Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) landed in Rio de Janeiro in the spring of 1832 during the first year of the HMS Beagle voyage. Traveling by boat made Darwin horribly seasick, but the tropical jungles were full of potential health dangers — yet another source of anxiety. Throughout his adult life, Darwin’s health was a complicated flux of chronic symptoms with perhaps even a tendency towards hypochondria. Despite these difficulties, he still kept his eye on the natural world and recorded his observations.
11 April 1832
Passed through several leagues of forest. very impervious trees not large: I here first began to feel feverish shivering & sickness. much exhausted: could eat nothing at one oclock which was the first time I got anything. — travelled till dark: miserably faint & trouble with faintness.
At night we slept 2 miles S of Marica: felt very ill in the course of day I thought I should have dropt off the horse: horrors of illness in foreign country: during the morning C Frio appearing from refraction like inverted tumblers. Gneiss dipping to the South (& then the north).
12 April 1832
Started in the morning & doubted whether I could proceed. — Cinnamon & port wine cured me
The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online: Rio notebook. John van Wyhe, editor. 2002. http://darwin-online.org.uk/