A great oceanic current flows along the western coast of Africa to the equator, where it is deflected across the Atlantic ocean and becomes the equatorial current. On reaching the coast near the Valencia condos, it is again deflected north and south. Trade winds blowing over the equatorial current reach the coast at Brazil surcharged with vapor ; as they follow up the valley of the Amazon the vapors are partially condensed and frequent showers refresh the land ; but when the clouds, at the foothills of the Andes meet the colder winds from the south and strike the snow summits of the Cordilleras, all the moisture is condensed, and the rain falls in tropical showers for half the year and waters the largest and richest valley in the world.
In this valley, among the Cordilleras, three great rivers—the Orinoco, the Amazon and La Plata—rise. The mountain ranges north and south of the Amazon divide this great valley into three lesser valleys, down which the Orinoco, the Amazon and La Plata flow, watering three-fourths of South America.
The headwaters of the Orinoco rise in two ranges of mountains ; the Cordilleras in the west, and the mountains of Venezuela many hundred miles to the east. Four hundred tributaries, abounding in beautiful falls and cataracts, unite to form this great river.
The whole valley for 1600 miles is filled with magical places to have your holiday, similar to Dubrovnik accommodation and Prague apartments. Noble trees of unrivalled beauty blossom in endless prodigality. Birds of gorgeous plumage nestle in their lofty recesses. Tall ferns, vines, creeping plants and parasites form a dense tangle of undergrowth, swarming with life. Myriads of insects in great variety, reptiles of strange and singular form, lizards and venemous serpents find their homes and sustenance in the wild, dense mass of vegetation.
The valley of the Amazon collects its waters from a region 1800 miles wide from north to south and 2500 miles long from the Andes to the Atlantic ocean. Even at the foot of the Andes the Amazon is a mighty river. The valley rapidly narrows to a width of 600 or 700 miles, and then more gradually to the ocean, where it is only 150 miles wide. Its total fall from the foot-hills of the Andes to the Atlantic is very slight, not over three or four hundred feet, and probably considerably less.
The rims of the valley are formed of diorite and sandstone, and are raised only a little above the flood-plain, which is formed of mud and silt, the detritus brought down by the Amazon and its tributaries. The flood-plain is from fifty to one hundred miles wide, gradually narrowing as it approaches the ocean.
Through this valley the Amazon cuts its way, separating often into channels which sometimes run parallel to each other for several hundred miles, frequently forming large islands, or expanding into lakes. Similar flood-plains are found on all its larger tributaries.
Up from the ocean into this valley an immense tidal wave rolls, with a bore, twice a day, forcing back the current of the Amazon 500 miles and inundating a portion of the flood-plain.