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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Almost all manufacturers work here; These include, among others, saddlery, metalworker and hoof trimmers; There is also a factory of gunpowder, one of felt hats and another of clay statues. Of all the cities in Brazil, none is as lively as Vila Rica. From here roads depart to Sao Paulo, passing by Sao Joao d'El-Rei; by Minas Novas, to Bahia; by Sao Romao, Tijuco, Malhada, to Paracatu, Goias and Mato Grosso; but none are so busy, with the proud troops, as the road that, in a course of seventy leagues, leads to the distant seat of the government, to Rio de Janeiro.

Routes from Minas Gerais

Almost every week, or every month of the year, large caravans follow the roads, loaded with the products of the region: cotton, leather, marmalade, cheese, gems, gold bars, etc., to the capital, and return with salt, wine, primer books, rugs, hams, mirrors, tools, new slaves for gold mining, etc. The trade with the distant sertao is not so extensive, in fact, as that of Sao Paulo and Bahia, which goes to Goias and Mato Grosso; however, it expands beyond the Sao Francisco River, almost throughout the captaincy, and supplies not only the European goods purchased in Rio de Janeiro, but also with the products of the surroundings, such as those made here: - tools, felt hats, clay pots, cheese, corn, black beans, marmalade, pork and bacon; bacon is used instead of butter and lard, and is a great trade article of the province.

Mule train in Minas Gerais

The climate of this captaincy, due to its high situation, is generally quite fresh and favorable to the cultivation of European fruits. The thermometer during our stay in Vila Rica varied greatly; in the morning before sunrise it read 12 ° R .; at noon, 23 °; in the afternoon 16 °; at midnight 14 °. The barometer rose and fell between 23 ° and 25.50 °; the hygrometer read 55 ° to 70 °. The temperature was very pleasant, but steadily falling as sudden thunderstorms came. During the cold months of June and July, the crops suffer damage due to frosts; Thus, in the year of our stay, a considerable part of the harvest of bananas, sugar cane and coffee was lost with the frost. The winds blow here from different directions, and never bring great heat, but rather thick fogs, in which the summits of the surrounding mountains are enveloped. Because of this, year-round heat is weaker, and health is better than in other provinces. The characteristic feature of the diseases is mostly catarrhal and rheumatic; throat and lung inflammation, violent colitis and acute rheumatism are the most common;

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