The story is about a Spanish Conquistador, Francisco de
Orellana, and his companions, who in 1541 were a part of
an expedition to the land of cinnamon east of the Andes in
what is now the nation of Ecuador. He and a few others went
to find food for the main body and were swept down river too
fast and too far to be able to return. From the day after
Christmas to September of 1542 this small company
struggled with going down the river, and those larger
rivers into which it emptied, meeting friendly natives
and fighting with unfriendly ones, going hungry at times
and storing extra food at others, gaining many experiences
of a strange, new world and new peoples, and trying to
come out alive from a journey forced by fate upon them.
Many of them did finally come out to the ocean, having
been the first Europeans to navigate what is now called, in
English, the Amazon River.
Fortunately, the journey was recorded by a priest who was
with them, and the major part of this book is a retelling of
his firsthand account of the voyage, His account is of their
journey down the river, from an accidental beginning east
of the Andes in Ecuador to its mouth in Brazil, and on to
their journey's end at the island of Cubagua in the Caribbean,
off the coast of Venezuela. It is a story about brave men in
a difficult situation who struggle through it all to safety:
a tale of true action and adventure, both as history and as
enlightening and entertaining reading.
About Ralph Moore
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Published July 1, 2009
by Ralph Moore.