Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/224

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204
[CH. XIV.
OFFICIAL VISIT

open the communication with the South Sea. This is not by the lake of Leon, but on the south-western side of the lake of Nicaragua, where the country is level and admirably adapted for the purpose. The reader will not have forgotten my travelling companion Don Simon: he was a native of this part, and as my stay in the country did not allow me to visit it, I was happy in being able to collect from him much information concerning it.

The city of Realejo, when the chart was taken, contained about 500 houses: it does not now contain, at the most, more than 120, and is no city. It is said that, at the back of that town, the Spaniards used to build vessels of 400 tons: however this might have been the case, once, it is certain that they cannot now build vessels there, to any advantage, of more than 70 or 80 tons, as there is not depth of water to bring them down to the Xaguey or great port where the large vessels lie: but about three miles farther down, is a place called the Vaca Bor-