Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/222

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The environs of Orizaba appear beyond, lovely so far as nature can make them, with gardens of coffee, lanes running beneath large trees, and red-roofed houses nestling beneath broad-leaved plantains. This valley, though situated four thousand feet above the sea, is yet within the limits of the tierra caliente. It is a trifle cooler than Cordova, less subject to fevers and to attacks from the vomito, and has inviting hotels,—inviting for Mexico,—streams, cascades, bathing-places, and good shops and markets. The climate is hot and humid, and the mosquitoes alert and vigorous; hence, the beneficial activity of the latter prevents the visitor from experiencing the enervating effect of the former. There are many churches here, all of them interesting,

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several factories and mills, and the great machine-shops of the Mexican road, where engines are repaired and built.

The city of Orizaba, eighty-two miles from Vera Cruz, and containing about 13,000 inhabitants, is said to occupy the site of a village founded a long while ago, and conquered by Montezuma in 1457. Its original Aztec name, says one writer, was Ahauializapan, or Joy of the Water, which is a slight misnomer, since the inhabitants not only do not take joy in the water here, but are indebted to it for much dysentery and fever. During the French intervention it was occupied by those interlopers from Europe, and was a favorite resort with Maximilian during his brief reign in Mexico. Mount Borrego, where one hundred