30-Nov-2019 -- This report is the 8th out of nine reports reaching or attempting confluence points during my 2-week bicycle trip around Cuba. The story starts at 21°N 76°W and continues from 23°N 80°W.
After spending the night in the Spa Hotel Elguea in the village Corralillo, I continued a bit on the main road until I reached the village Marti. 2 km after leaving Marti, I left the main road on a gravel road for 9 km. Then I entered a minor track which was cyclable. However, I had to push my bicycle partially, because of the thorns. Some very mean branches of the bushes had fallen on the track and threatened to puncture my tyre. However, after 3.5 km on that track I had reached the nearest point and parked my bicycle with a remaining distance of exactly 2 km.
This confluence point has been attempted twice before – without success. So I was expecting a hard and long-lasting bush-fight. I took 2 litres of water and entered the bushland.
Indeed, progress was slow. The bushes were dense and every step strenuous. 20 minutes into the hike, my GPS still showed 1.75 km to go. I had to find another strategy. On the satellite image, I had seen some sort of track towards the confluence point. I tried to reach it, but the closer I got, the denser got the vegetation. The reason for this was: the track had been abandoned long time ago. Since then, it had been a very favourable place for plats to grow. While the surrounding area was mostly swamp with standing water on it, the former track was a little elevated. And the higher the ground the dryer and the more air get the roots.
I finally reached the track. But it was so overgrown, that walking along it was an even harder bush-fight compared to its surrounding land. Therefore I left the track again. I left it to the east side, because the confluence is also on that side. The land on the east side is lower, and I had to walk in the ankle-deep water. But therefore, the vegetation is much less – just grass and scattered bushes – allowing me to reach the confluence point quite quickly. It was extremely hot, so the water cooled me a bit. 90 minutes after leaving my bicycle, I was standing at the confluence point. There were only reeds around it. The overgrown track can be seen in 200 m distance on the west side.
The return took me only one hour (staying only on the east side). My 2 litres of water had already been empty. I drank my last bits of water that I had in my paniers and returned the same way that I had come. When I reached the village Maximo Gomez, I enjoyed several fruit juices and cold water. I ended my cycling day in Varadero, the touristic center of Cuba.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 3500 m
- Distance to a track: 2000 m
- Distance to a footpath: 2000 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 2000 m
- Time to reach the confluence from the track: 90 minutes
- Time at the confluence: 11:58 AM
- Measured height: 3 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: reeds, grass
- Weather: sunny, 30° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Swamp Walk Confluence
The story finishes at 23°N 82°W.
More pictures of the trip can be found here.