Vagabonding Down The Andes

Harry A. FRANCK (1881 - 1962)

Sometime in the latter half of 1911, Harry A. Franck jumped out of a box-car and crossed the Rio Grande, from Laredo. Thus began a journey, often afoot, that Harry estimated would take him 8 months. It ended up occupying four years of his life. The first leg of his Latin American epic is recorded in "Tramping Through Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras; Being the Random Notes of an Incurable Vagabond" (The Century Company, 1916). He then headed south to the Canal Zone, Teddy Roosevelt's grand experiment in socialism, and applied within the Zone police force for a position as a census taker (chronicled in "Zone Policeman 88; A Close Range Study of the Panama Canal and Its Workers", The Century Company, April 1913). Since he was one of the few Americans who actually spoke Spanish, and a bevy of other languages, he was hired immediately. By June, 1912, he'd bankrolled enough money to see him through the opening phase of the work I'll be reading for you, "Vagabonding Down the Andes; Being the Narrative of a Journey, Chiefly Afoot, From Panama to Buenos Aires" (The Century Company, 1917). Leaving the Zone in June of 1912, with "objections to his reemployment", he caught a steamer and entered the South American continent at Cartagena, Colombia. Approximate 30 months later, having walked most of the length of the Inca highway, he staggered from a trek that took him over mountains and through raw jungle onto a ferry, and thence sailed into Buenos Aires, regarded as one of the most glamorous and expensive cities on earth at the time. This leg of the four volume epic (which later concludes with "Working North from Patagonia; Being the Narrative of a Journey, Earned on the Way, Through Southern and Eastern South America, The Century Company, 1921) was the longest one, and in many respects, "Vagabonding Down the Andes" was also the most detailed. As you can see, the works were not published in chronological order. Why? I don't know, other than the last volume, which was delayed by Harry's enlistment and serving in WWI. Harry is an opinionated iconoclast with a strong American value system based upon self-reliance. He's both college-educated and what I suppose can best be called "street smart", though most of his trip took him through places where "street" was little more than an abstract concept. Before his South American journey, he'd already worked his way around the world, and had written a book about it ("A Vagabond Journey Around the World", The Century Company, 1910). Some people are going to get their Politically Correct dander up if they listen. Well, fast traveler, keep in mind that Harry was a man of his times, and thus he sees the world, as we are all people of our times, and thus we see and experience the world. Harry did his vagabonding with a pistol as his constant companion, and lived amongst the poorest classes of people. He drank water collected in the ruts of wagon wheels. Not knowing where his next meal was coming from was the norm, as opposed to the exception. In terms of travel writing he makes Paul Theroux look like an armchair dilettante. Take him as he is, and I think you'll soon become enmeshed in this extraordinary saga. Written by Elliott Swanson, reader.

Genre(s): Travel & Geography, Memoirs

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 A Foreword of Warning Elliott Swanson
00:20:50
Play 01 Chapter 01 - Up to Bogota Elliott Swanson
00:51:20
Play 02 Chapter 02 - The Cloistered City Elliott Swanson
00:50:11
Play 03 Chapter 03 - From Bogota Over the Quindio Elliott Swanson
01:12:49
Play 04 Chapter 04 - Along the Cauca Valley Elliott Swanson
01:09:44
Play 05 Chapter 05 - Down the Andes to Quito part 1 Elliott Swanson
01:12:11
Play 06 Chapter 05 - Down the Andes to Quito part 2 Elliott Swanson
01:11:01
Play 07 Chapter 06 - The City of the Equator part 1 Elliott Swanson
01:13:48
Play 08 Chapter 06 - The City of the Equator part 2 Elliott Swanson
00:55:45
Play 09 Chapter 07 - Down Volcano Avenue Elliott Swanson
01:13:14
Play 10 Chapter 08 - Through Southern Equador Elliott Swanson
01:04:45
Play 11 Chapter 09 - The Wilds of Northern Peru Part 1 Elliott Swanson
01:02:23
Play 12 Chapter 09 - The Wilds of Northern Peru Part 2 Elliott Swanson
00:58:47
Play 13 Chapter 10 - Approaching Inca Land Part 1 Elliott Swanson
00:45:10
Play 14 Chapter 10 - Approaching Inca Land Part 2 Elliott Swanson
00:41:48
Play 15 Chapter 11 - Drawbacks of the Trail Part 1 Linda Johnson
00:48:50
Play 16 Chapter 11 - Drawbacks of the Trail Part 2 Linda Johnson
00:47:33
Play 17 Chapter 12 - The Roof of Peru Part 1 Linda Johnson
00:39:11
Play 18 Chapter 12 - The Roof of Peru Part 2 Linda Johnson
00:39:03
Play 19 Chapter 13 - Round About the Peruvian Capital Part 1 Linda Johnson
00:26:45
Play 20 Chapter 13 - Round About the Peruvian Capital Part 2 Linda Johnson
00:32:42
Play 21 Chapter 14 - Overland to Cuzco Part 1 Linda Johnson
00:54:46
Play 22 Chapter 14 - Overland to Cuzco Part 2 Linda Johnson
00:55:52
Play 23 Chapter 15 - The Route of the Conquistadores Part 1 Linda Johnson
00:51:18
Play 24 Chapter 15 - The Route of the Conquistadores Part 2 Linda Johnson
00:52:33
Play 25 Chapter 16 - The City of the Sun Part 1 Linda Johnson
00:37:51
Play 26 Chapter 16 - The City of the Sun Part 2 Linda Johnson
00:38:35
Play 27 Chapter 16 - The City of the Sun Part 3 Linda Johnson
00:44:09
Play 28 Chapter 16 - The City of the Sun Part 4 Linda Johnson
00:43:40
Play 29 Chapter 17 - A Forgotten City of the Andes Part 1 Linda Johnson
00:41:31
Play 30 Chapter 17 - A Forgotten City of the Andes Part 2 Linda Johnson
00:44:26
Play 31 Chapter 18 - The Collasuyu, or 'Upper' Peru Part 1 Blainej
00:37:40
Play 32 Chapter 18 - The Collasuyu, or 'Upper' Peru Part 2 Blainej
00:36:14
Play 33 Chapter 18 - The Collasuyu, or 'Upper' Peru Part 3 Blainej
00:36:15
Play 34 Chapter 19 - On Foot Across Tropical Bolivia Part 1 Blainej
00:31:41
Play 35 Chapter 19 - On Foot Across Tropical Bolivia Part 2 Blainej
00:37:58
Play 36 Chapter 20 - Life in the Bolivian Wilderness Part 1 Blainej
00:39:27
Play 37 Chapter 20 - Life in the Bolivian Wilderness Part 2 Blainej
00:44:42
Play 38 Chapter 21 - Skirting the Gran Chaco Part 1 Blainej
00:40:28
Play 39 Chapter 21 - Skirting the Gran Chaco Part 2 Blainej
00:36:50
Play 40 Chapter 22 - Southward Through Guarina Land Blainej
00:40:01