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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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thankfully, we did not attract the beast, who was making his way through the jungle. The Indians speak a great deal about the Jaguar's strength, as it is capable

of catching a Manatee (lamantin) from the distance of some yards and, swimming, pulls it to the shore; it seems that, in the struggle with a crocodile, the Jaguar is almost always the winner. Also here, as in most Brazilian regions, i the spotted species is more common than the black species, the Jaguarete-pixuna.

Black panther, the Jaguarete-pixuna ?

Sometimes these animals, incited by hunger, even appear in the colonies, where they provoke the inhabitants, and then attack the black or colored man rather than the white man.

Navigation on the southern coast of the continent was delayed because the wind was completely lacking. On the 1st of October, we found Parentim's location, a few potholes on the top of a 200-foot-high hill covered with dense virgin forest, which, in a way, can be considered as a natural border point between the provinces the Para and the Rio Negro.

Is this Parentim mountain tobacco plantation ?

The governor of this last province, frightened by the news of the malignant bladder infections that had been raging in the lower part of the province, had set up a detachment of soldiers paid for the job of exercising strict vigilance over the entrance of any travelers on those heights. In fact, convinced of the perfect health of the crew, since many weeks without contact with the inhabitants on the shore, we were not afraid of carrying contamination onshore; however, the hygienic measures of the health police were in no way respected by us. On the other hand, we did not resign ourselves to quarantine in those solitary jungles, which, by the torment of mosquitoes, in a few hours seemed like hell.

Etching 18

We decided, therefore, to follow the advice of the lieutenant commander, that is, to go forward, in a canoe equipped with Indians, to Vila Nova da Rainha [now Manaus] , and leave behind our two vessels, under the orders of the sergeant who accompanied us, until we could obtain permission, for the continuation of the trip, from the Governor of Fortaleza of the Barra.

 

In six hours' journey, we reached Vila Nova da Rainha [now Manaus], which is situated on the southern shore, 20 feet above water level, and half a league below the mouth of the hole of Abacaxis or Rio Maue in the Amazon.

Manaus

The village consists of several rows of low huts, almost all without windows, covered with palm leaves.

Despite its name, with a population of about 600 souls, it enjoys only nominal royal favors. At the beginning, it began its foundation as a mission of Jesuits, formed with Indians of the Tupinambas tribe, that, after many vicissitudes, emigrated to the mission of Lagoa Vaicurapa, part of them here, part to the town of Boim, not Tapajos.

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