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From then on, we climbed these mountains, on whose slopes we went to many leagues beyond. Here one could have in the extensive panorama an exact notion of the formation of the main mountain. On the left we had Capivari Mountain, on the right the Serra de Ingai, both running parallel to the Serra Branca from SSW and SW to NNE and NE, and all extend almost at right angles, like branches of the Sierra da Mantiqueira, the main trunk of the mountain system in Minas.

Sao Paulo to Vila Rica, Minas Gerais

These mountain ranges, largely covered to the top with low vegetation, have flat, long, swaths which branch out into the valleys and join the chains together. Tremendous abysses or gigantic peaks, arranged in threatening escarpments, are not seen here; on the contrary, the view here is tranquilized by the pleasant aspect of the not-so-deep valleys, of portfolios of hills one after the other, on whose gentle slopes run clear streams here and there. There is no impression of the towering, jagged, high European Alps; However, it is also not an inferior aspect that the traveler finds here: on the contrary, the characteristic of these landscapes is of grandeur, together with simplicity and softness; they are among the most charming we enjoyed in the tropics.

Mountainous region near Cocaes, Minsa Gerais

As the great summits of the mountains, which are shaped like sarcophagi, rise to almost the same altitude (between three and four thousand feet), and the valleys formed in the depression are not very deep, if one could call them deep at all. This part of the corrugated plateau mountain, as the Serra da Mantiqueira on the western side, is gradually lost. The Serra das Letras, which, thanks to its admirable dendrolitic figures within the abundant, eroded watery gneiss, flexible white (the so-called "itacolumito"), which attracted visitors, is situated only a few leagues away from here and belongs entirely to the same formation. Here and there, for example, next to the ranch called Capivari, at the top of the mountain of the same name, we find deposited on this quartzite mica schist a strongly efflorescent clay shale, red or greenish, containing round rocks; indeed, the course of this clay shale is more southerly (that is, southwest and southwest) than that of the mica schist. The quartzite shale or elastic gneiss is white or yellowish, of large granulation, and appears to be deposited either on granite or on granite gneiss in which round stones appear.

Vellosia aloaefolia

Imposing stems of blue Velosias and variegated Barbaceneas, representing the Liliacea family, adorn the stony peaks above all. From the family of the Gentians, we see many species of Lisiantas, which, in equal spread, resemble certain families that spread across many continents.