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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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immense plain of waters; and above me the deep, deep blue sky appeared through heavy clouds of rain, revealing a great panorama, illuminated by a burning sun, which was just descending to the west.

Within my soul, I blessed the future generations, which will see the most majestic lands of the earth inhabited by free and happy men, and gave the most ardent thanks to the Being of all love, who had guided me through so many dangers, protecting me above and within that river, to whose yellow water I gave myself up again.

The reader, who hitherto benevolently participated with me in the vicissitudes of the voyage, must also say farewell to the great aspects and elements of the South American land, for there is very little that I have to relate before my return by the ocean.

We sailed to Arraiolos (Note III), located on the north bank of the Amazon. Here, where it runs with double impetuosity, by the northern channel of Braganca, to the northeast, towards the North Cape, where we crossed the great caudal, and we passed over to the southern mainland, towards the Gurupa.

Thus, we left the largest of the rivers (Note IV), and we arrived at the region, which, suffering the regularity of the seas, full and low, recognizes the sovereignty of the ocean.

For the second time we engulfed ourselves, sailing with the favor of the ebbing ocean, in the labyrinthine channels of Marajo Island; we lost ourselves, once more, in the woods, full of exhalations of this humid earth; we passed, with happiness, by the stormy mouth of the Tocantins River;

Rio Tocatins on a calm day

Again, we saluted the floodplains in the dark capes of Igarape-mirim,

Igarape-mirim

Igarape-mirim

and the clean banks of the black Moju River; and, finally, on a cloudy night, on April 16, we dropped our well proven anchor in the port of Belem do Para.

Port of Belem do Para

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI

(1) Madeira River - Historic - This river, generally called Madeira by its inhabitants, and Caiari or "white river" by the Indians, is undoubtedly, the most important tributary of the Amazon.

From the beginning of the eighteenth century, the northern part of Madeira, particularly the waterfalls, (8 ° 48 'south latitude)

Rio Madeira waterfall

Rio Madeira waterfall

was sought by the inhabitants of the provinces of Para and Rio Negro, who went there collecting the precious natural products of its shores: salsaparilla, cocoa, cloves, turtles and turtle eggs. Nevertheless, the enterprise of these journeys was always considered dangerous, both because of the evil fevers and the constant raids of hordes of hostile Indians, among whom the Muras and Torazes were the most formidable.

Without confronting the travelers' resistance, the indians attacked at night, in places where the violence of the current forced the soldiers, busy at the bank, to drop their guards, so they were slaughtered without mercy by all the arrows that fell on their heads, or by arrows that reached them from the front and sides. The expeditions to Madeira therefore needed to be protected by armed people, and

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