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called Outside, and the last, Inside, which we chose for greater security. Our canoe was taken from the Arsenal to the port, where we introduced a few more small things for the long-haul, which, although it promised us so many joys, however, had not ceased to inspire, on the other hand, plenty of apprehensions.

Etching 18

Chapter II Notes

(I) As it happens on the coast, all the largest rivers in Brazil have a characteristic vegetation in their area, which is almost always distinguished by the unique features of their particular plants, as by the general aspect that they imprint on the landscape. Thus, in the Sao Francisco River, the Hermesia castanaefolia


Hermesia castanaefolia

Hermesia castanaefolia

(Oeirana, Mangue branco, White Willow of the Sertanejos), of bluish-green foliage and extended lumpy leaves predominate; The Borage, in the form of

Borago officinalis, the Borage


sticks, of Rhabdia lycioides; The Ant tree (Triplaris Pachau), with whispering fruit curls;

Sapindus saponaria

Sapindus saponaria, the soap tree

The Soap Tree (Sapindus saponaria), with closed canopy and dark foliage; Large leaf crotons; Or, here and there, light groves of thin foliage Acacias and the Sanguinea canafistula (Bactyrilobium grande).

Acacia fasciculata

Sanguinea canafistula

On the other hand, the rocky shores of the Doce River are adorned with groves,

several species of Cnemidostachys or with lusty Mirtaceas and the Fallopian Canicos of the Ubas (Gynerium parviflorum), whose flower clusters catch the wind like feathers. It figures, that they are also here in the lower basin of Rio Para.

Rio Para in Amazon delta

There are, in the archipelago around the island of Marajo and in the mouth of the rivers that flow into it, formations of entirely diverse plants. Already the flatness of the shores, which only rise a few feet above the riverbed, transforms the

Coastal mangrove

scenario, and, with the particular characteristic of the mangrove, it takes on another feature. We observe that the low trees and the bushes above the reflecting water form, up to the height of fifteen and more feet, a closed edge of the Virgin forest. Viewed from the land, the Mangrove trunks stripped and always muddy from the river flood, compete to define these shores.

Etching 12


Moreover, the abundance of palm trees have, above all, lent a singular nature to these areas. Many of these noble plants rise to the air, separated and slender, to more than one hundred feet;

Others, particularly the Thorn Palms, Marajas

Bactris, center

(Bactris), are small in size and gather in closed woods; Few, equally, less high, but densely foliaged, become noteworthy for the thickness of their trunk, where the remains of their fronds offer a place for numberless eggs and parasites.

Dead palm frond notch

Right along the shore, and sometimes far above the surface of the river, there are several species of Ingazeiros, which are distinguished by the density of their split foliage, as well as by the feathered curls of their delicate flowers and the size of their fruit pods.

Ingazeiro palm

Among them are Dalbergias, Solaneas, and from the large-leaved ones are the

Poivreas, sweet peppers

Schousboeas and Poivreas, with their sumptuous bunches of flowers that at times cover them completely.

Poivrea flower

Further inside, there are the countless pepper bushes, Gustavias with great flowers, all sorts of specie of Solaneas and

Tabernae Montana

Tabernae-Montanas (Lactifera), locked with the thick curtains of the Nhandirobas (Feuilleas), Bignonias and Cucurbitaceas


in an impenetrable labyrinth. The archeology left by past floods is still visible in the trunks of trees and shrubs; Also, considering the closed bushes of the mangroves, in which there are countless ants and mosquitoes, this territory is inhospitable, dangerous, and in spite of its constant floral variety, the rising by the Amazon, still predominates throughout this marginal vegetation of the king of rivers.

(II) Unfortunately, we have not succeeded in giving the phenomenon of the Pororoca an enlightened general point of view, and we have to let the physicists study it, with complete information about this, after remaining a few years in a row, studying in all localities the periodicity of flow and reflux.