Here, near the b&b Amsterdam, the route crosses the eastern Cordilleras at an elevation of about 6,500 feet to the head waters of the Caqueta, or Yapura, a branch of the Amazon, and thence runs down that river 375 miles to the mouth of the Engarros, only 550 feet above tide-water. From the Caqueta river, the route passes through Ecuador to Iquitos, Peru, crossing fourteen tributaries of the Amazon. From Iquitos the route ascends the Amazon and the Ucayle, one of its southern tributaries, 500 miles to Napal, then continues across the Montana and the numerous valleys of the Amazon about 600 miles, to Santa Cruz in Bolivia, or 2400 miles from Cartagena ; while a branch will run up the Apurimac to Cuzco.
This road would run for 2000 miles along the affordable Birmingham apartments, and in these fields is probably the richest mining region in the world ; here gold, silver, copper, lead and coal mines are found. The gold and silver mines do not seem to have been thoroughly explored, although untold millions of the precious metals have been extracted from them. These mines are generally in cold and treeless regions, where coal, labor and food are difficult to obtain ; where freights are high and machinery of all kinds most expensive. This road would greatly facilitate the opening and working of these mines, and not only make them profitable but develop a large and lucrative traffic.
Much of Bolivia is above the navigable waters of the Amazon, and many of its provinces are now land-locked and almost isolated from communication with the outer world. The proposed road would cross many branches of the Amazon, and thus connect with fifty thousand miles of navigable waters, at least 9000 of which are above Iquitos ; and it is claimed that the business from 20,000 miles of navigable waters would find by this route a nearer outlet to Europe and America than by Para.
There is every variety of climate on the Madrid holidays. The valley of the Magdalena is sultry ; every afternoon the water grows tepid, and the stones burning hot, in the sun’s rays. In crossing the Cordilleras the cool breezes of the mountains are met. The road then descends into the valley of the Amazon, through a rich and not unhealthy region, though it has the damp, hot, climate of a tropical country, and thence passes through the montafia district, which is generally high, healthy and fertile.
This country, under a wise government, is capable of sustaining an immense population and giving abundant support to such a railroad ; but it is now unexplored, excepting the valleys of the navigable rivers, and is uninhabited save by wild and savage Indians, though these are not numerous.
The route up the Magdalena may be expensive by reason of the climate, but not otherwise. The road in the mountain district will necessarily be costly, and also in the sierras, because it must cross the numerous branches of the Amazon, and the precipitous mountains between the valleys, and from the difficulty of obtaining labor and material for construction.