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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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At the bottom of the valley we crossed the small lngai River, which, like the Capivari gathered with it, belongs to the tributaries of the Rio Grande.

The deserted region was animated by countless troops, who delivered from the interior of Minas Gerais to Rio de Janeiro, and had set up camp in the valley. This trade comes mainly from the large-scale Pitangu region to the capital. We had just reached a ranch with those strangers, and had our shipment arranged around us when we were invited by the resident of the single cabin in the valley to share his home. The compelling reason he gave, that the roof of a Portuguese soldier would be preferable to camping in the open sky, even in paradise, determined us, no doubt, to accept the invitation. The old man, who forty years earlier had served in the army and had accompanied many skirmishes against the Caiapos in Goias and the Puris in Minas, was an example of loyalty, and was happy to be able to exercise policing in the lonely zone, for the love of the king and fatherland. Many of the troopers camped here suffered from chronic diarrhea with rheumatism, against which they were taking Guarana in vain. This last remedy consists of a paste made from plant fruits not yet described (1); It is the usual traveler's remedy against such breakdowns, dysentery, etc. for those traveling in Goias and Mato Grosso, and of which, in the course of our travel narration, we will have occasion to speak.

Guarana

The road to Sao Joao d'El-Rei goes in the direction N. E. obliquely over Capivari mountain, whose northwest slope is much less steep than that of the southeast. On the northwest slope, next to a chapel, appears a granite with yellowish feldspar, black mica and white quartz, instead of the elastic grain that is always heavily disaggregated. In a deep gorge of the valley, one reaches, later, higher, the Rio Grande, that rises not far away, to the southeast, on the mountain of Juruoca (2). The torrent, which is no more than five toezas (10 m) wide here, passes through a high bed of rock, surrounded all around by the most beautiful fields and hills, and forms here a very important waterfall, whose huge boom resonates far away in the valley. Just above the fall is a wooden bridge that threatens to ruin with the tumultuous waters. In this so-called Ponte Nova, through which one has to pass on the way from Sao Paulo to the main cities of Minas and Goias, a Registry was raised around which there was a settlement.

(1) Paulinia sorbilis (Mart.) "Guarana".
(2) Today Aiuruoca, of ajuru, parrot, and hollow.,." house ". (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist., and Geogr.).

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