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Brasil Adventure

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The trip turned out to be another grand adventure. There were many brand new areas that we explored. Saw many many birds, a few wild animals and even a very poisonous caterpillar. But, the whole trip would not have been at all possible were it not for the great host and guide I had on this trip. So to start off my picture essay, here are a few pictures of our very own Garimpo



Don Guideing


Don at the local bar in Faina


And on the river crossing


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Nice to see you had a great trip. Too bad that you did not get any gold though. I have not gotten any gold dredging lately either :winking0023: . I look forward to reading all about the trip. Haope we can get in a hunt pretty soon.


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If you ever hear someone say that life without a computer is hell....it´s true....my computer went Tango Uniform last Thursdau....this being Sunday ....

now the computer store says it´ll be back MAYBE Wed.....on top of all that I´m buying time at a local computer store called a ´lan house´and it´s

key board is in Portuguese.....ask E.D. about that.....hope he doesn´t show all the pics.....he´s got one of those sneaky cameras....maybe more

Wed.....anybody have a good GP3500 for sale?.....

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One of the great "tours" that came our way was totally unexpected. Last trip we met a guy from Faina, Reginaldo (pronounced Heginaldo). This year he guided to a spot on top of the mountains near Faina. At the end of a day hunting with no gold found, he took us to a small lode mine that he used to work in. All of the miners were super friendly and were very proud of their operation and definatly wanted to share the whole thing with us. The hanging wall was for the most part good solid smooth rock. I do wish I had a hard hat... but what the hey... you only live once. I can't say for sure, but I would guess it was at least 120 degrees down in the mine. Rumor has it, they produce 200 grams a day and they run 24/7 with two long shifts. I cannot remember exactly, but the mine is either 190 meters deep or they have followed the veins for 190 meters.

Originally the mine was first worked by the Banderantes... The Portuguese slave owners. The slaves hand dug a pit about 15 meters square and 8-10 meters deep. This mine operation restarted working this lode 2 years ago. The foreman was a great guy, that actually followed us to town later and joined us at our table. He has worked underground for 20 years, mostly mining emeralds. He told us of one situation where the mine he was in flooded rapidly and he was stuck in a pocket for 7 1/2 hours and down to his last breath. He promised God that if he survived, he would never drink again........ he would not have a beer with us!

The ore cart is a flat pallet with an inverted tire on top, it travels on very small metal wheels and the tracks are wood! You must remember a lot of the wood in Brasil is rock hard and heavy as steel. Don may remember how often they have to change them.

The vein has visible, free milling gold. We actually got to pick out a few souvenir chunks to take home (OK, so I lied... we did get a bit of gold form this mine). They double crush the ore and run it through a very low energy sluice, doing a cleanup once a day.

All in all it was a great part of the adventure.

The Mine


Winch Shack




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El, what a great set of pics! Did you take those? Really great job and informative too. I have to ask, was the picture labeled "Some great shoring" meant to be sarcastic? Mind now that you know much more than I do about the subject, but it looked rickity to me. Is that not the case?

Thaks again for the great pics! :wubu:

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El D,

Thanks for the tour. Sure do miss working underground. Brought back very good memories.

OL29er :coffeetime:

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Let me put it this way.... there was nothing safe at all about that mine! 220 volt wiring with no grounding, no back up lighting, no ventilation. I could go on and on, but I am certainly no expert on underground safety.

Oh yeah, all pictures taken with a old broken Canon Sureshot........most by me

Next chapter in a day or two

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el d

the mines look a little bit safer than what i have been in costa rica, no fan line and no power. some do have air run in but most are mined by hand. the only airflow is from where they have stoped to the surface following the vien. pretty scary.


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Deep in the jungle....only about three hundred yards from where El Dorado found a bunch

of fresh chewed bones....some still had a little meat left on them....the grave was fairly

fresh dug....or could it be a clever cover up for a new patch...I wasn't about to mess with

it to find out.....still indians in the area .....I think El Dorado was darn lucky that day...besides

indians there's also mountain lions and cougars there .....


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  • 2 weeks later...

That sure is a nice looking nugget. Bummer about the pictures. Guess I will have to post some more. While were out and about at a recently cleared area. A guy came out of the bush carrying some nice straight poles he had just cut from the jungle, he said he was making a chair. Anyway, a couple of days later we saw his chairs and Don bought one. We were told to return in a few days to pick it up. To our amazement, on the day we returned for the pick up, there was a grand feast going on. It was in prep for a whole town religious holiday. Here are a few pictures. The kids were pretty cool. We were probable the first American Gringos they had ever encountered. I ended up gettind a chair too and it made it all the way back here.




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