13-Nov-2005 -- Confluence Hunters - First Hunt: 15°S 46°W
Our journey began about 3 years ago when Diogo Hudson, Alessandro’s brother and Danilo’s cousin, bought a GPS device and was the first one to get exited about the Degree Confluence Project and brought the idea of visiting one confluence to us (Alessandro and Danilo). So the first step was to choose what confluence we were going to visit, as a great coincidence this confluence (15° S 46° W), not only were unvisited as, according to a simple map we were able to analyze, were located near Danilo’s farm, actually it’s belongs to his grandfather. Case closed, this confluence became our goal, but for each one’s personal reason we were unable to visit the confluence, until the great day came, but only Alessandro and Danilo really decided to go for it. On November 12th we were on our way. First destination: Danilo’s Farm, our base camp. Final destination: 15° S 46° W.
We arrived at the farm about 5:00 pm, and after a good talk with Danilo’s father, Valdemar, and a cousin of his dad, Levi, who knew a lot about the region cause he grew up there, we decided to make our first approach to the confluence on our car stopping at the closest point possible and then proceed by foot. This decision was made based on information gave to us by Levi, that warn us that the region, where the confluence were located, was really rough, and boy, he weren’t kidding. So, as we were up to a long day in the next morning, we went to bed after a good hot meal, in fact it was delicious.
Before the sun came up, we were up and ready to go, and at 7:00 am, we were on our way. We drove for about two and a half hour, it might not seems a lot but, the closest we were of the confluence the toughest the territory gets, and we drove for about only 50 km. When we approach a very sandy terrain, it was impossible to continue, so we stopped the car and proceed by foot, luckily we were just 2 km off the confluence. After an one hour walk we were finally there, it was a rainy day so our shoes were really wet and worse, fill with sand, and cause there were a typical plant with little spikes, our legs were really hurted.
The area containing the confluence is a typical region of “cerrado”, the regional name given to the Brazilian savannas, with soils that are generally very old, chemically poor and deep. It has an extensive savanna formation intercepted by woods along the rivers, at the bottom of valleys and other types of vegetation as well. We encountered humid fields or the "buriti" palm paths, where the water table is superficial; alpine pastures might occur at higher altitudes and the mesophytic forests are situated on more fertile soils. As show in the pictures, the region has a lot of "cerrado" trees that are very peculiar, with twisted trunks, covered by a thick bark, and leaves which are usually broad and rigid.
Pictures taken, it’s official, Alessandro and Danilo were the first two men to step foot, and register such moment, on 15° S 46° W. After that we went back to the farm and celebrated.