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is improved when they care for the animal, cure the sick mules and treat the horseshoes. Under the leader’s orders are the mule drivers, each of whom takes care of a lot of seven mules. They walk, carry, feed and drink the animals, take them to the pasture and cook the food. The arrieiro, usually a freed mulatto, also deals with the sale and purchase of the goods in the city, and acts as the commissioner of the troop owner. The drivers are mostly black, who are soon employed in these tasks and prefer this wandering genre of life to gold washing and plantation work. The most important article of commerce that mules bring here is raw cotton; but, in addition, also a considerable amount of very coarse cotton fabric, for clothes of the black slaves and for sales to Rio Grande do Sul and Buenos Aires, coming mainly from the areas of Sabara and Sao Joao d'El-Rei; Also cheeses, bacon and marmalade bricks are transported on these roads by the mules of Minas Gerais.

Sao Joao d'El-Rei

Likewise all sorts of gems come from within Minas and, as we have been assured, are smuggled with gold powder and glittering gemstones, although numerous police officers exercise severe scrutiny in their inspections. All the goods, which are sent from Rio to Minas, Goias and Mato Grosso, also take the road through Porto da Estrela, and there continues to be a great commercial

Porto da Estrela

movement here; However, although this is surprising, there is no single decent home, and even no safe shelter for the goods. Each one has to settle for a poor awning, which also houses the loads.

When the traveler himself, as usual, does not take food with him, he is offered food for sale; There is only one meal provided. The meal consists, in general, of beans cooked with bacon and roasted dry meat; For dessert, cheese and bananas are for sale. An oxhide serves as a bed, or there are slats stretched over sticks stuck in the earth and covered with a mat, or net, and, instead of bed covers, the traveler's own clothes must serve.

After our lovely guide took care of the necessary horses and mules for our overland trip, we departed from the bustling village and took the Minas road leading from here to the north. Soon we found ourselves in an entirely new environment. We rode through a low country on a broad, yet unpaved road, lined with the most diverse shrubs, all flowering; on our left we had hills covered with dense virgin forest and in front of us a group of rocks with vegetation only in the slope, connected with those

Road from Porto da Estrella to Minas Gerais