Remember the Rainforest 1
In places where mangrove forests are not cut for firewood needs, such as in Maranhao, it is customary, especially at the beginning of the rains, as soon as the generating sap runs between the wood and the bark, to peel the bark and enjoy the sap. Wherever these shrubs and trees grow, the whole region becomes a swamp or pond, and only serves as the abode of the aforementioned species of guaiamus.
Guaiamus, blue crab
Lodging on the tops of these banks, we can see, in passing, the most beautiful storks (1), among macaricos of different colors (2) lurking fish and in the interior of the underbrush several species of woodcock from the river (3), running or swimming. It is a pity that nothing can be obtained from these birds, since they get in the middle of the thicket, and we cannot penetrate the thickness of the savannah, nor venture into the ground, because soon the low tide discovers it creates a deep marsh.
In the course of Inhumirim we continued for a mile inland, more or less, until we
Porto da Estrella
reached the village of Porto da Estrela, whose low houses, badly built, form an irregular street, at the confluence of the river small Saracuruma with the Inhumirim. Porto da Estrela is the general port between Rio de Janeiro and the province of Minas Gerais. Long rows of mules, loaded with boxes and luggage, can be seen coming from or going inland.
The European, accustomed to the transport of large loads in wagons that he, not without reason, compares to land ships, is amazed at the sight of so much cargo divided into small pieces, delivered to the discretion of freight animals or to an inept mule driver, unloaded daily and carried several times in the open air or on the ranches, unguarded by rain and weather, and thus transported hundreds of miles.
Not without displeasure, we thought of the confusion of loading and unloading for hours, thinking that in the future our instruments, books and collections would have to be entrusted, not to personal care, but to blind destiny. However, the troops are so well organized, especially on the best roads from Sao Paulo and Minas to the capital, that there is relatively little to fear here. Each troop, consisting of twenty to fifty mules, is led by a horse rider. This man gives the order of departure, rest or overnight of the troop, takes care to balance the load, the good condition
1) Ardea alba, A. candidissima, A. Egretta.