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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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a year earlier, with Mr. von Langsdorff, to Vila Rica, after which, due to the latter's business, they had to return. He also toured various regions of the Minas Province, the colony of indians in Pecanha, Tejuco and Rio Sao Francisco, near Salgado. Langsdorff was on his way back to the capital to join us there.

Considering these men as our forerunners and preparers, and in view of all the written and oral information, it seemed to us more expedient to undertake first a land tour of the captaincy of Sao Paulo, situated to the south, and above all to get

See Sao Paulo, top right

used to little by little the climate of the warmer regions and also come to know the opposite, in the temperate, southern zone. Then, from the captaincy of Sao Paulo, we planned to travel to the interior of Minas Gerais, to the Sao Francisco and Goias River, and finally, to the Tocantins River, to the Para, or from the interior to Bahia and return to the coast, boarding there our collections for Europe, and then penetrate again within the captaincies of Piaui and Maranhao, in order to reach Para, the target of our desires. In this journey through a part of the temperate zone, as well as throughout the warm south zone, we expected to note in this last one its varied products and to be able to make interesting comparisons with the nature of the various latitudes. With courage and speed, this plan was devised. Our friends, who knew the country, really doubted that our expedition was feasible, so that they compared it to Icarus's flight; They failed, however, to shake our confidence in ourselves, on the basis of which we surrendered to the pleasant hope of happy success. The delay in Mandioca farm and the excursions in the surroundings had made us familiar with the lack of resources for such a trip. For this reason we soon take care, first of all, to obtain a troop of mules, the most important means of bringing people with us and the necessary instruments for travel; For this, we used the advice of several miners who had just arrived in Rio with their troops. As a basic necessity, there remained the choice of a mule train leader, to whom we would entrust the handling of animals and the care of luggage. We soon realized how difficult it was to find a competent man for the office, and even more difficult to interest him in accompanying us. After several unsuccessful attempts to find the individual under the necessary conditions, we were forced, approaching the scheduled day of the trip, to entrust the troop to a mulatto, although he declared that he could not give proof, although he had practiced the craft, so we gave him as a helper, in addition to our black slaves, another freed black man. How much these arrangements would hinder us in a strange land and put us in the most critical situations, we could not imagine at all at the time; otherwise we would have

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