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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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CHAPTER II

Stay in Juazeiro and travel from there to part of Pernambuco Province, heading to Oeiras, capital of Piaui.

The Arraial de Juazeiro, a small village of about 50 houses and some 200 inhabitants, owes its origin to the mission that once existed in the neighborhood; Its current importance, however, is due to the frequency of traffic on the Piaui road, which crosses the river there.

Juazeiro village on Rio Sao Francisco

The Sao Francisco River separates the captaincies of Bahia and Pernambuco, and Registo, located on the northern bank of the river, is part of Pernambuco.

Provinces of Bahia, Permabuco, Ceara, Piaui, Maranhao

The head of this post, Mr. Manuel Luis Ferreira, had already ordered a house prepared for us, and, thanks to his care and the orders of the Major Captain, Mr. Manuel Luis da Costa, who lived in Cento-Ce, 20 leagues upstream. Our delay in this village had become more pleasant than we might have expected, given the disease of our freighter mules. Already the region, which we were in, exerted a

Rio San Francisco today

stimulating influence on our spirits, for the majestic San Francisco pours here not only all the blessings of a great river, but also reminds the German traveler of the Reno Patrio, in the area where he lives, in tight curves, sprawling from Bonn onward, through fertile plains. The river, during our stay, had little water, due to the long preceding drought in the southern regions, and this year had not overflowed at all.

Usually, the rivers fill in late January, and the waters grow higher for at least two months. It then fades much faster than it fills, and leaves the steep ravines that fringed the flood in a state of the most exuberant fertility, so that in a very short space of time they are covered with grass and other plants.

Rio Japura in time of ebb

These high flood margins, which the countrymen call ebb, rise to 20 feet in height; They move very far from the river, here and there, where, forming in time of flood, innumerable islands and peninsulas, sometimes giving the river, the width of one or even of two leagues. In the dry state, as we found it in Juazeiro, it was perhaps only 2,000 feet wide. The river water seemed to us less pure in taste than in Salgado, having a dirtier and greener color than

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