free ebooks

Across Unknown South America by Landor

Illustration Llamas in Bolivia


We

passed the works of a Borax Company, which were between the stations of Sebollar and Ascotan. There was to be seen another immense lake of borax, some 40 kil. (24 miles) long.

I arrived that evening at Antofagasta, and was fortunate enough to get on board one of the Pacific Mail Line steamers the next morning on my way to Valparaiso. We were now in the height of civilization again--very hot, very uncomfortable, very ambitious, very dirty, the hotels abominable. Had it not been for the kindness of friends I should have fared badly indeed in Valparaiso, for the place was invaded by a swarm of American tourists, who had just landed from an excursion steamer and rendered the place unbearable.

From Valparaiso, as soon as it was possible to obtain accommodation, I travelled across the Andes and as far as Buenos Aires by the Trans-Andine railway. The scenery on this line was most disappointing to any one who has seen the Andes in their real grandeur farther north; but for the average traveller the journey may prove interesting enough, although hot, dull, dusty, and not particularly comfortable.

While I was travelling on the railway between Mendoza and Buenos Aires there was a serious strike of railway employes. The railway had been attacked at many different points. Amateur engineers and attendants ran the trains. We were only two hours from Buenos Aires. The heat and dust were intense

as we crossed the great pampas. The shaking of the train had tired me to such an extent that I placed a pillow on the ledge of the open window, and was fast asleep with my head half outside the carriage, when I woke up startled by the sound of an explosion. I found myself covered with quantities of debris of rock. A huge stone, as big as a man's head or bigger, had been thrown with great force at the passing train by the strikers, and had hit the side of my window only about three inches above my head, smashing the woodwork and tearing off the metal frame of the window. Had it struck a little lower it would have certainly ended my journey for good.

[Illustration: Llamas in Bolivia.]

[Illustration: Borax Deposits, Bolivia.]

As it was I arrived in Buenos Aires safely. A few days later I was on my way to Rio de Janeiro, by the excellent steamer _Aragon_. Shortly after, by the equally good vessel _Araguaya_, of the Royal Mail Steamship Company, I returned to England, where I arrived in broken health on April 20th, 1912. It was a relief to me to land at Southampton, with all my notes, the eight hundred photographs I had taken, and the maps which I had made of the regions traversed.

APPENDIX

SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL PLANTS OF BRAZIL

(C.) = Colouring and Tanning. (C.W.) = Woods good for Construction. (M.) = Medicinal. (F.) = Fibrous. (R.) = Resinous. (P.) = Palms. (L.) = Lactiferous. (O.) = Oliferous. (S.) = Starchy. (T.) = Tanning.

_Alocasia macrorhiza_ Schott Inhame (S.) _Anchietea salutaris_ St. Hil. Cipo


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us