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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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with others had escaped from the pen; when, after all, they were found, the mule driver we had brought with us from Rio de Janeiro was missing. Tired of the difficulties of travel, he had slipped away, taking with him whatever he found of value. In this painful situation, we had no other choice but to do the indispensable work of the driver ourselves and move on with the remaining workers. After a five league march, we arrived at Jundiai Village, completely wet with rain, all the way through the forest.

Jundiai

The village of Jundiai, a small settlement on a low hill, is, due to its favorable situation, an important place for trade in the backlands. All troops departing from the captaincy of Sao Paulo to Minas Gerais, Goias, Mato Grosso and

Sao Paulo to Minas Gerais

 

Cuiaba are organized here. The inhabitants have large herds of mules, who make these trips a few times a year. The manufacture of leggings, saddles, horseshoes, and all that is necessary for the equipment of the troops, as well as the incessant roaring of caravans, give the place activity and wealth, rightly give it the designation of “dry-port”.

From here, there are paved roads to the provinces mentioned above. The trip to Vila Boa de Goias is made in one month, Cuiaba in two. To Sao Paulo, distant ten leagues, and to Santos, they export from here, especially cassava and flour, corn and sugar; on the other hand, they import salt, iron and European artifacts (dry farm) for inland trade. In the surroundings, there alternate hills with humid valleys, low groves, in fields where several valuable medicinal plants grow. Among others, we have been shown here the poaia (Polygala poaya nob.), whose root is generally used in place of the true ipecacuanha and at almost the same doses. Also a kind of quinine is seen here, from a thick and medium-sized tree, with large leaves that has a lot of bitterness, but little aroma and, which, often, is dispatched to Rio de Janeiro.

Ipecacuanha, a remedy

Thanks to the activity of the chief captain of Jundiai, we found ourselves a new mule driver, who soon improved his charges, and guided us, the following afternoon, two leagues ahead on the road to Minas. The path slowly climbs out of the swampy region, which is covered with thick bushes. Beyond, to the north, a wide field opened, which boasted rich flora of beautiful mountain plants. Two high mountains, running parallel from north to south, with contours somewhat similar to those of our foothills of the Alps, partly covered with woods or bushe, surround the plain. The highest point, where the road passes, is Morro de

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