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In tranquil ease here life's calm current flows,
THE ISLAND OF FLORES.
Journey round the Island.-Vast ravine.-Wrecks.-Anathema of a Priest.- Population.-Grandest scenery in the Azores.-Fajem Grande.-Shoes and their concomitants.— More wrecks.-Ponta Delgada and Santa Cruz.-Foundling Hospital.
SANTA CRUZ, FLORES, April 28. — Soon after six o'clock on Thursday morning (the 25th) we set off on our journey round Flores. This was to occupy two days, and on Saturday we were to have started for Fayal. complish the journey in this time, we had to be carried in hammocks or palanquins. These were nothing more than pieces of sail-cloth four or five feet broad, and seven feet long, gathered together at the ends, and tied to a long pole. Between the cloth and the pole you had to jam yourself, until by your weight the sail bulged into a seat. Two men then lifted you on their shoulders and set off at a trot, followed by a relay to relieve them when tired: your feet dangle down on one side, in much discomfort, while you cling round the pole, and lean backwards in the cloth. Some lie their length along the cloth on their back, and say that it is not
VALLEY OF THE RIVER CRUZ.
unpleasant; but as our object was not merely to see the sky, we did not put this plan in practice.
After jogging up an ascent of a mile and a half, during which our hammock poles were little below an angle of forty-five, we came to the edge of a precipice, overlooking the valley of the river Cruz. This is a vast flat-bottomed horseshoe ravine, opening to the sea. The sides are precipitous, and in parts perpendicular. Steps of grey lava are seen towards the top of the ravine, rising one above another to the number of twelve and fifteen, separated merely by small lines and belts of green heath and brushwood. Over several of these steps or ledges of lava, the little stream of the river Cruz fell and flowed, turning the grey stone to a deep black, till it came to the edge of each step, when it changed to silver and dispersed in spray, was caught by the step below, hurried over the dark pavement once more, again fell in a pure white thread, and was at last lost sight of among heath and laurels, until it once more appeared near the mouth of the ravine, inlaying the fields with a shallow stream, which wound its way to the sea. The fields bordering the stream were so distant
VALLEY OF THE RIVER CRUZ.
that we could not see what they contained. Above, where the ground was steeper, notches had been cut in the soil and were cultivated; and higher up, and thence to the edges of the ravine round which we were walking, bay trees, heaths, Faya, and other evergreens, grew in full luxuriance. Between these shrubs was one small waterfall, lacing the green with silver, which ultimately joined the larger stream and made up the brook called Ribeira Cruz.
This valley exhibits more clearly than any we have yet seen in these islands, the reason for the use of the word "trap, trap," which geologists have applied to certain volcanic rocks. "Trappa" is the Swedish word for a flight of steps, and has been adopted very generally, (since it was first used by Bergmann,) owing to many rocks of this class forming a succession of terraces or steps on the sides of the mountains or hills. Hot streams of lava have been observed to cool and stop in this abrupt way; so that by a succession of eruptions, a succession of steps is formed, one above the other, the space between each consisting of ejected cinders, ashes, mud, or pumice. On the sides of this valley each step was thirty or forty feet thick, and there were from ten to
fifteen, each distinctly marked, and divided from the other by thin belts of heath, moss, and fern.
The path between this spot and Largens, where we made our first halt, led through heathy tracts of uncultivated ground, which rose and fell in gentle curves, and swept up into smooth round hills, resembling in shape our Wiltshire Downs. Here are one or two dull, "sullen" lakes. After several miles of such scenery, we began gradually to descend to the south coast, on which Largens is situated, and in so doing passed several plantations of small stunted cedars, which are so common in Flores that the wood is used for heating ovens, and is sent to the other islands to make knee-timber and such other parts of boats as require crooked wood. we approached the town, we came again among fields, divided by stone walls, and cultivated in the same way as in the other islands.
Here, too, were many proofs, if such had been needed, of the rough, inhospitable coast of Flores. The remains of wrecks were frequently to be The smart green panels and black arched roof of the companion of one vessel had been joined on, by way of anteroom, to the black walls and dingy thatch of a cottage in the fields;