From Thence We Went To That Part Of Ethiopia Which Is
Called Besilica, Which Is Situated In The Torrid Zone And First
Climate, In 14 Deg.
Of north latitude.
We here remained for eleven days,
taking in wood and water to enable us to continue our voyage through the
southern Atlantic. Leaving this port with a S.E. wind, we arrived in about
sixty-seven days at a certain island which is 700 leagues to the S.E. of
the before-mentioned port. During this voyage, we suffered prodigiously,
owing to the tempestuous weather which we encountered, especially near the
equator. At that place it was winter in the month of June, the days and
nights were of equal length, and our shadows were always towards the south.
At length it pleased the Almighty to conduct us to a new country on the
17th of August, where we came to anchor about a league and a half from the
shore, to which we went in our boats to see whether it were inhabited. We
accordingly found that it was full of inhabitants, who were worse than
beasts; though at our first landing we could not see any of the natives,
we yet saw by numerous traces on the shore that the country was very
populous. We took possession of this land for the king of Castile,
finding it in all appearance fertile and pleasant. This place is five
degrees beyond the equator to the south. After the ceremony of taking
possession, we returned to our ships; and as we required a supply of wood
and water, we went on shore next day for that purpose.
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