30th October 1826 To the
town of Totoró, breakfasted at the Hacienda of Calivido, 7
leagues, bad road in winter.
31st To the shed or Fambo
of Gabriel Perez, 6 leagues of ascent excessively cold and
half way up the Andes.
Nov. 1st To the town of
Yussa, 12 leagues. Crossed the Andes here, tremendous rain,
piercing cold wind and villainous roads made of logs of wood
which in many places are worn away and so dangerous in others
that it is necessary to dismount and the baggage unloaded.
Arrived at 7 o'clock at night.
2nd To the city of La
Plata, 13 leagues, across a fine cattle country, still
excessively hot climate.
3rd To the estate of Juneal,
7 leagues, cross a fine cattle country, still oppressively
4th To Ancon, 7 leagues,
This day crossed the River Magdelena. Fine country and
excellent accommodation at the hacienda, still hot.
5th To the city of Neiva,
14 leagues, A level hot country of pasturage. Cross the
Magdelena again, good reception at Heiva which is a pretty
6th To the Villa Viega, a
borough town, 6 leagues, ever hot plains of pasturage.
7th To Patea, a town 4
leagues over plains of pasturage. Cross the river Saldana
8th To the city of
Natagaima, 6 leagues, very hot. The plains intersected with
9th To the borough town of
Purificacion, 6 leagues, over the same description of plain.
10th To the town of Espinal,
8 leagues. Same kind of road. Crossed a lovely plain covered
with palm and date trees and intersected with cottages and
11th To the borough town of
Tocaima, 12 leagues. Very hot, pass the Magdalena twice today.
Here General Santander and the Ministers of state met us,
great deal of political manoeuvring and finesse. Santander
making himself out the disinterested man etc.
12th To the town of Mesa de
Juan Dias, 8 leagues. Mountainous road ascending.
13th To the town of Punza,
9 leagues, 5 of a steep ascent the remainder through the
fertile plain of Bogotá. Here we met several acquaintances who
came to meet us.
14th To the city and
capital of Colombia. Bogotá, 4 leagues. Good road. The
reception on the whole very indifferent. Here we had several
public dinners and diplomatic balls and suppers. Rained almost
incessantly during our stay which was to the 24th.
25th To Santander's estate
of Hato Grande, 6 leagues. Breakfasted at the town of Usaquem.
For the first 12 miles the road skirts along the foot of the
chain of mountains of Montserrat, being lined with neat
country seats and tolerable well cultivated farms which extend
about 2 miles from the foot of the hills, the plain beneath
being used for grazing. As, owing to its being overflowed at
certain seasons of the year, it cannot be properly cultivated
and the prospect is charming having in view several towns
whose white steeples give an idea of comfort which is too
often found to be erroneous on a closer inspection. On
reaching the Brid called Del Comun the road continues to the
right, leaving the other great one to the left which continues
by Sipaquira, famous for its salt mines, through Chiquinquira
celebrated for its miraculous image and magnificent sanctuary,
to Guadalupe, Ahiva, Socarro, Zil, Pie de Cuesta, Pucaramanga
and Olaina. Following our route along the left bank of the
river for about six miles we reached Hato Grande where we got
a superb dinner etc. etc.
26th To the estate of Poita,
4 leagues, through a cold highly cultivated country. Passed
several villages. Nessr Montayas gave a splendid set out.
27th To the town of
Choconta, 7 leagues, over a fine country with crowded
population, passed five or six villages.
28th To the town of Venta
Quemada, 6 leagues, mountainous country and very cold.
29th To the city of Funja,
6 leagues, passed Boyaca, cold mountainous country. Vex
enthusiastic people, here we stayed the next day and had two
December 1st To the town of
Paipa, 7 leagues, rough road and although well cultivated, a
2nd To the borough town of
Santa Rosa, 5 leagues. Magnificent scenery, rich pasturage and
a valley covered with houses and cattle of all descriptions.
3rd To the town of Sativa,
11 leagues. Hilly road and various climate most part of the
way, the country apparently without cultivation, but
immediately about the town cultivation even to the top of the
immense mountains that surround it.
4th To the town of Suata, 8
leagues, through hot ravines. Tolerable cultivation.
5th To the town of a
Capitanejo, 10 leagues, across a good bridge. Unhealthy
climate and suffocatingly hot.
6th To the town of Cerrito,
11 leagues. Ascent all the way, passed through two fertile
valleys, very cold.
