Travel diary written in 1920. The diary records a journey by steamship to Jamaica, and an adventure into the mountains of Colombia. The diary was written in a 1918 journal but the dates were crossed out and the year 1920 was written in.There are 20 double sided pages written in pencil describing a most unusual trip that began on June 22, 1920 and ended on July 20, 1920. The majority of the handwritten entries concern the trip in the mountains of Colombia. The author is unknown. I believe they left from the East Coast, and stopped in various ports of call in the Caribbean, and South America. One of the first is Santiago Cuba with a visit to Morro Castle. While aboard ship they meet with some real characters such as Mr. Halforth, a teacher of Zoology at Rutgers. He mentions drinking planters punch, and buying a palm beach suit in Kingston. As he states” they arrived off Kingston about 9 it was 11:30 before we drew up the dock the colored boys in the water were very interesting clamoring “ Sir Sir” and diving for silver we bade them good bye “ Afterward they proceed to Kingston Jamaica, then on to Cartagena Colombia.
He writes “We had to leave the second cook on shore last night, today we played cyclone poker I won four dollars and tonight I won three more at black jack in Gurra’s room. Cartagena- I was making a sketch of Mr Raull- the chief engineer under difficulties this is my birthday and the chief steward Mr. Lundburry did it up right”
“I made a sketch of the chief officer Mr Larson during which he was called away to give his attention to a racket among the men. One of the shore men threw a brick and an American sailor threw back a bottle and struck him on the head cutting it they were taken into town and fined the American $10.00 and the Colombian $ 5.00 “
This is where their real adventure begins as they take a train to some fairly remote areas in Columbia, visit plantations and hire a guide with mules and horses. Although this diary is brief, the writing is excellent and filled with adventure. Here our intrepid travelers begin their journey on rough foot paths through the jungle and ford rivers. They also see flocks of red and green parrots and take shots at Iguanas. The Author was an artist or at least an amateur but he mentions sketching those he encounters along the way. As I mentioned this was quite an adventure and it appears a little too ambitious. He records their exploits with “P” the other traveling companion and his female companion. Their adventure is cut short because “P” decides she is homesick as the author describes their trip it seems too rough for her and at times him as well. Eventually they decide to cut the trip short on account of the living conditions, and remoteness of the area they had planned to reach.
July 1st, 1920
We sight Cartagena about 11 am and arrive in the harbor about 1. As there is only one pier and boats on both sides of it we cannot dock so we lose an hour all day. Some of the passengers went ashore in the native dugouts but we stay on board. I made a sketch this afternoon. This evening we had a little music on dock and then go on to the chief stewards room for a drink before turning in.
July 3rd, 1920
We left Cartagena this morning early and pretty soon struck rough water again I was making a sketch of Mr. Raull- the Chief Engineer under difficulties. This is my birthday and the Chief Steward Mr Lundburry did it up right” with a wonderful dinner to which the Captain was invited the cake was a masterpiece and culinary art with “G,B,C many happy returns of the day “ written in icing. We later divide up the remains among the boys.
We arrive in Santa Marta harbor at 6 this is the most beautiful spot we have seen yet with the rocks jutting out into the sea and a background of colorful mountains. The town itself is small and not very different in character from any other but the setting is wonderful. We engaged our room at the Hotel International the room is a novelty in itself with its twelve foot door and canopied bed with mosquito netting and titled floor spotted with plaster walls and grilled windows.
July 9th, 1920
We make the train this morning all right and start for Aractaca- We pass through Gaira, Papare, Cienga, Publo Vigio, Rio Frio, Orchueca, Siville, and Jucurirca,. We arrive at Aracataca, at 11 and precede in an ancient phantom to Señor Suarez house. He is very nice to us. We have lunch with him and later shows us over his fruit farm where we see coffee pineapples plantains coco sugar cane lemons oranges and various fruit growing. Than we get the cargo train at 3 for Fundacion-. This train is just what its name implies except that it has one second class coach in the rear which everybody has to ride. The ride is only one of 15 or 20 minutes for which we are duly thankful. We arrive at the station in Fundacion- I gave the letter Mr. Maner Supt. of the railroad gave to me to the station master thinking that would explain everything but it seems it did not and as we could not answer a simple question he put to us we were naturally the center of all eyes which in this county is” some center “ Finally we found a negro native Grunada, who spoke English which helped matters along considerably particularly as the man who was to supply is with a guide and mules could not speak a word of English. We all go to his house including half the village and he very graciously invites us there and he will have the mules in the morning. We have a rather amusing meal but get along famously mostly by signs as he can not read and my dictionary is Castilian which is very little help in this county.
We start at 11 this morning of Gararro’s place and the very first thing we have to do is ford the Frundacion River, The water was up to the horses bellies and as the current is very strong it as quite an experience . Ordonez- did his best to make the ride pleasant but we had so much difficulties understanding each other we finally gave up all attempt at conversation we have to travel in single file anyway with Ordonez leading and “P” in the middle. I now understand why we were told we would have to hire mules the trial thro the jungle is only a rough foot path that has been cut out of the brush enough for a man and mule to pass through, its continually climbing and deviating with steep assents the almost make you wonder if the horse can make it. Rocks of all sizes clutter the way and trunks of trees and branches help impede progress. We have lunch and start back to Fundacion- about 3’oclock. Half way back we run into a flock of red and green parrots which announce our coming of miles with their shrill cries this air is full of noise and after the silence its seems deafening.
We spent today at Ordonez, This morning we bath in the river and this afternoon I made a sketch of his daughters Anita & Juanita in a sitting room which opens right on the sidewalk what with all the flies which were myriad and the natives blocking air & light from the doorway it was an ordeal for both.
July 12, 1920
P complains that she can go no further so I drop back while the others go on and help her horse and she throws herself to the ground all in after resting an hour we continue our way and arrive at the Spaniards about 6.
We have an early supper and climb into our hammocks but not to sleep as I found out. P is still alarmed remains with her and she wakes me every half hour and later every hour during the night to listen to something and put more wood on the fire we have a blazing fire throughout the night. Strange and unaccountable noises in the inky darkness but we still find ourselves still alive in the morning but P is homesick and insists on going home quickly as possible.
July 16, 1920
Everyone returns this mourning just as I have coffee ready about 7. We bathe and wash out some of our clothes in the river and pass the day fishing without success firing at Iguanas ditto and swatting flies and mosquitos which are as bad here as at Rocky River after supper Guerro- entertains us with accounts of marvelous witchcraft by so called doctors in certain places where the natives are curious enough to allow them to get away with it. While we are sitting on boxes in the cabin talking I notice a furred animal about 4 inches long that resembles a star fish as much as anything crawling down the wall, Guerrro kills it with his machete and describes it as a very poisonous spider later he slings his hammock in one room which P takes the cot and I the floor and as soon as the light is out the rats commence operations again two of them jumping on P’s face from the wall. After a couple of hours rat chasing we fall asleep.