National Geographic : 1926 Apr
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Wide World Photograph SPEARING THE FISH MONARCH OF AMAZON WATERS The skillful native harpoons the pirarucu from the prow of his boat when an agitation of the water denotes that the fish is approaching the surface. During high water it is also caught by a line attached to a tree on the bank or to a perch in the middle of lake or river. train a week makes the run through the jungle between Porto Velho and Guajara mirim, stopping overnight at the village of Abuna, where the traveler finds the best hotel between Para and the Andes. Guajaramirim is a small frontier town, whence one jumps off into the wilderness of the Guapore or takes the little stern wheeler that goes south toward the heart of the Bolivian Oriente. Here we saw blocks of caucho rubber from the Guapor6, and a carload of lean (logs for the lonely workers in the scrin gacs, and wild-eyed cattle from the Mojos plains of the Mamore, with horns so wide they had, according to one native, to be loaded sideways into the cars. At Porto Velho the Candelaria Hospital still stands as a haven for the sick and injured for hundreds of miles up and down the railroad and the rivers. The clean, well screened buildings lie among pleasant grounds overlooking the Mladeira, and around them are flower and vegetable gardens. In all that vast basin of the Madeira no one is so esteemed as Dr. William Emrich, the veteran American physician of con- struction days, who is in charge of the Candelaria H ospital. LARGE FLEETS OF STEAMERS, CANOES, AND RAFTS PLY AMAZON RIVERS A large fleet of steamers plies up and down all the large affluents of the Ama zon. It is possible to travel with comfort from Para as far as Yurimaguas, on the H-uallaga, in Peru, hundreds of miles above Iquitos, and up all the great tribu taries to the limit of navigation, fixed by rapids or bars (see map, page 354). During the rainy season, when the rivers rise from 30 to 50 feet, it is possible to go much higher, unless there is a perma nent barrier, as at Santo Antonio. on the Madeira. Ocean-going steamers from Europe and the United States regularly ascend the Amazon to Manaios (see page 355), nearly 9oo miles from Parti, and the same vessels could go up to Iquitos, more than 2,ooo miles from the mouth. Above Iquitos there are 500 miles of navigation for steamers drawing nine feet of water-that is, to within a few miles of the Andes. A line of steamers is actu ally in operation between Iquitos and Cal- 452 /i -I,... 1 ~rP: ~i ~ ..