Remember the Rainforest 1
with a few coiled snakes, like coils of anchor lines, so that with continual shouting and noise we dared to go on, and we resolved to pass through such places only in large numbers of people, preceded by the foreman, warning the animals with shouts.
In the sandy plain, behind Agua Doce, we had not found any stones in sight, but in Arroio dos Patos there is a very white, finely grained, unremarkable gneiss,
which all the more interested us, because some Vellosias and other plants were found like we had found in the Diamantino District. We saw fragments and debris of rust clay rock, another indication of the similarity of this orogenic formation to that of the land of Minas. The same grain formation appeared to us the next day, along the deep-water Ribeirao dos Bois, which flows into the Carinhanha River. It is indescribable the beauty of this region, with its fresh woods, its extensive fields, full of clear fountains and alternating groups of
Mauritia flexuosa, the buriti palm
majestic buritis palm trees, which is all the more admirable because it has not been touched by the hand of civilization, except for a few settlers almost exclusively engaged in cattle ranching here.
The bushes are home to numerous deer and tapirs, and the latter are so light, that at daybreak we saw them grazing very close to our camp. When we chased them on horseback through the thickets, we were struck by a strange spectacle: a girl of athletic form, armed with a saber and a rifle, was coming to meet us, too, apparently. This dark Amazon was the owner of La Farm, located there (1) in the vicinity, and to which we were headed, guided by her pupil, who accompanied us from Salgado; she had wielded weapons to get fresh meat for her sick older husband. The fence of the farm, garnished with countless skulls of jaguars and guinea fowl, seemed to confirm the abilities of its glorious hunters.
After a day of rest in the solitude there, whose idyllic surroundings agree with the simplicity of its residents' customs, we continued our march, always towards W.N.W., and reached the Carinhanha River. This beautiful river has clear, green
waters on a bed of white sand, overshadowed by pleasant woods or swaying palm trees. A bad raft we found, made of logs of wild buritis, was in a few hours expanded and well fitted to lead us with the cargo safe, to the northern bank, where we landed on a vast sandy plain, which
(I) In the original, Yha. It is probably the Tupic word vua or iva (from iba), which means "fruit". (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist. And Geogr. Bras.).