27-Dec-2005 -- After the successful visit of 16°N 121°E in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija in the morning of December 26th, we zigzagged on to cross the boundary of Nueva Ecija to the first town of Santa Fe in Nueva Viscaya. Santah and I took our lunch there at noon. We have came to the conclusion that we would run out of daylight for the next confluence at 17°N 122°E in San Mariano which was still about 200 kilometers from Santa Fe. So we decided to eat dinner and to sleep over at Cauayan, Isabela. We started again the next morning of December 27th.
This confluence has been visited before by Bill Mitchell and his story gave us valuable information how to reach there. Since the confluence is along the way of our trip, it was an opportunity for us to visit.
We reached Naguilian in the early morning of December 27th and waited an hour in the intersection for the daylight before traveling a little further than Benito Soliven. We reached the riverbank where small boats ferried passengers across the river. We left the pickup at the riverbank & took the trip across. It was drizzling so we wore hooded jackets just in case. A tricycle ride for about 1 kilometer brought us closer to the destination. Then we asked around for the four boys who helped Bill. These boys are some kind of famous so it was not difficult to locate them. The same boys volunteered to guide us the last 300 meters.
The cornfield was so muddy & slippery and the contour required us to hike up & down, not an easy task for our rheumatic legs. There is something we can learn from the boys because they do slip too but they took it in stride and simply laughed about it. Well, the hiking shoes we bought for this trip were perfect.
We have reached 17°N 122°E Confluence at about 8:00 AM which is still in San Mariano town of Isabela but on the other side of the river unreachable to four wheeled vehicles.
We made it back to the parked pickup at 9:30 AM & moved on to the next confluence target one degree up north: 18°N 122°E.