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BOOK 9
CHAPTER I
State of Fortaleza da Barra do Rio Negro and excursions
in the surrounding areas


The traveler breathes more easily as soon as he is transported from the floodplains of the Amazon to the highest banks of the Rio Negro. On these shores of pure sand, here and there, grassy rocks or cliffs of hardened clay appear, that are never entirely flooded by the full of the river; They are, therefore, free of debris from the woods, and protected from permanent flooding, unlike those that extend along the Amazon. For the same reason, they are not infected by the swarms of mosquitoes, which even here persecuted travelers. The forest that permeated those shores appears from far away dense and regular, and, closely viewed, is all adorned with the widest variety of magnificent flowers, large with beautiful colors.

Rio Negro

The forest runs, simple and monotone, along the shores, which never rise in mountains or in steep ravines; However, the terrain is uneven, alternating, here and there, with the outer banks and numerous, fresh streams, which, coming from inland to the north, float to the river, bringing life and variety to the floodplains covered with forests, while the elevations, transformed sometimes by the hand of man in pastures, offer the joyful aspect of green fields, which the traveller so rarely finds here.

Meadows on Rio Negro

The majestic tranquility of the equatorial climate joins all these charms, to provides fresh mornings, burning middays, pleasant afternoons and on serene evenings, the starry sky shines in its rotations.

Stars of the Southern sky

The most perfect beatitude fills the heart of the man, who, coming out of the gloomy Amazonian forests, can enjoy the warm smoothness of the days, the solemn calm of the nights. This was the first impression made during our stay of a few days in Barra do Rio Negro,

Fortelaza da Barra do Rio Negro

and the more we took our time, the more we were convinced of the concept that this region was created for sweet longing, philosophical contemplations, sacred peace, and profound fervour. These considerations were very naturally the souvenirs of the various privations and dangers faced to reach this target; Moreover, the idea seemed logical that

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