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the Degree Confluence Project
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Portugal

near Maranhão, Portalegre, Portugal
Approx. altitude: 94 m (308 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 39°S 172°E

Accuracy: 3 m (9 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: East facing #3: North facing #4: West facing #5: Confluence dancer! #6: Jackpot Number 2

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  39°N 8°W (visit #1)  

#1: General view - South facing

(visited by Isabel & Paulo Simoes Coelho)

02-Jun-2001 -- 39ºN 8ºW - Camões, near nothing, in the Alentejo district of Portugal.

We were so pleased with ourselves, having found 39N9W, that we decided to drive straight through to another one and make a day of it. Besides, we had to give the GPS back to its rightful owner and we didn't know when we'd get our hands on another!

Luckily the right maps were in the car so, pausing only to shovel McDonalds into the children - yes they came to Portugal and are giving us all terrible habits - we set off east. This one looked more challenging as the map showed the confluence to be in a rice field, perhaps close to a raised path, perhaps not...

It's a beautiful part of the interior in the region of the Maranhão dam, a deeply rural area with large property holdings and whitewashed villages. We got to the dam itself around four o'clock and the temperature, which had been rising as we drove away from the sea, hit 38ºC in the shade. From there, we followed a narrow road down the outfall river until it began to diverge from our waypoint. There we found the expected dirt track, which led us to the farm, which owned THE field.

This time we were lucky as, sometime since the 1969 map survey, the field had been drained and switched to corn. The corn was still very low so we could walk around without treading on it as well as see where we were going. We found the spot under an irrigation machine, and spent some time on the confluence dance (encouraged by loads of insects) before we could get the magical zeroes on film.

Having decided to celebrate with ice cream at the nearest small town, Avis, we again got lucky: they were having their folklore festival and we spent a happy hour visiting this wonderful castle town, and watching the dancing and singing in traditional costumes.

All in all, the Simões Coelho family has concluded that confluence hunting is "a good thing", very educational and a good laugh. We also amazed ourselves with the capabilities of GPS technology and are now sprouting many mad ideas for things we can do if we buy one of these magical toys...


 All pictures
#1: General view - South facing
#2: East facing
#3: North facing
#4: West facing
#5: Confluence dancer!
#6: Jackpot Number 2
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)