Monday, October 26, 2009

The Shipwrecked Men by Cabeza de Vaca

This is another from the Penguin series "Great Journeys" - fabulous little gems! This title is the true account of a Spanish expedition to the New World in 1527 that goes terribly wrong. The writer, Cabeza de Vaca, tells the incredible story of the shipwrecks, hurricances, starvation, disease, cannibalism, being enslaved by Indian tribes and his harrowing journey across the American southwest and into Mexico, together with four other survivors out of the six hundred who perished. It is an amazing story. Most interesting to me was his narrative about the lives of the native Americans, what they ate (seemed like very little and not especially good) and their customs. He ended up spending ten years roaming in miserable conditions before finally finding other Spaniards again and returning to Spain, where he wrote his story for the Spanish king.

It is incredible what people went through 500 years ago to travel - it makes our modern inconveniences seem petty by comparison. I'll try to remember that when I get on that "long" flight to America this week!


dyanna said...

Interesting post.I like it.
Have a nice day.

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