Diary of Guadalupe, sailor on the Third Expedition with Francisco Pizarro

1527

"There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama and its poverty. Choose, each man, what best becomes a brave Castilian." Those words have changed the rest of this expedition for me. I share no love for Pizarro or his odd band of conquistadors, yet the tangible promise of gold stays my anger and keeps my feet from jumping onto the ships from Panama. The governor thought sending Juan Tafur was enough to bring Pizarro back to Panama from this journey, but he reasoned without Pizarro's gold lust.

Pizarro is not a decent man nor is he a clever one. He has never learned his letters. I myself would never have learned this skill had it not been for my ambitious father. Growing up as illegitimate as Pizarro had, it is a wonder he has become so well known. Nothing will ever keep him from that Peruvian gold. Nothing. And though I do not share his excitement or stupidity to think we will gain the gold so easily, I share his want for it.

There are only thirteen of us on this forsaken Isla de Gallo. All the other sailors under Pizarro are onboard Tafur's ships, sitting just off shore. They will leave within the day, and though part of me wishes to go home to see my senorita; the rest yearns for the savage gold. I will stay and await Pizarro's orders. We will reap what we sow.

April 1528

Almagro and Lugue have come back to rescue Pizarro from his despair. The thirteen of us had built a small boat and sailed to the Isla de Gorgona. We have been alone on this island for over seven months without word from Panama. Seeing Almagro and Lugue's ship upon the horizon brought much needed hope to our hearts.

At this moment, we are at camp in Tumbes, Peru. We have finally stepped upon real Peruvian soil, and it feels exhilarating. The Tumpis have shown such generosity and hospitality to us, we cannot possibly repay them. There is an unbelievable amount of wealth in this nation! I believe we have reached El Dorado.

There are such exotic animals here. There is a creature that has the softest of fur and the queerest of appearance. The Tumpis call it "llama," and Pizarro has christened the tall animals "little camels." Almagro and Lugue desire to return to Panama before the governor showers displeasure on their expeditions. So we will be off with a month to head back to our home country. I will need a respite before any more exploring in this New World to reacquaint myself with my lady and my own lands.

July 1532

Nothing but ill wind has blown through the sails. This will be the last time I explore a foreign land in search of undesirable gold and silver. Upon arriving at Tumbes, we found the lands deserted and destroyed. It no longer is a safe haven for us Spaniards on our mission. Hernando de Soto has joined our conquest for Peru. For this is a conquest. Pizarro does not say it outright, but I know the look in his eyes. It is the same look in mine. Something has changed within me. It feels like the devil has burrowed deep into my gut and set up camp.

In Ecuador we fought the natives and killed nearly 400. They killed three of my fellow Spaniards. They killed Luigi, a dear friend from childhood. His death was his own fault, but that does not overshadow the fact that the blood-thirsty savages of this terrible land struck him down. Now I fear that same blood lust has seeped deep into my veins. I will follow Pizarro as far as he needs to go in order to conquer these brutal beasts. I may not write for a long while. I am preparing myself for a battle and have no time to process thought. I will avenge Luigi, and then I will return home to my lady wealthy and in good health.

1533

This marks the end of the life of one Guadalupe of Panama, farmer, sailor, and adventurer. Fought bravely and died during the Conquest of Peru in Cuzco.

Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. To my knowledge, The Guadalupe portrayed in this work of fiction was not a sailor under Francisco Pizarro's command during the expeditions to Peru. The historical accounts and dates are as accurate as possible, but the ideas and thoughts of Guadalupe are fictitious. Francisco Pizarro was a real man. Obviously.

I found my information at Wikipedia with a search under Francisco Pizarro.