158 Geography of Tiesin del Fue,jo intervals of ?me hundred miles, washes a long unbroken shore, affording neither shelter for vessels nor landing for boats; but to the southward of that parallel its waters reach to the very base of the great chain of the Andes, and, flowing a? it were into the deep ravines that wind through its ramifications. form numerous chan- nels, sounds, gulfs, and, in many imtance?, insulate large portiere of land. In fact the whole of this space is fronted by large islands and extensive archipelagos, of which the mo?t conspicuom are the great island of Chiloe. Wellington Island, the Archi- pelago of Madre de Dies, Hanover Island, and Queen Adelaide's Archipelago. The last forms the western entrance of the strait 'on its north side. The land of Tres Montes, however, is an ex- ception: it is a peninsula, and is the only part of the ?ontinent within their above limits that is exposed to the oeean's swell. It forms the northern part of the Gulf of Penas, and is joined to the main by the narrow isthmus of Ofqui, over which the Indians, in travelling along the coast, carry their canoes to avoid the risk of passing round the peninsula s a route of extreme danger. It was here that Byron and his shipwwrecked companions cro?ed over with their Indian guides; but it is a route that is not much fre- ?ueuted; for this part of the coast is very thinly inhabited, and e trouble o?f pulling to p?eces and reconstructing their canoes*, an operation absolutely necessary for them to ad.opt from the difficulty of the ascent and descent of the mountain .over which they must pass, so gmat, that I imagine it is only performed on occasions of great importance. In this way the piraguas which conveyed the missionary voyagers to the Guaianeco islands were transported 'over the isthmus; the particulars of which are fully detailed in their journals ?. The fiver San Tadeo, although of small size, being navigable only for eleven miles, is the largest of any of the rivers of the coast to the south of the Archipelago of Chiloe, and therefore merits a particular description. At seven miles from the mouth it is fed by two streams or torrents, the currents of which are so strong that a fast-pulling boat can hardly make way against it. One of these streams takes its rise in a mountainous range over which it is probable the communicating road pa?es; and the other is the drain of an extensive glacier or plain of ice of fxfte? miles in extent. The river falls into the Gulf of St. Fatevan over a shallow bar upon which there is scarcely two feet water, and at low tide is probably dry.
- During our examination of this part, our boats a?cended the river San Tadeo and
endeavoured in vain to find any traces of the road: an aimrot impenetrable ?mgJe of reeds end underwood lined the beaks of the river, and time w?s too valuable to admit of further delay in search oF an object comparatively of minor importance. ? Agueroe, Desc?peion Histortal de Is Provincla y Archipielago de Chil6e? 1791. p. 229. Digitized by GOOg[?