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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Germans, especially from Frankfort, under the direction of Mr. Freyreiss, unhappily so early there, this gave occasion to Mr. Weyll to transmigrate there; As for Mr. Schmid, he had already left his farm and returned to Europe. The mountainous and wooded region of Almada had previously been inhabited by the Guerens, a tribe of the Botocudos,

which, although already in diminishing numbers, might want to occupy this point instead of the Rio das Contas forests. Also some remaining Tupiniquins were converted there by the Jesuits; Unfortunately, this colony had long since been in decay and completely disappeared when, in 1815, a road opened from Ilheus to the Rio Pardo, and the rest of the population was moved to the newly built village of Sao Pedro from Alcantara.

His Highness Prince Maximilian of Neuwied, who, two years earlier, had visited the two solitary farmers on Almada Farm, enchanted by their lovely character and their deep love for natural history, was also an eyewitness to their existence remaining virtual prisoners there; after that the old Indian Manuel died, and only a few meek Indians, probably from the Tupiniquin tribe, who could no longer speak their parents' language, stayed to hunt game for the new settlers.

Lake Almada today

Guided by them, we made an excursion with Mr. Weyll to the so-called Almada Lagoon, a small and half-distant lake northeast of Almada, which is linked to the Itaipe River by a tributary of the same. It was on Christmas Day 1818 that, with our souls in the most cheerful mood, we headed downstream to that beautiful lagoon.

Etching 18 On the way to Alamada Lake

Instead of the thrilling ringing of the bells and festive chants that resonate on that day (winter) in Christian Europe, we heard ourselves paddling among the fragrant garlands of flowers and grotesque surrounds, the sounds of the woodcocks, and the bearded roars, which echoed far away in the quiet of the woods. Homeland exerts an ancient right on absent children, on days like this that are sanctified by memories, so that comparing the present with the past is then pleasant occupation for travelers. Through the intricate paths of the aninga

Plotus aninga

we reached the mirror of the water of the tranquil lagoon, set among mountains covered with dark forests, and stopped in a clearing where a sweeping spring rushed over wide terraces, pouring out pleasant freshness. In front of it was another cascade, stretched out in the water, from a hundred-foot-high granite wall.

All the mountains surrounding the Almada Lagoon are granite, and this stone predominates especially in the mountains of the coast of Ilheus. The bank is exposed here and there, in great cliffs, that, through the deep cavities

Granite cliffs of Ilheus, Bahia

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