7th To the town of Chitaga,
8 leagues. This day we passed the paramo of Almorzadero, very
8th To the city of
Pamplona, 7 leagues,3˝ ascent and 3˝ descent, over a cold
mountain. The appearance of the city is beautiful from above
as you can distinguish every house. They say here that it
rains 13 months in the year. Very insipid, stupid, good sort
of people here. Stopped the ninth.
10th To the town of
Chinacota, 7 leagues. Situated in a fertile and hot valley.
Descending all day, left the clouds and rain behind us up in
11th I was this day sent
suddenly on commission to the west of Venezuela, where, during
the revolution which began in April, the disaffected had
always declared they would wait for and abide by General
Bolivar's decision but now knowing that he was really coming
they have thrown off the mask and disclaim all obedience to
him. Principal authors of the revolution are Pena Paez, Marino
and Carabano. The object in my going is to unite the troops
stationed at Menda and Frufillo and to march on occupying the
country as far as I can without compromising myself too much.
Travelling past I can tell little of the country. Crossed the
Zulia by swimming as the ford was lost owing to the rains.
After going over some hills got into the beautiful valley of
Cucuta, full of cocoa estates and famous for its breed of
mules. Crossed the mountains of Cucuta and reached the town of
Fariba near San Christobal at seven o'clock at night, 25
12th Crossed the immense
mountain and paramo of Tramadero, 6 leagues ascent. Reached
the valley and town of Cobre. Then the borough town of La
Grita, famous for its tobacco establishments. Crossed the high
mountain and paramo de Puerco and reached at eleven at night
the fertile valley and borough town of Bailadores, 29 leagues.
13th Passed the beautiful,
rich and important tobacco plantations of Tobacal, reached a
large cocoa estate and got into the Laderos de Chama. Here the
road is about two feet wide and in some places a kind of
miserable staging of pieces of wood is all that supports you,
whilst a precipice of about two hundred feet and a rapid river
is below on one side whilst on the other the mountain is so
perpendicular as to be compared to a rock. My situation this
day was not the most enviable as my mule was very tired and
stumbled several times Crossed the river by a sling or
Taravita. This is effected by stretching a rope across which
has a kind of runner or loop into which the "patient" is
slipped and you have the pleasure of seeing a roaring torrent
a couple of hundred feet beneath you whilst a lazy peon is
tugging away and one is suspended in the middle where if the
rope should have been slack you remain swinging to and fro.
Arrived this night at the city of Merida, 30 leagues. Here I
found only 120 men of the Battalion Paya, almost all recruits,
badly paid and without shoes. Impossible to get them any and
no more than 100 muskets in the park.
14th Remained all day at
Merida. Marched off Paya.
15th Passed the valley of
Merida, through four towns. Passed the borough town and paramo
of Mucachies, passed the town and valley of Timotes, passed
the paramo of Timotes and arrived at Boca del Monte. Coming
down the cordillera this night a thunder storm and tremendous
shower overtook me in the midst of a primeval forest, as dark
as pitch and a torrent on my right thundering along making as
much noise as the thunder. My horse got so frightened as to
actually crouch so that my feet touched the ground. If I had
been of a romantic turn, this was a bella occasion to enjoy
myself. However, two or three falls of my horse and wet to the
skin, hungry, sleepy and tired I only cursed the Commission,
the road and country and last of all poor old Columbus who
discovered it. This day did 33 leagues and slept at Bocadil
Passed the towns of Cucharito, Bulera, Motatan and Pampanito.
Fine country with partial plantations and Conucos, or small
farms, tolerably well inhabited and hot. Arrived at Trujillo
at 12 o'clock after travelling 15 leagues. Trujillo is one of
the oldest cities in Venezuela and is situated in the gorge of
a small valley and greatly ruined by the earthquakes. Here I
found there was not even a single soldier, or even arms, and
that as there was no money in the treasury, it would be out of
the question to expect to get the Militia under arms, even
supposing ourselves to be in a profound peace, but as we
learned that preparation was making in the city of Focuyo, to
invade this and the Province of Merida, as having belonged
formerly to the old Captain Generalship of Venezuela, which
was now proclaimed an independent state, and Paez had actually
invaded the Province of Varinas, with a force of 1100 men.
Remained here waiting for Paya, which arrived on the 19th,
sent it on with fifty militia to Carache, the frontier where
all the militia of the Province was to pass a review on the
24th. Marched on the 22nd.