Google Earth images and the Brazilian Geographic Institute maps show us this confluence is 2 km far from the end of a dirt road, inside the wild Amazon rain forest. So we spent one year of planning the best time and way to go there, and so reach our first unexploited confluence.
We decided to go on April 11th, as Victor would be in Manaus and the rain season is going to its end. Anyhow, we were not much confident about having a successful visit, due to our lack of jungle tracking experience. We would only reach the closest point so that we could go there once again with better logistics.
So we woke up at 5:00 am and left home at 5:50am. We crossed the Negro River in the 6:20 am ferryboat to Cacau Pirêra town, on a 40-minute ferry trip. After some breakfast at Cacau Pirêra city market, we drove 70 km at Manoel Urbano highway, turning right to Novo Airão highway in a very good condition road.
Our GPS was set to beep once we reached the dirt road which heads to the confluence point, so it did it after approximately 60 km after we got the Novo Airão highway. This dirt road was in a very bad condition, and locals told us this dirt road is now 19 km long. As our maps were 5 years old, and Novo Airão highway was 2 years old, we realized that it could be easier to reach the point, as progress arrived to that area and many people were opening new roads to settle more farms and homes.
This dirt road is called Ramal Mendeca. It was 10:30 pm when we started driving into it, but just 1 km later we decided to stop driving and go by foot, as the road was very muddy and our car is not a 4X4 one. We parked the car in a local´s home, 5,6 km far from the confluence, and started trekking to it. After 2 km, the dirt road became into a single track, heading straight to the confluence point, and we were realizing that it would be a piece of cake to go there.
After a one-hour walk, we could notice that the point was deviating from the straight course, and we started being afraid that we would need to go inside the jungle anyhow. We got certain of that when our GPS showed us the point was 450m perpendicular to the road, and it was really inside the dense jungle.
We sit for a cigarette and some resting, to decide what we would do. Then suddenly a man was passing with his kid, telling us he was the owner of that property. We told him our purposes there, and asked him if he could help us by opening a track to that confluence point.
The land owner´s name is José Geovane Abreu, and his kid´s name is Adriel. Mr. Abreu used to work as a rubber tree farm worker, so he is an expert in jungle orientation and tracking. He told us he would love to help the two “scientists”, and easily opened a track to the point, in less than an hour using a big machete. His kid also went with us, walking in bare feet and feeling nothing wrong. He was only 8 years old.
After this one-hour track, and after some wasps, mud, dense trees, jungle darkness and heavy rain, we reached the point. We took the formal pictures to DCP and everyone was happy to having gotten there. We got back to the dirt road by the same jungle track, now in less than 15 minutes, and after getting back we started talking with Mr. Abreu and we heard a lot about his life as an Amazon man. We also gave him a camp knife as a gift, and blew up some firecrackers we would use to prevent from wild animals´attacks.
On the way back to the car we were lack of water, but we found a very clean Igarapé (creek) with cold water. We had some problems driving back the muddy road, as it rained a lot. Also the ferryboat back to Manaus broke in the middle of the river, and it was fixed one hour later. We arrived back home by night, very dirt and tired, but happy about having conquered this point successfully, “nicknamed” by us “The Cesarino Confluence”.
Some facts about this Confluence Point hunt:
- CP Elevation: 74 m.
- GPS used: Garmin Map 60 CSx.
- Precision: 6 m
- Local Temperature: 35° C at 90% humidity.
- The Amazon Rain Forest is a very dangerous environment. All visits to jungle points must be very well planned, and you must be sure to take machetes, first aid kits, defense from animals, and the most water you can take with you. Also, only good GPS devices have a good satellite reception inside the jungle. If you can be helped by someone who is expert in jungle tracking, even better.