We were told
by the missionaries at Javita and San Fernando de Atabapo that in 1798
violent earthquakes took place between the Guaviare and the Rio Negro,
which were not propagated on the north towards Maypures. We cannot be
sufficiently attentive to whatever relates to the simultaneity of the
oscillations, and to the independence of the movements in contiguous
ground. Everything seems to prove that the propagation of the
commotion is not superficial, but depends on very deep crevices that
terminate in different centres of action.
The scenery around the town of Angostura is little varied; but the
view of the river, which forms a vast canal, stretching from
south-west to north-east, is singularly majestic.
When the waters are high, the river inundates the quays; and it
sometimes happens that, even in the town, imprudent persons become the
prey of crocodiles. I shall transcribe from my journal a fact that
took place during M. Bonpland's illness. A Guaykeri Indian, from the
island of La Margareta, was anchoring his canoe in a cove where there
were not three feet of water. A very fierce crocodile, which
habitually haunted that spot, seized him by the leg, and withdrew from
the shore, remaining on the surface of the water. The cries of the
Indian drew together a crowd of spectators.