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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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without wind, make fumigations of leaf smoke and sulfur vapors beneath their burrows, and kill those who fall suffocated by the thousands. The horses still suffer more than the oxen from these ill-fated animals, and are sometimes so weakened by the bleeding that the next day they cannot render service. We note that these poor horses are sometimes subjected to such bleeding for many nights, a fact which can be attributed perhaps to the smell of blood or the irresistible drowsiness of animals. In general, bats attach on the front or rear thigh, where they can most easily find the veins, which open with a slight peck, continually beating the attacked place with their wings.
  
 It is very simple to prepare saltpeter extracted from this and other caves in the vicinity of Formigas. Make a leach of soil with water and boil that preparation; It is then mixed with ordinary potash leach, and poured, once the sediment has been decanted and the liquid clarified, in a large wooden bowl, where the saltpeter appears in pure crystals. For new land leachate, the remaining mother leachate is used, and the same operation is recommitted again. The percentage of saltpeter on earth is very uneven, both in the various caves and in the places where it appears; at the deepest, inaccessible points, and when it is the best, it is indeed yellow and somewhat damp. At the points where the water flows, the earth is washed away, containing no more saltpeter. While the export of saltpeter was allowed in Brazil, the inhabitants of Formigas exploited this wealth from their region, and many thousands of arrobas were dispatched to Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, where an arroba cost 4 to 5 $ 000, whereas, where it was not exploited, it was obtained for 2 $ 000. At the time of our stay, most of the shipments were made to the Polvora Factory in Rio de Janeiro.

We left Formigas on July 17, and headed in a northerly direction on the road to Conquista, a village similar to the first and two-day distant trip.

Conquista road, Bahia

The region is bordered to the west by the limestone mountains, in which we had investigated the Lapa Grande, and has a covered plateau, not very spacious. At Riachao spring, with clear, potable water, which launches in Pacui, we spend the night outdoors in the open. We have not forgotten any of our precautions for this first bivouac in the backlands: the mules and horses were assembled, their front legs tied, in a natural enclosure near the entrance where one of the riders lay on a cowhide with vast campfires in the camp, and we gave the keeper the order to alternate with us at night. Experience has shown that these precautions were not useless, since the frugal supper was hardly consumed with

Province of Bahia

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