07-Jul-2001 -- On July 7th, 2001 I visited 18ºN 99ºW (alt mts) – my fifth degree confluence.
On this occasion I was fortunate to have two of my daughters with me, Daniella & Montserrat. Daniella has a friend who had a baptism in her family in a place between Mexico City and the point of this degree confluence, so we decided to leave home earlier and give it a try.
We drove quite comfortably through four lanes (toll) highways for close to two hours to Paso de Morelos. Here we moved to a secondary road, still paved, to Atenango del Rio and the to Copalillo. In Atenango del Rio we reached a corner that seemed to be going to Copalillo but had no indications, a man of some 70 years of age and a woman around 60 where standing there so I asked them if a turn at that point was needed to go to Copalillo. She responded 'yes' and immediately asked, 'Could you take us there?'
Of course we said yes, and for some 14 kilometers she explained to us that they lived in Copalillo and that morning had taken a bus from Iguala, but the service only covered to Atenango del Rio. They needed to wait probably between two to four hours for the bus service to Copalillo. This kind of 'fortuitousness' (I put this in quotes because there is nothing fortuitous in life), this meeting people that otherwise I would never meet, this chance to see a bigger picture of life, is one of the things I enjoy more about Degree Confluence hunting, it puts the thing in my life in the right perspective.
Once in the main square of Copalillo they got out of the car, gave us a couple more pointers and we started driving in a dirt road that was in quite good condition. To this point the whole scenery had been really beautiful with lots of green due to the rainy season. After some 5 kms in the dirt road we reached what seemed the closest point to de Degree Confluence we could reach by car, some 700 meters from our target. We stopped the car out of the road and started walking. We found a dry riverbed and followed it until... the batteries on my GPS ran out. I did a quick dash to the car for new batteries and rejoined the team.
It took us well under one hour to walk to the confluence point, take our pictures and be back at the car. The way back, as expected, much easier since we now knew exactly where to make our turns and the roads to travel. We arrived to the baptism just in time, enjoyed our friends' hospitality, talked to several people about the Degree Confluence Project; until some kids accidentally kicked a football into Daniella's nose... but that is a different story.