For eight years afterwards, Valdivia and his troops defended themselves bravely against every effort of the Chilese, who continued the war incessantly. In all that time, Valdivia obliged his soldiers to cultivate a sufficient quantity of land for their sustenance, not being able to procure Indians for that purpose, yet resolved not to abandon the country which had been commited to his government. At the end of that period he returned into Peru, at the time when the licentiate Pedro de la Gasca was employed in levying an army against Gonzalo Pizarro, as shall be related in the sequel.
Soon after the overthrow of the Almagrians, it was reported in Peru that a very rich country had been discovered to the eastwards of Quito, which in particular contained great quantities of cinnamon trees, on which account it got the name of Los Canelos, or the cinnamon country. The marquis accordingly resolved to send his brother Gonzalo Pizarro to discover that country; and as it was necessary to march thither by way of Quito, where likewise every requisite for the expedition was to be procured, the marquis conferred the government of the kingdom of Quito on his brother, till his majestys pleasure might be made known. Gonzalo Pizarro accordingly set out from Cuzco with a considerable force, taking his route for Quito by way of the elevated mountain vallies. In this march he was opposed by the Indians of the province of Guanuco with so much perseverance and bravery, that the marquis was under the necessity of sending him a reinforcement under Francisco de Chaves. After having overcome this obstacle, he arrived in safety at Quito, where he proceeded to make preparations for his expedition to Los Canelos.