Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
worked as far up-stream. We expected to meet them somewhere below the next rapids, the Inferno. The trader or rubber-man brings up his years supply of goods in a batelão, starting in February and reaching the upper course of the river early in May, when the rainy season is over. The parties of rubber-explorers are then equipped and provisioned; and the settlers purchase certain necessities, and certain things that strike them as luxuries. This year the Brazil-nut crop on the river had failed, a serious thing for all explorers and wilderness wanderers.
On the 20th we made the longest run we had made, fifty-two kilometres. Lyra took observations where we camped; we were in latitude 8° 49′. At this camping-place the great, beautiful river was a little over three hundred metres wide. We were in an empty house. The marks showed that in the high water, a couple of months back, the river had risen until the lower part of the house was flooded. The difference between the level of the river during the floods and in the dry season is extraordinary.
On the 21st we made another good run, getting down to the Inferno rapids, which are in latitude 8° 19′ south. Until we reached the Cardozo we had run almost due north; since then we had been running a little west of north. Before we reached these rapids we stopped at a large, pleasant thatch house, and got a fairly big and roomy as well as light boat, leaving both our two smaller dugouts behind. Above the rapids a small river, the Madeirainha, entered from the left. The rapids had a fall of over ten metres, and the water was very wild and