28-Aug-2009 -- This is the fourth confluence visit out of a set of six. The story starts from 10°N 65°W.
Coming from 3°N 61°W we went overland by bus from Boa Vista, crossing the border from Brazil into Guyana at Bonfim / Lethem. From the border we had immediate bus connection by one of the daily Georgetown bound buses. After 2.5 hours in the bus, we were dropped off in Annai – a village deep in the hinterland of Guyana.
From Brian Smith’s attempt we knew that there is comfortable accommodation in Annai, the so called Rockview Lodge, which is located 15 km beeline from the confluence point. We checked in and arranged bicycles for the next day.
7:30 am: the two bicycles are proudly presented to us. They belong to the staff of the lodge and have to our surprise neither brakes nor gears. We are told that the terrain is flat and that such luxury features are not necessary at all. We have no choice anyway and set off from the lodge with our peaky bikes at 7:40.
An hour later, we reach the village Woweta. It is located at the main road, 8 km from the confluence and populated by 230 Macushi (Makushi) people. It is a custom here that guests “register” at the chancellor’s house after arrival to a village. Getting to his house took a while, because the village is spread out and each time we asked involved a conversation. Only the “junior” chancellor was present, who went off with his bicycle in order to find some guide for us. Meanwhile his wife hosted us at his house.
Huxley Moses has become famous as Woweta’s tourist guide. Unfortunately he had to leave Woweta in order do business in Bonfim that day. However, his uncle Danford Moses was willing to guide us to the confluence. Here, Huxley and Danford discuss the best approach for the confluence. Danford’s work consists in counting animal tracks for a project that assesses the development of wildlife in the area. He estimated, that the confluence point should be in the near of one of his “transits”. A transit is a 4-km long forest aisle that is used for benchmarking the number of animal tracks.
Finally, at 11:15 Danford, Eleonora and me were ready to go. Danford had organised a bicycle, rubber boots and a machete. By bicycle we were able to get within 3.7 km to the confluence thereby riding on flooded paths.
At noon, the hiking part begun. Initially Danford knew some tracks that would bring us nearer, but soon we had to find our own way through the thickets at a speed of 2 km/h. Danford was able to identify animal tracks from Jaguars, Low Land Tapirs, Red Brocket Deers, Long-nose Armadillos and the White-lipped Peccaries, thereby exactly knowing how many hours or days ago the particular animal track had been created.
For a while, it didn’t look good at all. The thickets prevented us to get nearer and I could feel the rise of exhaustion and discouragement in our group. But then, at a distance of 999 m from the confluence, we reached the “transit” so that Danford knew exactly where we were. Unfortunately that easy-to-walk aisle was of no use for us, because the confluence was perpendicular to the direction of the “transit”.
Nevertheless, we showed stamina and reached the confluence at 2:28 pm. According to Danford, a forest fire had destroyed the original jungle 30 years ago. Now the vegetation at the confluence consists of secondary forest with exclusively young trees. Danford called the tree species at the confluence “Semmerupa”, “Canaheia” and “Yarolla”. Probably these are local names or the spelling is not correct, because I could not find these trees by a search engine.
Our return was – according to a confluencer’s law – much faster. Danford backtracked (without the use of GPS!) to the “transit”, and from there we simply had to follow foot-paths back to our bikes. At 5 pm we were back to Woweta and an hour later we reached our lodge in Annai – just right in time before dusk. We were exhausted, but happy to have successfully visited the first confluence in Guyana.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 71.4 km
- Distance to a road: 7.8 km
- Distance to a path: 880 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 3.7 km
- Distance to houses: 7.8 km
- Time at the CP: 2:28 pm
- Hiking time (distance): 3 hours (3.7 km)
- Measured height: 150 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 19 m
- Topography: flat at CP, some hills in the area
- Weather: sunny, some heap clouds, 29° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In Central Guyana, in the province “Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo”. Deep in secondary jungle, 8 km from civilisation.
- Given Name: The Danford’s Transit Confluence
Story continues at 6°N 58°W.