Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
After some extremely rough journeys and some most uncomfortable nights we reached the
border village - La Quiaca - having successfully crossed the highest pass at a point called
worriedmeconsiderably attimes andmynosehadbledprofusely,butthehorsesdidnotseem
to be affected by the rarefied air and never behaved in an abnormal manner, even when we
crossed high ridges, and I was delighted to see them reach the border in better condition than
they had been when we left Buenos Aires. (It must be remembered that when they arrived in
the capital they had then just completed the overland journey up from the southernmost re-
gions of the continent.) We had covered roughly 1,300 miles (from Buenos Aires), and, al-
as to whether they would be able to cross the main Andean ranges of Bolivia and Peru which
we had necessarily to negotiate in order to reach the Pacific Ocean.
We took a well-earned rest at La Quiaca, although the place is most unattractive, to say the
least, cold and windswept. No trace of vegetation is to be seen in the whole neighbourhood,
and strong winds blew day and night, carrying with them clouds of sand that were almost
produced no fodder and the horses had to be fed up well to be fit for the next trying stage,
the trip from here to La Paz. There being no stables or corrals, I put them behind the station
where there was a fenced-off square, but unfortunately there they were exposed to the winds
and to the intense cold day and night, and, sorry as I felt for them, I had no remedy. My health
had improved considerably, but it still left much to be desired. A good bed, regular meals, and
reasonable amount of sleep soon worked wonders with me, and in between times I attended
to the horses, again modified my equipment and rectified little defects I had noticed here and
Into the Land of the Quichuas
river near the international railway bridge, and soon I was jogging over desolate, sandy coun-
try and big, rolling and barren lomas (hills). For two days we continued thus, and on the
second day, reaching the top of one of these hills, I beheld a sight that will for ever live in
my memory. Deep down before us a beautiful valley came in view and for the first time in
nearly three weeks I saw a big stretch of beautiful green grass, and, better still, I saw some
trees again. Even the horses seemed to quicken their steps as we were winding our way down
the mountain side, and never in my life had the song of birds filled me with as much joy as it
did here, for many days had passed without having seen even as much as a trace of birds.
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