Remember the Rainforest 1
Notwithstanding this, all vessels traveling upstream or downstream of the river are retained in Santarem,
Landing at Santarem
in order to render an account to the commander, who examines passengers and cargo, a measure which they do not want avoid, looking forward to a few days rest in the village, after a long and painful journey. Here replenishment of food for the journey ahead is then carried out at a cheap price for very fresh supplies.
The high regions of the Tapajos provide very good farinha as well as dried fish, always brought to the market here in small quantities. Moreover, cattle can be purchased, whose herds graze in fields that begin a few leagues south of the village, among the woods, and which continue to extend up, upstream, ever wider.
The cattle breeding is almost impossible to the west of Santarem, in that part of the Amazon Valley, which is exclusively covered with virgin forest, due to lack of pasture and due to the attacks of beasts; so it was that the breeders took care
of the oxen there, always in their enclosures, feeding them with corn and planted grass, a dedicated system that at present seems incompatible with the settler's mood and temperament. We did not, therefore, depart from this place without a supply of fresh salted meat.
The cattle are brought here from Monte Alegre and Outeiro. Although of a strong species, it does not multiply very quickly, due to the lack of good folders and the pursuit of bats, which are also here one of the biggest scourges in the country. The bat species who live in flocks do not hang from the roofs of the houses, but cling to the high bank, and also on the banks of the river, where we have seen them gathered together, hanging in long bundles, one foot in length.
Santarem enjoys a pleasant and healthy climate. The horizon seems to be not as often cloudy as in Belem do Para, and the heat of the day is refreshed by thunderstorms, which form east and northeast, and which, in addition to many electric discharges, are in generally flanked by strong winds blowing from those sides. During the months of drought, especially in the months of July to September, there is an east wind, almost every afternoon, along the river.
The Tapajos’ water is healthy; perhaps it is refreshed by some springs, which flow from the high clayey cliffs. No endemic diseases are known here; only smallpox and measles do from time to time great devastation among the population, particularly the indigenous population.
(l) are as follows: Thyroptera tricolor (Spix) and Proboscidea rivalis (Spix). Big ones, vampires do not abound around here.