National Geographic : 1947 Feb
The National Geographic Magazine Natividad, Accepting an Invitation, Decorates Her Heavy Calling Card, a Roof Tile By delivering the bare tile, the host summoned her to a housewarming party. Here she returns it wrapped with paper streamers cut from a cooky box. Passengers in her toy boat are a paper-doll Carmen Miranda and other magazine figures (Plate VII and page 142). our high-wheeled station wagon and in other cars on numerous trails where a car might travel in this virtually roadless area. Thomas Gage, who wrote of his famous travels through this region in the 17th cen tury, melodramatically described the dangers to the traveler where one is likely "to be lost in wildernesses where no tongue could give directions; to be devoured by wolves, lions, tigers, or crocodiles, which there so much abound; to fall from steepy rocks and moun tains, which seem to dwell in the aerial region and threaten with fearful spectacles of deep and profound precipices . . ." Although I am sure we penetrated deeper wildernesses than any essayed by Gage, and traveled rougher trails and crossed higher mountains, we were much less concerned with such major calamities as he describes than with rains and mud, heat and thirst, winds and dust-and, more often than one might expect, with penetrating cold. There were usually ants, ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies, and on long rides sometimes fatigue and hunger. These and scores of other discomforts, however, are but the spice that enhances the pleasure of exploration in a little-known region. There was beautiful scenery that was frequently magnificent, and the weather was often fine. There was beauty, too, in birds and flowers with the brilliant colors of the Tropics. We acquired a high regard and affection for the people who live in these regions those like ourselves who live in the cities, and the straightforward, simple, and friendly rural population whose help and knowledge of their country made our work possible. Finally, there is the satisfaction of doing a job which far exceeds the pleasure of mere travel, and the hope that we have added a little bit to human knowledge in revealing for the first time an interesting chapter of New World prehistory.