Remember the Rainforest 1
A voluminous stream pours down from the mountain in rainy weather into the posterior pit that forms the itabirite deposit, bringing with it loose gold particles from the iron ore layers of the mountain top, and lava, likewise with gold, outside the friable itabirite. Part of it is led into a tank, arranged below the farmhouse, and there the noble metal is washed in drums.
In the foundry, the gold here becomes a very light yellow color, probably due to the considerable mixture of manganese, arsenic and antimony, and perhaps also some platinum; At least it assures our host that he has already obtained this metal.
After having heard solemn mass in the beautiful chapel of the house of the brave Sebastianist, in the company of the neighbors gathered there, he gave us as a
Mother of Men Hospice
guide a mulatto, who knew the way to the Hospicio da Mae dos Homens, Mother of Men Hospice, located on the highest part of the mountain, and we cordially wished each other happiness. The path passed over a slope full of many pits, leading to the summit of the hill on the western side. Little by little, the region became more naked and steep; plants of ever stranger forms appeared on the lonely, stony path; dark hills, covered with groves and deep furrows, alternated with cheerful hillside pastures or dazzling white rock fountains that scattered fragrantly between the thicket of ferns, orchids and aroideas, which
Polypodium Corcovadense, fern
Epidendron fragrans, orchid
invited them to rest there. Finally, we reached by a narrow climb, through low scrubland to a high valley, closed in the form of an amphitheater, the pleasant building of the hospice. All nature breathes contentment, and an unspeakable sense of sweet tranquility and well-being grips the traveler's soul. A wide stone stairway leads up to the convent, which, from afar, seems to be heralded, with the crown of palm tops that adorn it, offering safe shelter to the haggard, and the delights of life with asylum and peace. No place on earth can better dislodge the soul from earthly inclinations and cares than this place that inspires solitary pious contemplation. The pleasant impressions that the region awakens in the spirit of the traveler, is delivered with all the more pleasure, that is rare in a country still little inhabited and poor in artistic constructions.