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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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losers dancing the lundu and the almost immoral batuque (Note III).

Dancing the Lundu

On January 6, 1819, we departed from the poor but picturesque village, following the walk along the maritime coast in a northerly direction.

Itahype River

We canoed across the mouth of the Itahype River and walked along the endless coast. The ocean broke its waves in the dunes with rhythmic roaring, and wet our footprints from time to time. We forded some deep streams that ran into the

Testudo Midas

sea, and in one we found a large sea turtle (Testudo Midas, L.), probably busy choosing where to spawn; she escaped our pursuit, crawling fast and diving, which she probably would not have done if she were ready to lay eggs, for it is known that in that posture they are undisturbed. It seems that their eggs are not as tasty as those of the great river turtle, which was so useful to us later on our trip across the Amazon region.

Little by little it was getting dark; There was a fresh, spicy breeze, comforting the travelers after the heat of the walk, and the flames of the burning woods in the distance burned the sky in the west with their glare. Thus we walked in the delicious freshness of the night, our soul torn between the unspeakable sensations of the soft tropical night and the fond memories of our country, whose rights gave us the ocean with the rhythmic roar of its waves. Blessed are those who, traveling with the memory of such moments, vibrate with equal thrills of the soul! At two o'clock in the morning, we reached the small Memoam Farm, where in vain we asked for a bed.
   

Diplothemium maritima

Diplothemium maritima, dwarf coco palm

Among palm groves called beach dwarf coconut palm (Diplothemium maritimum), and leaning against a vegetation-covered hill, are low straw huts, whose harmless inhabitants, descendants of Indians and whites, live from fishing. When, in the cool of the morning, we still walked a league and a half, we found in Ponta do Ramos another colony, also of tame Indians.

These indigenous people are experts in the manufacture of excellent fishing nets, woven from the fibers of the tucum palm tree and one pineapple, and are widely appreciated throughout the country. One Indian, probably the healer of this region, took pity on the poor health of our friend, Mr. Schliiter, and made him a drink with the juice of a little green lemon, salt and water. The effect of this remedy was in any case happy, because it cut off the onset of incipient fever. A league north of Ponta do Ramos stretches a hill about 600 feet high, by the sea, on which the waves break with a crash; the inhabitants call it Serra Grande.

Serra Grande

It was not without effort that we climbed the steep granite slope, overshadowed by a dense grove full of flowers. Arrived on the plain, we continued our

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