Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

schistous cordillera of Maniquare and Paria only by the Cerro de Meapire, which, analogous to the branches of Torito and los Teques, which separate the basons of Monai, Aragua, and Caracas, extends north and south from Guacharo and Catouaro, to the m untain Paria, and separates the valley of Carico (the driedup bank of the Gulf of Cariaco) from the

valley of St. Boniface, which formerly .

belonged to the Golfo Triste. It will be seen he catter, that the accumulation of calcareous formation on the eastern part of the coast of this country seems to have been more exposed to earthquakes ; and that the Cerro de Meapire, at the time of the irruption of the Gulf of Cariaco, and the Golfo Triste, prevented the water from converting the land of Araya and the ridge of Patia into an island. The declivity of the cordillera of the coast of Venezuela is gentler towards the south than towards the north, which is particularly striking when one descends from the heights of Guigue, through St. Juan, Parapara, and Ortiz, towards the Mera de Paja, which belongs to the great Llano de Calabozo. The northern declivity is every where very steep, and

[ocr errors]

cepted, above Courmayeur, a more flightful precipice than the perpendicular wall of Silla de Caracas, beyond Caravalledo, which rises to the height of 130.o toises. An accurate measurement of this wall of rock was cf great importance to navigators, as they could find its distance from the coast only by taking the angle of its elevation : its longitude, therefore, of 60° 37' 32° west from Paris will enable them to discover it. The phenomenon of a more gentle declivity towards the south seems to contradićt the observations made in o.her cordilleras of the earth, as it is asserted that they all decline more abruptly towards the south and west. This contrad Čtion, however, is only apparent; as the northern part of the cordillera, during the great catastrophe which produced the Gulf of of Mexico, was torn away by the force of the water ; and therefore the northern declivity might at that time be gentler than the southean.

If the form of the coast be confidered,

it appears to be pretty regularly indented. The headlands of Tres Puntas, Codera, S. Roman, and Chichibacoa, on the west, from Cabo de la Vela, form a row of pro. montories, the western of which runs more to the north than the eastern. To the windward of each of these capes a creek

I i bas

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »