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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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CHAPTER II
Travel from Sao Paulo to Ipanema Iron Factory

The rainy season became more regular during our stay in Sao Paulo. It was raining all night, almost incessantly, and during the day the sky was overcast, after noon, with heavy clouds, which were suddenly discharging, making the sky soon a beautiful blue; the air, therefore, was rarely very stuffy; even at night the temperature dropped so low that we had to get thicker blankets. For our desire to investigate the wonders of the natural history of the country, it was at present an unfavorable time, attempting to lengthen our walks beyond the outskirts of the city, we had to return home, soaked. The plant world began to slowly awaken with renewed vigor; the animals, however, appeared even fewer. We decided to shorten our stay in the city, boring for naturalists, and head for the Sao Joao de Ipanema Iron Factory, twenty leagues apart, whose beautiful surroundings and considerable treasure in plants and animals had been seductively described by our own director, Mr. Lieutenant Colonel Varnhagen (1), in Rio de Janeiro. The government gave us letters of recommendation to the authorities we would have to deal with, and our solicitor Patricio Muller got us a Paulista mule driver, reputed to be a good troop guide. Thus equipped, after having sent back to Sao Paulo the mules who were in the pasture, where they had been kept during our stay here, we departed on January 9, 1818, from this city, which, despite the frankness and hospitality of its inhabitants, had already been very expensive in time wasted.

Ipanema iron foundry

The road to Ipanema follows S. S. W. through a partly cultivated mountainous terrain. On the right, we had the Jaragua Hill, owned by General Franca e Horta who, in Rio, had invited us to spend a few days in order to investigate the formation.

Jaragua hill

(I) Father of Francisco Adolfo da Varnhagen, Viscount of Porto Seguro (See R. S. Fleury's biography - Improvement Issues).

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