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The Grasslands North of the Equator 815

grass, brazil, unused and hot

-THE GRASSLANDS NORTH OF THE EQUATOR 815. The South American Sudan.óWithin what degrees of latitude does the Sudan lie? (Fig. 445.) the northern grasslands of South America? (Fig. 566, B3, B4.) Com pare the size of the two. What river valley and what uplands comprise most of the north tropic grasslands of South America? ;,-,.. Like the savannahs of Africa, Brazil, and Bolivia, the northern grasslands have a season of drenching rains and up-springing grass, followed by a season of sunshine, drought, and dead grass. Then fires often burn the dead grass for hundreds of miles, and great clouds of smoke darken the skies.

816. High grasslands and low grasslands. óWe have just seen (Sec. 810) that the southern grasslands are low in the west and high in the east. The same is true in the north, with the Orinoco Valley in the west, and the highlands of Guiana in the east. These highlands are unused by civilized man. They are not even well-explored. They are hard to reach and hard to cross. The hot jungle plain between them and the coast is wider than it is in Brazil. The uplands are not wide-stretching, nearly level plateaus like those of Brazil or Africa. Instead, they are cut into many parts by sharp valleys. , You might have to spend a half day crossing a small stream. You would be scrambling one or two thousand feet down steep cliffs, chopping your way through tangled vines and thickets, and then climbing and chopping your way up the other side to a small tract of level, grassy upland with deep, jungle-filled valleys all around it. There are

grass and gold in this country, but men have not used the grass or dug the gold. There has been some gold mining on the edges of the region for a long time, but these grass lands may have ' to wait a long time for transportation.

The low grasslands of the Orinoco, like the savannahs of Bolivia and Brazil, are also almost unused. They might support millions of cattle, but the climate is hot, and the government of Venezuela is very bad indeed.

No one knows when his property may be seized by some general who is out with an army to live on the country until he can drive out the other generals and become president. These two things, the bad govern ment and the hot climate, cause this region to be almost unused. There is so little trade that only one or two small steamers come up the great river Orinoco as far as Ciudad Bolivar. Since the World War English companies have begun to buy up cattle ranches on the Venezuelan llanos (plains).