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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Solimoes is fresher, and the illnesses are less malignant there. On the other hand, the Rio Negro climate, from Airao onwards, is much warmer, and the fevers there are so virulent that they kill in the space of three to four days, so much so that from a few years it spread from there to almost everywhere. In Carvoeiro, Moura, Barcelos, a great number of people have died and still die of pernicious fever.

In fact, Solimoes' extraordinary fertility also means that, despite all the gnats and other pests, their populations are much denser than those of the Rio Negro. On the dry and stony margins of the latter, only cassava,

coffee,

Coffea arabica

and indigo grow ;

and from Santa Isabel to the top, the pixurim beans

and palms of the piacabeira appear abundantly.

These articles thrive here excellently, in a climate for which they have been created, but to this day they have hardly been cultivated and used.

Also corn, beans, potatoes, watermelons,

Anana, the pineaple

Wild pineapple, the anana

ananas, thrive well here, and the chestnuts of Maranhao are in abundance;

Pachira aquatica, the Maranhao chestnut

on the other hand, only the sarsaparilla appears more inwardly, that is, in the Padauiri River; and to the sides of Japura, some cacao and some vanilla,

Vanilla flower

which are harvested in August, as well as turtle butter, on the Rio Branco.

Making Turtle butter

How many other products does Solimoes offer on its side! Apart from the pixurim and piacaba, there are also all the others, besides cocoa, salsaparilla and turtle butter in quantity, as well as the manatee

and pirarucu,

which are exported salted to Para, along the Solimoes and Rio Negro, constitute, with flour, the main food of the population. Both rivers are most scattered to the northern side, and the Negro also has a greater number of canals and lakes here; in the southern banks of these two rivers is where the majority of the towns are found.

Rio Negro, Solimoes and Amazon

Above all, as in Rio Negro, Airao, Moura, Carvoeiro, Poiares, Barcelos, all along its southern bank, while in the northern part of this stretch, only a few sites are found, including Taruma, two leagues distant from Barra, which stands out for its beautiful appearance. There are plantations of pixurim, cinnamon, guava and coffee; and the earth is stony and the other noble trees do not prosper in it. They have shown me a supposed quina; it was, however, Quassia amara. Although it was not in one of the best places, this plantation can serve as an inspiring example, as well as many others in the vicinity of Barra, which annually produce 500 arrobas of coffee and cotton.

Cotton field

Traveling on the northern bank, upstream, I arrived, on the first day, to the mouth of the great Lake Poiauaru, after having passed through the eastern channels of Anavilhana. In the southern

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