.
When the first daylight appeared we had already travelled some miles, for a long and hard
plain - they take things as they come. When we came to a small village we had ample oppor-
tunity to make up for arrears, for the little the poor inhabitants had to offer was given to us
with open hearts. We had shot a deer, of a kind that abounds in these mountain forests, and
every man cut himself a piece, and soon these were sizzling on sticks over a fire, and when
kindly villagers came with hot tortillas , frijoles and coffee we soon forgot our troubles.
I was well-received throughout Mexico, but as the natives themselves had often very little
to offer I had to put up with a certain amount of discomfort. More than once some kindly vil-
and I could not but appreciate this courtesy; to this day I wonder where and how these pillows
were obtained.
Between Tehuantepec and Oaxaca there is a certain amount of traffic. Arrieros drive their
burros over the rocky trails to sell corn and other agricultural products in the distant town.
They use aparejos (pack-saddles) with wide breast and tail straps which are often well decor-
ated and embroidered with coloured wool. Many of these aparejos bear inscriptions in large
letters, such as: Adios Muchachas (Goodbye girls), Fuerte Andamos (We are going strong),
Adios Amigos (Goodbye, friends). The costumes of the men are entirely different here. They
ets are excellent wind-breakers, and, in addition to protecting against the weather, look most
picturesque. In some villages the band came to serenade me at night and, much as I appreci-
ated the honour, I must admit that I could not say the same about the tone of the instruments.
me out of hours of needful sleep.
ingtheysimply commandeered burrosfromtheIndiansalongtheroute.Oneortwomenwere
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