Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
dozen occasions our guides went completely astray, and we had to take command, to disregard their assertions, and to lead the way aright by sole reliance on our compasses.
On this cool day we travelled well. The air was wonderful; the vast open spaces gave a sense of abounding vigor and freedom. Early in the afternoon we reached a station made by Colonel Rondon in the course of his first explorations. There were several houses with whitewashed walls, stone floors, and tiled or thatched roofs. They stood in a wide, gently sloping valley. Through it ran a rapid brook of cool water, in which we enjoyed delightful baths. The heavy, intensely humid atmosphere of the low, marshy plains had gone; the air was clear and fresh; the sky was brilliant; far and wide we looked over a landscape that seemed limitless; the breeze that blew in our faces might have come from our own northern plains. The midday sun was very hot; but it was hard to realize that we were in the torrid zone. There were no mosquitoes, so that we never put up our nets when we went to bed; but wrapped ourselves in our blankets and slept soundly throught the cool, pleasant nights. Surely in the future this region will be the home of a healthy highly civilized population. It is good for cattle-raising, and the valleys are fitted for agriculture. From June to September the nights are often really cold. Any sound northern race could live here; and in such a land, with such a climate, there would be much joy of living.
On these plains the Telegraphic Commission uses motor-trucks; and these now to relieve the mules