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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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for our troops, a closed corral for the mules and a spacious ranch where we hung our hammocks.

In fact, we were still on the mountain, but the rounded ridges were already scattered, and there were beautiful farms of corn, cassava, and cane on great plains that gave the traveler a pleasant impression rather than the dark virgin forests whose uniform quiet, unintentionally, anguishes and oppresses the traveler. So we breathed more freely, when the next day, always on our way towards S. S. W., finally we were in the last heights of this mountain range, belonging to the Serra do Mar, and a deep joyous valley flashed before our eyes. At a distance of about two leagues, this valley is formed in the western direction by a part of the Serra da Mantiqueira, which here generally goes from S.W. to N.E. It looks like a long uninterrupted mountain without steep slopes nor canyons, however, with pleasant, gold-rimmed contours, with many hills of soft licks, partly covered with thick woods, partly pastures. The valley itself, into which we finally entered, after having passed the houses of Paiol and the Iripariba, a river that runs into Paraiba, and stretches between the last slopes of Serra do Mar and the aforementioned Mantiqueira to the south. Paraiba runs on it, after leaving the narrow valleys of the first mountain range, and takes Jacarei in the direction just opposite the previous one.

Etching #7 Broad fields, Lorena near Serra Mantequeira

At noon we took a shortcut to Minas, which is why it is called Mineiro, and finally reach Lorena's swamp, formerly called Guaipacare, a poor, unimportant place, despite the fertile surroundings and traffic between Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, consisting of about forty houses. The road from Sao Paulo to Minas passes here at two points: Porto da Cachoeira and Porto do Meira, on the Paraiba, which runs half a quarter of an hour west of the village. Sao Paulo's main trade for Minas consists of mules, horses, salt, dried meat, iron utensils and all other manufacturing products, which are usually dispatched from the coast inland. However, currently, the suppliers of the markets of Rio and Bahia are almost only from Minas; The importation from Santos is insignificant, even less so from Angra dos Reis and Parati, in the province of Rio de Janeiro, which are closer to the entrance to Minas. Minas Gerais mainly dispatches coarse cotton to the captaincy of Sao Paulo.

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As we proceeded through the fertile valley south of Lorena, which the setting sun illuminated with a fairy glow, we noticed a surprising change in vegetation. The wildness disappeared, and little by little, it was presenting itself freer, softer, more open, in the nature of the fields,

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