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Volume 3 Chapter 2
Trip from Barra do Rio Negro, on the Solimoes, to the Vila de Ega

Travelers coming from the lower (Para) province of Amazonas. and sailing upstream in the Solimoes, find the Barra do Rio Negro a desirable resting point, and, therefore, are only rarely deviated from this place. It is possible, however, to leave the Amazon above the mouth of the Madeira, and to take the Uaquiri, a basin the Amazon leaves, on the southern side, above its confluence with the Rio Negro, and in two days of travel it reunites with the main river. Whoever, on the contrary, leaving Barra do Rio Negro, wants to take the Solimoes, he can, especially in the time of the flood, shorten the trip, heading south, through the Guariba basin, which makes the extreme point of land an island between the two rivers. During the dry season of the year, water is sometimes lacking in some places of this hole. In addition, all the triangular terrain, which is west of the confluence of the rivers, is low and cut, here and there, by shallow pools, now flooded by the Rio Negro, now by the Solimoes.

Amazon Basin

We continued the journey described in this delta, and we found ourselves, after three days of sailing, in front of the mouth of Guariba (Guariboca, Uariau), on the northern side of Solimoes. The aspect of the country, here, as in the Solimoes in general, is nothing different from what we see in the Amazon, where we sail past the same banks and rapids;

on solid ground, the same woods of igapo, dirty and entangled; the same low vegetation in the numerous scattered islands.


Rio Negro meets Solimoes


The stream now, on the coast, was less impetuous than at the time of the flood, so that we reached the Manacaru fishing grounds without difficulty. Here the government maintains a detachment of soldiers, to supply Vila da Barra and the border posts, Marabitanas and Tabatinga with the abundance of fish, particularly pirarucus.


Lake Manacapuru

A relatively large number of Indians were there to assist the garrison with mandatory farming services for one to two months. Most of the fishing is done in the lake with black water, situated more inland, found salty and dry at the time. They say that shipments to Barra, every 15 days, amount to 800 arrobas a year.