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Relation of the trip of Dr. Spix (1), from Ega, by Solimoes above, to the Presidio of Tabatinga, and return, to Barra do Rio Negro


On December 7, I left Ega. We had left behind the big canoe, and we boarded mounts, to cross the rapids with less suffering. In the meantime, a proper boat had been dispatched to guard the collections, stocked with munitions and food, under the sergeant's direction, with some soldiers of the militia. I traveled on a small boat, equipped with eight Indian rowers, accompanied by a still smaller one, where the soldier hunter, the servant and three Indians were.

The river, which had grown a little before, was emptied again and continued to ebb until my arrival in Sao Paulo, on Christmas eve, when it again began, with impetuosity, to fill itself up. In addition, the rapids, in the occasions of ebb, are also extremely violent, and each tree that falls in the water determines a new current, which must be overcome by the power of rowers. It is almost always sailed along the southern bank of the river, to avoid the impetuous rapids, predominant in the other shore.

The journey, from Barra, was already doomed to difficulties; but these, above all, multiplied from Ega to Fonte Boa, by the constant collapse of the banks, which, in the space of half an hour, invaded the covering of the woods. In addition, there were swarms of flies and mosquitos!

After half an hour of navigation, we left behind us the tip of land, where Nogueira is located, following the Solimoes. Through the basin, which empties into the lake in front of Nogueira and again empties into Caicara, one can not yet sail. One can only pass by on small mounts, at a time when the river is full. We left at 10 a.m., and after we had passed through the two mouths of the basin, we arrived at 7 o'clock at night at Caicara or Alvaraes.

(1) The narrative of the voyage of my late colleague is reported here, partly according to the notes left by him, part two. information collected, that both travelers, after they left Lisbon, delivered to the government.