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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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enjoy the feelings that make the traveler's soul feel rejuvenated. The kind, truly patriarchal welcome they gave us on top of the lonely mountain, on a secluded farm, the Corrego dos Pinheiros Farm, was in keeping with our spiritual disposition. It seemed a group of the neighbors was welcome here, and each one, whom the owner of the farm had given permission to unload, stayed unceremoniously on the farm, only asking for the payment of corn for their mules. This hospitable custom and equal kindness are found in much of Minas.

As soon as we had entered the house, a thunderstorm of extreme violence broke out, and we were doubly congratulated that we had found protection under such a hospitable roof. It was a sudden storm, as in this temperate zone only rarely happens. A quarter of an hour later, all the onslaught of the rain had ceased, and the ruts where the rainwater rushed down the valley in wild streams were now, after a few minutes, sun-dried. The innumerable children of the house strove, however, to entertain us with simple national songs accompanied by the sound of the guitar. The most celebrated poet of Minas is Gonzaga, who spoke about Sao Joao d'El-Rei, later, when the French revolution broke out, enlisted himself into a seditious movement (1), and was banished to Angola, where he died. Besides Marilia de Dirceu, many songs, already printed, by this poet are in the mouth of the people, - songs that, like that one, are inspired by the sweet muse of the unfortunate. When Brazil has independent literature, Gonzaga will have the glory of having rehearsed the first anacreontic arpeggios of the lyre, on the idyllic shores of Rio Grande and the romantic Jequitinhonha.

In Corrego dos Pinheiros, which resembles a summit of the Tyrolean Alps, begins the new mountain formation. The granite and gneiss formation from here is now followed by the formation of mica, or rather elastic gravel, whose thin layers run from N. to S., and has an inclination of 60 ° to 70 °. Below, deep in the valley, appeared for the first time identical quartz, bluish, with talc grains.

When, the next day, we retraced our trip, we were picked again, not far from the Chapel of Santo Antonio, by a squall; we retreated to the Piratininga Farm, a distance of half a league from the Pinheiros stream. It is situated on the Serra Branca, a high mountain of itacolumite, whose bold contours had formed the back of our landscape for some days.

(I) The "Inconfidencia Mineira", the struggle for freedom of Tiradentes, from the perspective of the European, almost contemporary. (Rev. note, Ed. Melh.)

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