At This Period The Weather
Changed, And For Three Days And Nights It Rained Incessantly; Yet We Had
To Continue Our March, Lest Our Provisions Might Fail.
After two days
march we came to a ridge of rocky hills, which we named the _Sierra de los
Pedernales_, the stones of which were as sharp as knives.
were sent a league on each side of this bad pass in search of a better
road, but to no purpose, so that we were forced to proceed. Our horses
fell at every step, and the farther we advanced it grew the worse,
insomuch that we lost eight horses, and all the rest were so lamed that
they could not keep up with us. After getting over this shocking pass, we
advanced towards a town called _Taica_, where we expected to procure
provisions in abundance; but to our great mortification were unexpectedly
stopped by a prodigious torrent, so swelled by the late heavy rains that
it was quite impassable, and made such a noise in tumbling over its rocky
bed that it might have been heard at the distance of two leagues. We had
to stop here for three complete days to construct a bridge between the
precipitous banks of this river; in consequence of which delay the people
of Taica had abandoned their town, removing all their provisions out of
our reach. We were all miserably disappointed at this event, finding that
hunger was to be our portion after all our fatigues.
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