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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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discouragement of spirit, that I judged it prudent, even that same night, to resume the journey. I had only made one day of navigation, when thanks to the fresh river breeze, I soon felt better and more energetic, so I was able to walk through some farms on the southern shore. In the northern shore, there are many streams and lagoons.

Mouths of Rio Branco

In Carvoeiro, I crossed the river, and entered one of its upper mouths in the Rio Branco, which began to fill again. I sailed a stretch of the river, upstream, to a point, and returned, through one of its lower mouths, to the Rio Negro. The current of Rio Branco was here, at least four times as strong as that of Rio Negro. Our boat carrying nine people, gained in three minutes a distance of 2 5/4 bracas. The temperature of the Rio Branco water, which is somewhat clearer than that of the Solimoes, I found then at 21 1/2 ° R .; that of Rio Negro, at 21 1/5 ° R .; of the atmosphere at 22 ¼ ° R. The inhabitants were still busy preparing tortoise butter at that time.

Making turtle butter

Cassava flower

During my trip, the cassavas were in flower; On the other hand, corn,

rice,

coffee,

cocoa fruits

Salsaparilla

and salsaparilla were already bearing fruit. Rice produces twice a year; corn is only planted once. Cassava matures in a year after planting; after the roots have been unearthed, the stubble is burned and where the farms appear, then plantations of banana trees, castor, etc are made. Sugar cane sprouts annually from the stumps that remain in the ground, and many years in a row the same stalks are cut, where the gaps of those who died are filled with new eyes.

Sugarcane

Eventually, however, the reeds become very hard and woody; then the whole canefield is cut down. The coffee lasts from four to five years, and already gives a harvest in the first year; the fruits are harvested twice a year.

Coffea arabica, the coffee plant

Corn and planted before the time of floods, for example in November. Three grains are laid down in each pit, and from each seed a stalk is born, each one producing in general, three to four ears, which mature after two months. Going past Moura, I returned to Airao,

Western border of Brazil to Barra Negro

where a Quintilian hunter, whom I had dispatched to the northern bank of the river, met me. He brought me among other rarities, a short-tailed monkey, the cuxiu (Simia Satanas).

Simia satanas

Rare Solimoes monkey

Although rare, a species of Solimoes monkeys are found on the Rio Negro, as well as beautiful mutuns and other water-fowl.

Mutun

The most powerful nations of the Rio Negro were formerly: the Iroquis, in the lower basin;

Iroquis

that of Manaus, upstream; and that of the Bares, from Santa Isabel to the borders.

Manaus tribe today

These last tribes are almost completely subdued, and disappeared at the appearance of the settlers. I found hardly any individual who spoke their language. On February 26, I returned to Barra do Rio Negro.

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