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This interruption of navigation is, however, so detrimental to trade, that until now it is only done from Penedo to Caninde (bottom navigation), and completely independent of what is done in the upper region (navigation above). Therefore, the regions above the falls are almost exclusively supplied by land via the Vila da Cachoeira road.

Cachoeira on Rio Sao Francisco

Moreover, given the information of various eyewitnesses, those navigational obstacles can be removed in part, and there is hope that higher culture and livelier traffic will give Brazil the full enjoyment of the Sao Francisco river. (Note I).

Juazeiro on Rio Sao Francisco

The nearest surroundings of Juazeiro are flat, with no variety of features, and one misses the joyful and rich vegetation, which is so enchanting in the region of Salgado. The soil, mostly muddy, red earth, mixed with a lot of marl and granite


or sand granulation, is covered with grasses, herbs of various species and profusely with Mari Mari (Geoffroya spinosa, L.) and mangue branco dos sertanejos (Hermesia castanaefolia, Humb.), field species.

Geoffroya spinosa

Hermesia castanaefolia

Small plantings, far from the village, are scattered by the river, separated from each other by stakes or thorn hedges, that are guarded by large clans that make the botanist's investigation dangerous. In the middle of the river rises an islet, Fogo Island, on which a pyramidal granite rock emerges.

Fogo Island, Rio Sao Francisco today

Reeds as tall as a man, with long spikelike spears (Puya saxatilis, Mar.),

Dyckia or Puya

resembling the New Roland arrow chant (Xanthorrhoea hostilis, Bill.), give the landscape a unique feature. In this island, as in other places, the river presents a very diverse formation, consisting of rolled stones, which carries with it, earthy limonite, which is the alloy of this breach.


Granite is the predominant formation in the circumference of more than one league, and in its near vicinity there are no vestiges of salt formation, which constitutes the richness of the region.


To find salt, we took a six-league excursion to the Salitre River, a small tributary of Sao Francisco, where on several farms, four leagues away from that river, kitchen salt is extracted. The road follows the direction W. S. W., now closer, now farther from the Sao Francisco River, through troughs and dense swamp vegetation. When we left the granite formation, we found a whitish yellow dolomite outcropping in large low-lying deposits of soil.


We thought at first that the salt of the kitchen was thus formed from this rock; however, as we approached the Salitre River, we found an entirely different form - reminding us in many ways of that of the early times - near Vila Velha and the