Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
V. Up the River of Tapirs
AFTER leaving C&áceres we went up the Sepotuba, which in the local Indian dialect means River of Tapirs. This river is only navigable for boats of size when the water is high. It is a swift, fairly clear stream, rushing down from the Plan Alto, the high uplands, through the tropical lowland forest. On the right hand, or western bank, and here and there on the left bank, the forest is broken by natural pastures and meadows, and at one of these places, known as Porto Campo, sixty or seventy miles above the mouth, there is a good-sized cattle-ranch. Here we halted, because the launch, and the two pranchasnative trading-boats with houses on their deckswhich it towed, could not carry our entire party and outfit. Accordingly most of the baggage and some of the party were sent ahead to where we were to meet our pack-train, at Tapirapoan. Meanwhile the rest of us made our first camp under tents at Porto Campo, to wait the return of the boats. The tents were placed in a line, with the tent of Colonel Rondon and the tent in which Kermit and I slept, in the middle, beside one another. In front of these two, on tall poles, stood the Brazilian and American flags; and at sunrise and sunset the flags were hoisted and hauled