CARACAS is a town of forty thousand inhabitants. They are of all sorts, Indians, negroes, half-castes, and Creoles. At every step you come upon great mangy dogs. The streets are irregular, some of them wide and all badly paved. The jutting roofs are tiled with red, the windows painted blue or green, the walls washed with ochre or lime, and upon it all the sun beats down incessantly.
The people live in shirts and white trousers; only in the evenings do they dress themselves with care, put on polished shoes and expensive panamas. It is the hour for visitors. They sit on wicker sofas or lie in hammocks, while amid religious silence the mistress of the house plays sentimental tunes upon the spinet. When the heat grows less, they dance.
In the low quarters of the town, not far from those no-man's-lands where black vultures called gallinazas feed themselves on filth, there are hovels whose beams stick out like spurs. Linen is hung out to dry on them, and baskets of fruit. The roofs are covered with palm leaves. In the centre of the town the casas altas have a second story with a balcony; you enter by a passage paved with a mosaic of black-and-white pebbles and the knuckle-bones of sheep. There is always an inner courtyard where rain-water and mosquitoes meet. The rooms look out on this patio.
Bolivar gave a great dinner in his own house. There