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Recollections of Brazil

The last morning, travelling through Sao Paulo State along rutted roads, at this moment homeward bound you recollect Brazil, its variation, its surprises. The van jerks and dips, brown puddles splash, labourers and smiling children, dark floating colours against green, fields where white coated cattle languidly cluster, horses mottled and brown stand sedately by a roadside, small farms and estancias damp walled blues and reds hidden among dripping fronds of banana palms. Ahead where the swollen river bends the forest rises to a crooked bank of curving mountains where clouds of scurrying rain descend through the trees. Impressions flash through your mind. The great vastness of Matto Grosso its endless fields, studded forest and horizons; shimmering sun-baked palm trees of Maranhão and Tocantins; moist pressing humidity of Amazonas and Para; the cool rains and mists of Sao Paulo. White hated gauchos canter cockily on horses down narrow streets of a country town, beneath blue skies a laden lorry on a blood-red road, women huddled in a crowd, split husks of coconut shells singing, through fields of wavering heat workers walk languidly, children splash sandaled feet through pools of fallen rain, hearing the jungle breath, straight concentric lines of Brasilia, crumbling ornate Manaus, Belem old colonial twist and mango trees, smell of sea and Amazon mingling, the flap and buzz of beetles against a light, village dogs sprawled in midday shade, rubbish dump steams in morning where vultures gather and jostle, crowded airport lounges the sound of students singing, the bustle of city streets, a boat swings at its mooring, the blare of a radio, the easy swing of a hammock, rainwater dripping from corrugated rim, the rumble of thunder in the hills, jumbled colourful stack of favelas, red clay-tiled roofs, sweat running in rivulets, bare-footed boy on motorcycle, rusting TV satellite dishes in the jungle.

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