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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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out, and extends beyond Vila do Principe. Therefore, it is customary to differentiate in this border many villages with the nicknames: Mato Dentro or Mato Campo. We traveled a forest of equal length on the way to Cocais. This region has a sad, lonely aspect, and only on the top of the mountain, covered with molasses grass or fat grass (Tristeges glutinosa, Nees), and some species of Hyptis, Centaureas and Spermacoceas shrubs, could we see the panorama of the

Serra do Caraca

majestic Serra do Caraca, with its shiny, silver slopes in the rays of the sun.

Icica, Almond tree

In these forests there is a species of wild tobacco (Nicotiana Langsdorffii) and the almond tree (a species of Icica), whose cortex oozes an excellent quality of gum, Elimi. In general, this gum is exported to Rio de Janeiro among others. When we left the forest of the first mountain we climbed, we glimpsed the Arraial de Sao Joao do Morro Grande, with its twin mountain towers, in a melancholy valley. Before sunset, we climbed the second mountain and reached,

Etching 47 Mountains near Cocaes

after a five-hour trek, the village of Cocaes, whose palm-lined chapel stands majestically on a hill.

This place is, above all, famous for the quantity and purity of the gold washed here, which appears not only speckled with nuggets, quartz filaments, or clay, but also with large pieces, blades and crystals, which Dr. Gomides described. It is a remarkable deposit, besides other minerals from the interior of the country. The gold here, so like that of Morro Grande, is generally 22 1/2 carats. The owner of the richest mines in the district of Cocais, Santa Barbara and Sao Miguel, which employs 200 slaves in gold mining is Colonel elFigueiredo,. We brought a letter of recommendation to him; but, unfortunately, the colonel had already left to attend, in Rio de Janeiro, the celebrations of the king's coronation. In the same district, abundant gold was found in large flowing layers of compact limonite (marumbe), as well as deposits of potter's stone, with which vessels are made, and much gold is still found in the so-called itabirite. Not far from Cocais, on the road leading to the Diamantino District, a fine-grained reddish-white granite often covers a rich quartz mica schist. From then on, the path became ever more lonely and unpopulated; it passed through hilly terrain, among woods, alternating here and there with cornfield and sugarcane fields, and where large stretches of over-farmed land were overrun with ferns (Pteris caudata). Heading for Busceda and Duas Pontes, two villages, we crossed a stream that springs from an oligyst deposit, and must have platinum granules. The next day, we departed from Cabo d 'Agosta Farm, passing by

Pteris caudata

19

Hyptis hirsuta

Centaurea cyanus, cornflower