24th November 1833

Mercedes on the River Negro
Went with my host to the Sierra del Pedro flaco about 20 miles up the R. Negro: the greater part of the ride was through long grass up to the horses belly. There are few Estancias & leagues of camp without a head of cattle. The country left to nature as it now is would easily produce 5 or 6 times the number of cattle. Yet the annual exportation of hides from M. Video is 300 thousand; & the home consumption is something considerable. The view of the R. Negro from the Sierra is decidedly the most picturesque one I have seen in this country. The river is rapid & tortuous; it is about twice as large as the Severn (when banks full) at Shrewsbury; the cliffs are precipitous and rocky; & there is a belt of wood following the course of the river; beyond which an horizon of grass plain fills up the view. The Peons horse was quite tired; so we rode to a Rancho; the master was not at home, but as a matter of course entered the house, made a fire to cook some beef, & were quite at home in a strangers house. We rode on but did not reach home till early in the night.

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