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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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The region is generally very dry, and the rains are often accompanied by thunderstorms.

In the summer months of Europe, in the high places, the crops are sensitive to the lower temperature, which harms the plantations of bananas, sugar cane and cotton. In the vast majority of this territory, inhabited by the colonists, there are no high groves, which are seen in the maritime provinces, but mostly low dry forests, scrublands and grassy meadows; Under these conditions, cattle farming is attended to more than agriculture. Of oxen, horses, and pigs the province has plenty for its use. Rearing sheep, though the terrain is tight, is done on a very small scale. Brown sugar, rum, and tobacco are obtained in some more populated districts, especially those in the interior, as is sufficient for needs; however, in the border districts, it is mainly imported from the Sao Francisco River region. Cotton and coarse fabric thereof, ox and deer leathers are weak export items. What remains, therefore, for the guarantee of foreign articles, notably European goods, is only the production of gold, which, as well as giving the first opportunity for the settlement of the province, is now also the most important industry of the Goians; With the convenient exploitation of gold mines, the brightest results will still always be obtained, although there is a general complaint about the abandonment of mineral wealth and the gradual impoverishment of the province.

During our stay, Contagem de Santa Maria had an unusual heat. In the middle of the day we had 29 ° to 30 ° R.; in the morning at dawn, and at sunset, 18 ° R.; in addition, the atmosphere in the narrow, deep valley was completely smoky from the burnings that ravaged the pastures and scrub of the nearby slopes; and at night a hot and violent wind blew from the south, to the point of shaking the roof of our house and not letting us sleep. We felt distressed and uncomfortable, and the resolution we have made, to which so often in these circumstances we owe salvation, to change locations. This was also confirmed by a traveler from Minas Gerais, staying in the same house and just recovering from a violent typhoid fever. We therefore shortened our travel plans at least to Arraial das Flores, on the Parana River, in Vao, by visiting the Sao Roque Farm, two leagues to the northwest, where the commander of this district, Mr. Frota, lived.

Between two secluded limestone mountains of Serra do Meio, the road led us through uneven terrain, where thick brush and trays alternated with small palm groves. The vegetation was very similar to that of the Sao Francisco River; but

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