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trade is with cocoa, planted mainly on the neighboring islands.

Theobroma cacau, the cocoa bean tree

Tobacco, salsaparrilha, cloves, rice, cotton, anil, farinha and pirarucu, are still export goods. From here travel to the north of the continent has been attempted to discover Lake Parima, the carrier of gold, which comes from the mouth of all believers. After a few days of travel to the north of the country, if you stop to rest, you will find in the stony fields, vestiges of bovine cattle grazing,

and bands of nomadic Indians, but you would not pursue any more exotic stories about gold. The Indians, who showed themselves naked here, must have been Aroaquis.

A day of navigation took us from Obidos to Santarem - a short trip, made longer by many scares and difficulties, due to an inexperienced pilot whom we had temporarily employed. Undoubtedly, the vague and dense fog, which, like an incessant rain, covered us, for some days on the shore,

made it difficult and dangerous to sail to an island, surrounded by reefs, to get to the southern shore. Then finally we proceeded on the Igarape-acu to the Tapajos, which deviates from the Amazon at the town of Santarem.

Amazon and Tapajos rivers

Etching1 Near Santarem

We found everything here beautiful. The Lieutenant-Colonel F.J. Rodrigues Barata was, at the time, very occupied in bringing together workers, recruited in the upper part of the province, to take us to Belem do Para, and the loss of workers for the crop discouraged the industrious part of the population. A best two young people, destined to military service, interviewed the Indians to determine who might possibly desert, before we launched the expedition to Belem the capital of Para.

Rodrigues Barata had made, as a sergeant in 1794 (1), the trip from Rio Negro, through the Rio Branco, to the colony of Essequibo, in order to capture some fugitives. His information was misleading, so unfortunately, I must provide the details with relation to these unknown regions.


The voyage to Santarem, following the Tapajos, showed us, first, hills that rise on the terrain to the east of Tapajos, and then below, the mountains Serra do Para.

We could, now, separately discern the mountains, which, viewed from the east, will be seen as forming an uninterrupted row. The incessant rain made us fear for the safety of our collections, so we resolved to cancel the projected trip to Macapa and places to the north of this place;

In addition, a strong west favored our trip downstream.

(1) About the trip of Francisco Jose Rodrigues Barata, made in 1798-1799, see "Revista do lnstituto Historico e Geografico Brasileiro", Volume VIII (2. * ed.), Pages. 1-53 e 157-204. (Note rev., Inst. Hist. E Geogr. Bras.).

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