On the return of Diaz, king John resolved to attempt the discovery of India by land; for which purpose he had formerly sent friar Antonio de Lisboa by land, in company with a lay person; but as they were ignorant of the Arabic language, they could not travel into those parts, and went no farther than Jerusalem, whence they returned into Portugal, without having acquired any knowledge of the object of their journey. Yet the king continued to prosecute this discovery of India by land, for which he employed two of his own servants, Pedro de Covillian and Alonso de Payva, both versant in the Arabic language, who were instructed to search out the dominions of Presbyter John, and the country whence the spices and drugs were brought to Venice, and to inquire whether there were any navigation from the southern extremity of Africa to India. To these men he gave a chart, which was extracted from a map of the world, by Calsadilla, bishop of Viseo, an eminent astronomer. He gave them likewise a general letter of credit and safe conduct, requiring them to be assisted and protected, and supplied with money, in whatever kingdoms or countries they might travel; ordering them to receive 400 crowns from the chest of the orchard of Almeryn, for their charges. Of this sum, they took what they deemed necessary to bear their expences till their arrival at Valentia in Arragon, placing the rest in the bank of Bartholomew of Florence, to be repaid at Valentia.
Receiving their audience of leave from King John, in presence of Don Manuel, duke of Viseo, afterwards king, they departed from Santaxen on the 7th May 1487, and came to Naples on St Johns day of that year; whence they were forwarded by the sons of Cosmo de Medici, and went to Rhodes, and thence to Alexandria. From this place they travelled as merchants to Cairo, whence they went in company with certain Moors of Fez and Tremesen to Toro, a harbour on the Arabian coast of the Red Sea. They here learned many things respecting the Indies, and of the trade from the Red Sea to Calicut; and, going from Toro to a place on the coast of Ethiopia, they went to the port of Aden. The travellers here separated, Alonso de Payva passing over to the emperor of Ethiopia, erroneously called