28-Oct-2017 -- Our adventure began driving 436 km northeast, starting in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.
After 220 km, next to the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, we realized that the last forest fire in the region was the worst one we had ever seen. The scene along 80 km along the road was morbid. Hundreds of square kilometers of burned forest and pastures and a single reason: human stupidity.
We crossed the northwest part of the state of Goiás and reached the state of Tocantins, where the confluence is located, just a few kilometers from the border. After leaving the asphalt road we still drove 30 km on dirt road and we still saw a lot of burned vegetation there too but in fact, it was the result of another fire. Then the scenario changed a little bit and we entered in a private land. We didn’t see any people or warnings there and we opened two porches and drove on for another 4 kilometers, until we got to the “final attack point”.
After we left the vehicle we had to walk through the vegetation with difficulty because there were piles of loose rocks and ditches of dry streams in our way. After 45 minutes we got the point and it took a lot of time to get the precise reading of the exact coordinates. Meanwhile the weather changed and it started to rain but we still celebrated our conquest.
On the way back we observed that our GPS was erasing the records of the trail probably because it had memory limitations. In this way we had to use the old navigation principles we learned in our careers as military pilots. We hit the road and returned to the car with a taste of mission accomplished, scratches on the legs and smiles on the faces.
The entire region is included in the “Cerrado” biome that covers a region of 2 million kilometers in Brazil, but in the area of the coordinates, we observed only 2 phytophysiognomies called “Cerrado Rupestre” and “Mata Seca”.
Cerrado Rupestre is a subtype of arboreal-shrub vegetation that occurs in rocky or lit rock environments (areas of rock outcropping). It has a variable tree cover of 5% to 20%, average height of 2 to 4 meters, with a shrub-herbaceous stratum also evident.
Mata Seca includes forest formations characterized by different levels of deciduous (leaf fall) during the dry season, depending on the chemical, physical, and mainly soil depth.
Talking about the fauna, we observed macaws and toucans throughout the trip but not in the area near the coordinates. In addition we observed small lizards of the genus Tropidurus.