01-Jan-2004 -- While I was planning our route south towards Montepuez, I had noticed this confluence point relatively close to the road, about 20 km north of Montepuez. Most of the countryside is still dense bush, so I was a bit apprehensive about finding it successfully: the bush might be impenetrable, the confluence point too far from the road, there could still be uncleared minefields, or the satellite reception too weak.
Fortunately, by the time we reached the closest point the road would take us, the confluence was a mere 620 m from the road. The vegetation was not too dense either. I took a quick bearing with the compass and decided not to bother checking with the GPSr until I was much closer to the spot. Thinking I was the sharpest navigator, I packed my compass into my pocket and headed off into the undergrowth. About 300 m later I decided to check on my bearings, and to my dismay I found I was heading way off course. I had disregarded one of the cardinal facts about walking in the bush: it all looks the same, so it's very difficult to keep on track. To make matters worse, it was midday, so the sun was overhead and didn't help with my navigation. Fortunately, the GPSr reception was fairly good, and I quickly remedied the situation. After that the only real difficulty was making my way through the vegetation. Occasionally a path would appear because local people collect firewood from the bush. Unfortunately, most of the time these paths were not going in the direction I was trying to head.
By the time I reached the confluence point I was perspiring profusely in the tropical heat, with temperatures into the high 30°s Centigrade. There was also the constant irritation of swarms of flies. If you stand still, they settle all over your body, so the only way to get some relief is to keep moving, inducing you to perspire even more.
After taking the photos of the confluence point I headed back to the car in a relatively straight line, following my compass all the while. The highlight of the walk back was passing a mango tree which had the most tasty, almost hairless fruit we encountered on the entire 14,000 km journey through southern and eastern Africa.