26-Aug-2009 -- This is the third visit out of a set of six. The story starts from 10°N 65°W.
After my first non-pleasant visit of a confluence at 11°N 63°W we went overland by bus southwards, crossing the border from Venezuela into Brazil at Santa Elena de Uairen / Pacaraima. On the eve of confluencing day we stayed in Boa Vista, a city located 42 km south-east of the confluence.
The next morning we went to a car rental in Boa Vista and got a small compact car for one day. We set off at 8:15 am towards Alto Alegre. On the asphalted main road RR-205 we got within 9.7 km to the confluence. Here, we turned northwards into a gravel road that pointed directly towards our goal. We crossed 2 wooden bridges and shortly before we came across a third one, we stopped. Here, we were already within 2.4 km to the confluence and decided to start hiking. We parked the vehicle, packed a rucksack for the hike – but we didn’t get very far. Having walked just 200 m, our way was blocked by a swamp. Swimming across was no option without obtaining a priori information about alligators or unknown dangers. However, we spotted an old rowing boat that we might have used – but it didn’t appear reliable to us and additionally the owner was not around for obtaining permission. So we abandoned the idea and went back to the car.
We drove 6 kilometres back on the track that we had come – until we were 8 km from the confluence. Here we reached the first intersecting track. We followed it and soon entered an open gate. We spotted the farm house (hacienda). In order to get permission to trespass their land, we drove onto the farmyard, where a couple of workers were more or less busy with chatting. Our visit drew some attention and we soon were able to explain the group leader our purpose. Unfortunately, the farm owners were not present. The group leader was very nice to us and tried to contact the owner by telephone. The owner’s wife spoke a little German so I could explain our request very well. However, she had to discuss this with her husband first. Meanwhile, we waited for them to call us back. We got some dinks and could get an impression for the peaceful life on a remote farm. Finally the telephone rang again – only the group leader spoke. After he had hung up, he gave us the telephone number of the land owner with the words: “here, in case you have trouble”. We thanked him for his help, went back to our car and headed towards the confluence point, because we both thought that permission had been granted. However, this turned out to be wrong! When we had driven about 1 km, a jeep was chasing us. Soon he had caught up with us. We both stopped and a very angry group leader made us clear that we were not supposed to proceed. We turned around and left the farm.
Later we reflected about this unfortunate misunderstanding. Why didn’t they simply say: sorry, permission can not be given this time? I guess also the cultural difference played a role that such a misinterpretation could happen.
“Should we give up?” we asked our selves. We had time and energy left and anyway, it was not very likely that the point was actually on the “forbidden land” – with 8 more kilometres in distance.
Our third attempt was started from a third side. We parked the car at a distance of 6.7 km near a bridge and started hiking by following the riverbank. This time we were luckier – the confluence point was on our side of the river. However, we had to cross several little swamps and streams in very warm, knee-deep water. Our hike was entirely through beautiful wilderness – until we came within 300 m to the confluence: to our surprise we reached a track, crossed it and found the confluence on a meadow. Here the biggest surprise was waiting for us: a wooden white and shining monument appeared! Obviously we had not been the first to visit this confluence point. The monument has four sides labeled with “N3° W61°” (east), “pelcavei” (north), “7°B” (west) and “3°CIA” (south). Apart from the eastern label, we have no clue what it means.
In order to get back to our vehicle, we opted to backtrack our route even though this was by no means the optimal approach. For future hunters of this confluence, we have no other advice than try to find your own route!
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 9.7 km
- Distance to a track: 250 m
- Distance to a path: 250 m
- Distance of car parking: 6.4 km
- Distance to houses: 2.4 km
- Time at the CP: 13:56 pm
- Hiking time (distance): 1 hour 56 min (6.7 km)
- Measured height: 87 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
- Topography: flat
- Weather: sunny, 27° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In Brazil’s northern Roraima Province, north-west of the provincial capital Boa Vista. On partially cultivated land. Exact location on a meadow. 40 m from a row with palm trees.
- Given Name: The Mysterious Beacon Confluence
Story continues at 4°N 59°W.