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such research, as we were already experiencing benign fevers daily, at the risk of much worse. Following the popular advice, which is to leave a place fast, so the less well we feel, we try, without delay, to continue our journey, impatient to reach High Villages, in 40 leagues, the end of our fatiguing land journey, whose rigors were no longer equal to our forces.

The entire course of the Sao Francisco River, from its source on the slopes of the

Valley of the Rio Sao Francisco

Serra da Canastra to its mouth in the ocean, has been known to Brazilians for at least thirty years. Its union with the Rio das Velhas, had already been crossed, at the beginning of the preceding century, at various points, when the Paulistas and Mineiros extended their voyages of the mountains to the west, and for seventy years the river has been sailed from Sao Romao onwards.

Etching 43 Rio das Velhas

The legend that this river was born from a rich golden lagoon (one of the fabulous golden lagoons, or Manoa, named like so many in South America), therefore belongs to an earlier era.

Legend of the Lost City of Z : The Golden Lagoon

Also other news, that the river, in the place called Sumidouro, runs eleven to twelve leagues in an underground channel, has never been mentioned to us in Brazil, and seems to be based on misleading information. Its distant source may spring up at an altitude of 3,500 feet above the plateau extending to the west, forming the vast watershed for the southward flow in Rio Grande and to the

Serra das Vertentes

north in Sao Francisco, which is why, it was rightly named Serra das Vertentes by Mr. von Eschwege. At about the elevation of the Paulo Afonso Waterfall in the mountain pass, we heard the most contradictory news. Some said that the most important fall was only 16 feet in a straight line, and that, moreover, the waters only precipitated in numerous catadupas between high rock walls; others said Paulo Afonso Waterfall is at least 50 feet high; the roar of its fall is heard many hours away, and the mist that rises above it can be seen from distant mountains six leagues distant.

Paulo Afonso Waterfall

Paulo Afonso Waterfall

The foundation of the Captaincy, now the province of Pernambuco, dates back to the beginnings of the colonization of Brazil. Duarte Coelho Pereira, the first grantee, established it in the year 1535 at the mouth of the Ignaracu River; and soon thereafter began the building of Olinda, formerly the captaincy's capital.

Provinces of Bahia, Pernambuco, Piaui, Ceara, Maranhao

The Indians of the tribe of Caioas, who inhabited the coasts of this region, and the Tupinambas, who lived farther inland and north, were partly exploited and partly driven inward, especially by the wars fought by the conqueror, Jorge de Albuquerque Coelho, and thus the colony flourished rapidly.

Caioa chief

It received a lot of help from the mother country, and particularly the happy result of sugarcane cultivation determined the rapid increase of the population. Crops were, however, limited to the vicinity of the coast and along the rivers, and at most fifteen leagues inland. In the interior, in the backlands, which, due to their physical dispositions, are more suitable for cattle breeding, villages were gradually founded, and only later scattered farms. In the year 1595, James

Olinda church

Lancaster, an English privateer from the city of Olinda, made an audacious assault and carried eleven ships with the spoils. His success inspired the invasion

Dutch invasion

of the Dutch (1630), who controlled the capital, as well as the nearby coastal lands and most of the neighboring captaincies of Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba and Ceara, until the peace treaty in 1661. In the meantime, these lands were the scene of devastating war, with alternate successes. However, the very enterprising Principe Mauricio