Christopher Columbus – Part 1

christopher-columbusThis is the first part in our series on one of the most famous explorers in history – Genoese mariner Christopher Columbus.

In this first part, we examine Columbus’ early life, and then his attempts to find a backer for his scheme to sail west – into the unknown – as a way to reach the fabled eastern lands of China, Japan, India and the Spice islands.

Below is the famous map of the world as depicted by astronomer Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli. It shows a much smaller world than reality – and would help convince Columbus that reaching Asia was possible by sailing west.

toscanelli-map

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Francisco de Orellana and the Exploration of the Amazon River – Part 2

Francisco_de_Orellana-bustFrancisco de Orellana heads down the Amazon River in a bid to return to civilization. Little does he know that he is about to begin one of the most amazing journeys in the annals of exploration.

His epic trek will include a battle with the legendary Amazons, encounters with cannibals, near starvation and much, much more.


orellana-river-map

Journey of Francisco de Orellana 


Sources

The best book I found on Orellana was River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon by Buddy Levy. It’s a well-written adventure that was my go-to source for this podcast.

Relación del nuevo descubrimiento del famoso río grande que descubrió por muy grande ventura el capitán Francisco de Orellana según la transcripción de don Toribio Medina is a version of Orellana’s tale as written by Father Gaspar de Carvajal – the priest who accompanied Orellana down the Amazon. This version is in Spanish (I could not find an English language version).

Wikipedia Links:

All images courtesy of Wikipedia.