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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Continued tax frauds and especially the outflow of the gold and glittering gems from Minas seems to have determined this. When, with the progress of the settlement, trade between Goias and Minas becomes more considerable, this place may become of great importance, as the way to navigation of Rio Grande. Not only to the south, that is, in Paraguay, and from there to Buenos Aires, one can travel along this long river, but also through its tributaries to the north, it is possible to travel a few leagues to Vila Boa, capital of Goias.

The arms of the Paranaiba River, which descend from the north, the Pyrenees and neighboring mountains of Santa Marta and Escalvado, are still not well known to this day; however, particularly the river trip undertaken by Captain Jose Pinto in 1816, which departed from Vila Boa in order to find a way by water to Sao Paulo, clarified the geography of this region. That is, when embarking in the port of Anicuns, twelve leagues distant from Vila Boa de Goias, in the Rio dos Bois, one follows downstream, by the fiery waterfalls of the Turvo River and the Pasmados River, to which the first quoted one joins , and will soon arrive at the Parnaiba River. Three leagues below the junction of these rivers with the latter,

Caiapos

the canoes must negotiate a great fall to where the native Caiapos, that inhabit near the low Parana, extend from time to time their travels. The confluence of Paranaiba with the Rio Grande, from where the river takes its name from Parana, according to Captain Pinto’s report, must be about twenty leagues from that cataract, and the navigation along Rio Grande up to Ponte Nova is actually painful, because of the brash falls, but it is not interrupted. The almost immeasurable extensions of the rivers of the sertão (outback) and the favorable proximity of streams, whose waters take the most diverse directions, open the most auspicious prospects for trade in the sertão, in these beautiful areas.

So interesting, however, is examining the geographical conditions of Rio Grande and its ramifications, which make it possible to foresee future possibilities of very extensive trade in the outback, and, for the naturalist, the natural situation of its basin.

The whole system of the river, which Rio Grande and its tributaries dominate in its long course, comes from the mountains, which are distinguished both in their height and extent, as well as in their formation which contains prodigious riches of gold. To the east is the mountainous Serra da Mantiqueira, the main limit of this river basin. To the northeast, the Serra Negra, Canastra, Marcela and Cristais, form the watershed between it and the Sao Francisco River. To the north, the main mountains of Goias, that is, the Pyrenees hills and their branches, separate the great valleys of the Araguaia and Tocantins rivers,

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