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some further means must be discovered to enable the innocent purchaser to protect himself.
The most serious difficulty in the way of the increasing foreign trade of Argentaria is that arising from the shallowness of the great estuary of La Plata, which prevents large vessels from approaching the ports. In the course of ages nature will remedy the defect, when the present shoals are raised by deposits of fresh silt so as to confine the volume of water brought down by the great rivers, which would then scour out navigable channels. Whether the process may not be hastened by human skill and enterprise is a question which I am unable to answer.
At present I believe that the only point where vessels of moderate burthen can approach the shore is at Ensenada, about fourteen miles below Buenos Ayres. It is now connected by railway with the capital, and promises to become an important trading port.
Voyage from Buenos Ayres to Santos-Tropical vegetation in
Brazil—Visit to San Paulo-Journey from San Paulo to Rio Janeiro—Valley of the Parahyba do Sul-Ancient mountains of Brazil–Rio Janeiro—Visit to PetropolisFalls of Itamariti—Struggle for existence in a tropical forest—The hermit of Petropolis-Morning view over the Bay of Rio-A gorgeous flowering shrub-Visit to Tijuca -Yellow fever in Brazil-A giant of the forest–Voyage to Bahia and Pernambuco—Equatorial rains-Fernando Noronha-St. Vincent in the Cape de Verde IslandsTrade winds of the North Atlantic-Lisbon--Return to England.
ABOUT midday on June 30, I took my departure from Buenos Ayres. The operation was not altogether simple or to be quickly accomplished. Jolting heavily over the ill-paved streets, a hackney coach carried me and a fellow-traveller with our luggage to the riverbank. The sight was very strange. It was a busy day, and there were literally hundreds of high-wheeled carts engaged in carrying passengers and goods out to the boats, which lay fully half a mile from the shore. When, after a delay that seemed excessive, we were installed in a boat, this was pulled in a leisurely fashion to the steam-tender, which lay more than a mile farther out. When the hour fixed for the departure of the tender was long past, we at length got under way, and finally reached the Neva steamship of the Royal Mail Company, about fourteen miles below the city, at five o'clock.
With iron punctuality dinner was served at the regular hour, although none of the passengers were ready, and the luggage was not brought on board till after dinner. There was, in truth, no reason for haste, as we were appointed to call at Monte Video on the following morning. My chief business at that place was to recover possession of the chest containing my botanical collections, which I had deposited at the custom-house.
Impressed with the attractions of Brazil, and feeling the strict limits of time to which I was bound, I asked myself if I should not have done better to have omitted a visit to the Plata region, and saved nine days by proceeding direct to Brazil in the Iberia, which started on the 22nd of June. I should certainly recommend that course to any naturalist travelling under similar circumstances at the same season ; but I am sure that, if I had done so, I should have felt regret at having missed an opportunity, and should have fancied that I had lost new and interesting experiences.
At four p.m. on the ist of July the big ship began to move from her moorings opposite Monte Video, and for about sixty miles kept a due easterly course. Somewhere near the port of Maldonado we passed a bright light on an island which shows as a bold headland. I was told that this is known as Cape Frio, because of the cold often encountered here by those arriving from Brazil. It may be supposed that the
VOYAGE TO SANTOS.
force of the south-west wind which prevails in winter is more felt as the wide opening of the great estuary is reached. During my own short stay, the wind never rose beyond a gentle breeze, and the temperature on land was no more than agreeably cool, usually between 559 and 60° Fahr. during the day.
The distance from Monte Video to Santos, which is reckoned at 970 sea miles, was accomplished in about three days and eighteen hours. The voyage was uneventful, On the 3rd we approached the Brazilian coast, but the land lay low, and no objects could be distinguished. The weather was all that could be desired by the most delicate passengers, the barometer remaining almost stationary at about 30*2 inches, * and the temperature by day rising gradually from 57° at Monte Video to 62° in lat. 25° south. Before sunrise on the morning of July 5, we entered the bay through which the Santos river discharges itself into the Atlantic, and found ourselves in a new region. The richness of the green and the luxuriance of the foliage recalled the aspect of the coast at Jacmel, in Hayti, and as the morning advanced, while we slowly steamed towards the head of the bay, I had no difficulty in deciding on a course which had already suggested itself to my mind. I knew that Santos is connected by railway with São Paulo (better known in the form San Paulo), the chief town of this part of Brazil, and that the railway between that place and the capital was also completed ; and I accordingly determined to leave the steamer, and find my way by land to Rio Janeiro.
* Dr. Hann (“Klimatologie,” p. 657, et seq.) has discussed the causes of the prevalent high barometric pressure on both coasts of temperate South America, and has shown that in winter the area of maximum pressure moves northward towards the Tropic of Capricorn.
Santos is an ancient place which had long remained obscure, until the great development of coffee-cultivation in South Brazil, and the construction of a railway to the interior, have made it the most advantageous port for the shipment to Europe of that important product. It lies at the mouth of an inconsiderable stream that enters the head of the bay. Seen from the sea, it appears to be backed by a range of lofty, flat-topped hills, but, in truth, these are no more than the seaward face of the great plateau which extends through a considerable part of the province of San Paulo. Although Santos is placed a few miles south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the aspect of the vegetation is completely tropical; and if a stranger were in doubt, the fringe of cocoa-nut palms on the shores of the bay would completely reassure him. Although the thermometer on board ship did not rise above 67°, the air seemed to us, arriving from the south, very warm, and we were surprised to hear the company's agent, when he came on board, complain that he had found the water in his bath uncomfortably chilly.
I landed with a young German fellow-traveller who, like myself, intended to proceed to San Paulo; and, as we found that the train was not to start for three hours, we occupied the time in ascending the nearest hill. It was now nearly three months since I had enjoyed a glimpse of true tropical vegetation in the forest of Buenaventura, and the interest and delight of this renewed experience can never be forgotten.