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phosphorescence, so I draw the attention of future travelers to the subject.

Serra Itiuba

From the Olhos d'Agua Farm, we climbed the Serra de Itiuba, on whose slopes we reached an altitude of 1,200 feet. The rock here consists of a reddish plutonic


granite, which sometimes, because it contains a lot of black or green amphibole,


transitions to syenite, and also has tiny filaments of the same amphibole. The breakdown has large leafy pieces, and often its path passes into cliffs, where such isolated blocks, heaped in disorder, threaten to collapse. The property of this rock, which is strongly clinking when struck, is regarded by the locals as an indication of its richness in metal, and the sound given by certain pieces is indeed so clear and penetrating that it has caused us to be astonished; In this we recognize as the reason for the phenomenon only the close union of the component parts, a fact which always gives rise to amphibole, and therefore its characteristic density.


The mountain is covered with woods to the summit, and the higher the trees increase in force and height, more than below, so that here we could already observe what, during the journey to the north, we had always confirmed: that forests preferably occupy the heights, unlike cerrados and pastures, which prefer the bottom of the valleys; whereas, within the southern provinces, which we traveled through, field vegetation predominates in the relatively higher hills, but forests in the plains.

From the summit of Serra de Itiuba, an extensive panorama to the east can be seen. Only a few mountains, the highest of which is the Serra de Aracuanha, a watershed between the Itapicuru and Jacuipe Rivers, limit the view over a long, monotonous grove of catinga, whose end is lost in the horizon. When we descended the western back of the mountain, we met a herd of 300 cattle,

Cattle drive in Bahia today

coming from Piaui, having already made a walk of 100 leagues, which were destined for Bahia. The cowboys complained that they had not found pure water since the crossing of the Sao Francisco River, and the news we gave them of the conditions of the territory caused them despair. They decided to deviate from the

Itapicuru River

path we had taken, and travel along the banks of the Itapicuru River or the Arraial de Serrinha, because the so-called cattle roads passing in these two directions, on which we traveled, arrived several distances from Cachoeira.


Although already suffering greatly from the lack of water, most of the cattle in this herd were healthy and strong, having still found fruits of juazeiro and umbuzeiro, and in many places found salt licks. In addition, cattle on the way particularly take advantage of the abundance of cacti in these regions. These leafless singular plants, endowed with the special ability

Ziziphus Joazeiro, the juazeiro fruit

Spondias tuberosa, the umbuzeiro fruit

Cactus speciosissi