21-Feb-2005 -- A painful confluence.
We'd made a successful visit to 14°N61°W on St Lucia, then
a near miss of the 12°N62°W point offshore from Grenada.
Today we were at Margarita island, north of mainland Venezuela.
This offered the chance of yet another confluence, in yet another
country: I brought the spanish version of the second visitors'
narrative to the taxi dispatcher, and used that to explain that
we wanted to go to this strange spot in the middle of nowhere.
Driving up the highway, we got within 1 km of the point, then
managed to pull over at a point where we were about 1300 m away.
Reading about how both previous visits had required two attempts,
succeeding while wearing long pants, and using a machete to cut a path, I was afraid that my daughter
and I would be unable to get close enough wearing just T-shirt
However, the first part went very easily since we found an old path
leading to a water hole. Past this point we had to break trail,
trying to avoid cactus spines and other dangerous vegetation.
When we got to the mountain foothills we had found another small
animal track which we kept following a bit too far, so we had to
cut through dense vegetation to get up on the ridge.
About 300 m away from the point the going got really tough, as
the straigh line to the point crossed two small valleys before
ending up on the third ridgeline. I nearly turned back several
times, but at 150 m away I found a small opening, then quickly
got close enough for a successful visit: 83 m from the exact spot.
On the return trip I found a better way, avoiding most of the
trouble spots in the valleys by crossing them higher up, then
following the ridgeline all the way down, across the plain to the
waterhole, then the path back to the waiting taxi.
Total roundtrip time: almost exactly one hour.
Afterwards I spent a couple of hours getting rid of seeds and
needles that had gotten stuck in our clothes and embedded in