12-Oct-2002 -- We left Campinas in the morning of October 12, 2002, heading north on Highway SP 340 towards Aguaí to reach Confluence 47W 22S.
Highway SP 340 forks in Aguaí, with one branch going northeast to São João da Boa Vista and Minas Gerais, and another branch going northwest to Mococa. The Confluence lies somewhere between the two branches, at 5-6 kilometers from both. Our first attempt was to take the latter branch. We tried the first exit beyond Jaguari river, as the GPS showed us that the direction to the confluence was perpendicular to the highway at some 15 kilometers after the highway fork.
That was an unpaved road that crossed mainly orange plantations. It did not take us too far. We got to the railway that, according to GPS reading, passed just come 500 meter from the confluence. But differently from what we supposed, there was no road beside the railway. And the Confluence was still some 3.5 kilometers from where we were.
We got back to the highway and headed south to try the dirt road on the other side of Jaguari river. At this point, we realized that the Confluence was near or inside a large forest patch. Because that forest patch was covering the top of a hill, we could see it from virtually anywhere. We tried a few roads, all of them very dusty as they crossed bare-soil fields ready to be planted with sugarcane. The nearest we could get to the Confluence was 2.25 kilometers.
In our way back to the highway, we stopped to ask a local about easier ways to reach the forest patch by car. Following the local man’s instructions, we went to the town of Aguaí and took another dirt road to a place called Engenheiro Mendes, or Siriri. We got to a farm. We were just 1.6 kilometers from the Confluence. There were no more roads that could take us closer to the forest-covered hill that was our target. We thought we could perfectly walk that distance and we tried to do so. However, a fat man and his two buddies (supposedly farm manager and employees, respectively) chased us by car and made us stop right before the end of the road. The fat man unfriendly reminded us that those were private lands and that we had to leave immediately. With no attempt to argue whatsoever, we turned around and left.
The day was terribly hot, with temperatures probably reaching 100F (38C), and those roads couldn’t be dustier. But we tried a last road. This time heading to a place called “Cantinho”, near Seu Nérso Barbosa’s farm. Once again, we could see the forested hill right there, so near and so far. But this time things looked a lot better as we could see a path leading right to the edge of the forest patch. Also, this time we did the right thing: we asked an employee the authorization to enter the farm. It was almost 1:00 p.m. when we finally reached the forest patch in which the Confluence was supposedly located, 640 meter from where we were.
It was a dense second-growth forest, apparently impossible to penetrate without a machete. We had no machetes so we slowly opened our way up through the tangled mess of lianas and thorny bushes. There were rocks on the floor and fallen trees to make our progress even slower. Perfect habitat for rattlesnakes and wasps. After long minutes, we had advanced just some 100 meters. The GPS was not operating very well inside the forest. It was as hot as hell, we were covered by dust, hurt by the thorns, hungry, and still had over 540 meters to go...We gave up.
Back home, plotting the Confluence point on a satellite image, we found out that the Confluence point is close to the other edge of the forest patch, on a sugarcane plantation, in the farm of the hostile fat manager. We do not know yet if we will ever try the 47W 22S Confluence again.