As usual started sometime before daylight and proceeded to Madre de Dios where we breakfasted, had it not been for the torrents of rain this would have been a very interesting ride; the country is richly cultivated, the Sugar Cane being the chief produce. The woods contained numbers of beautiful birds; the hedges were decorated by several species of passion flowers.
Madre de Dios, like all the villages is extremely foreign looking & picturesque. The houses are low and painted with gay colours; the tops of the windows and doors being arched, takes away the still effect so universal in an English town. One or two handsome Churches in the centre of the village completes the picture.
It continued to rain and we started for our sleeping place, Fregueria de Tabarai. This interior road is the best I have seen, but it is much inferior to the worst turnpike road. I do not think a gig could travel on it. Yet this is one of the principal passes in the Brazils. We met a good many people on horseback. The only vehicle is a most rude cart with almost solid wheels, it is drawn by eight oxen yoked together: as it moves it makes a most extraordinary creaking noise.
We did not pass over one stone bridge. Where any exist, they are made of logs of wood. They were sometimes in so bad a state that we were obliged to leave the road to avoid them. The distances are inaccurately known, no two people at all agreeing in their accounts. Instead of milestones, the roadside is often marked by crosses, to signify where human blood has been spilled. The evening was so cold that I fairly trembled with it yet the thermometer was 62½.