Wide, is divided into three great shallow basins or plains by the transverse ridges or paramos of Tiupullo and Azuay.
On the paramos of Chimborazo, Pichincha, Iliniza, &c., the relation of characteristic genera to those identical with genera in the Alpine flora of Europe is as 5 to 4; and the botanist might almost suppose himself in the Upper Engadine.
The warmth yet shade-loving Indian of the Amazon; the Indian of the hot, dry and treeless coasts of Peru and Guayaquil, who exposes his bare head to the sun with as much zest as an African negro; the Indian of the Andes, for whom no cold seems too great, who goes constantly barelegged and often bare-headed, through whose rude straw hut the piercing wind of the paramos sweeps and chills the white man to the very bones; - all these, in the colour and texture of the skin, the hair and other important features, are plainly of one and the same race.
The higher plateaus are called paramos, cold, windswept, mist-drenched deserts, lying between the elevations of 10,000 and 15,000 ft., which are often the only passes over the Cordilleras, and yet are almost impassable because of their morasses, heavy mists, and cold, piercing winds.
The paramos of Cruz Verde (11,695 ft.) and Pasto, and the volcanoes of Chiles (15,900 ft.), Chumbul (15,715 ft.), and Pasto ft.) are prominent landmarks of this desolate region.
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