We left Petropolis at 9:30 PM, 30-dec-2003, and droved to Santa Barbara Resort Hotel (a hot springs resort) located at base of Serra do Espinhaço, opposite side of Diamantina. We intended to find the confluence 18 S 44 W located near Santa Barbara.
We have been there two years ago when we went to Jalapao and Lencois Maranhences, and found a confluence nearby, at 7 km from there, and we have tried to reach the top of sierra by a 4wd road going toward an antenna near the hotel headquarters, but this road was in bad conditions, even for a 4WD car. Only by foot we could reach this antenna. So by that time we gave up the idea to reach this confluence.
But this time when we arrived at Santa Barbara we took the gravel road to Salobro, we took a wrong way and we reached the Rio Preto where we swam at 7:00 AM. Asking the people there how to reach the top of the sierra by car, we found a 4WD road near Açude (a steeep road with some gullies ) to Santa Rita, a small village with a school located in the top of sierra, supplied by solar energy from photo cells (a project of CEPEL and CEMIG).
The road was in good conditions even with the last rains. In some place we have to use the 4WD. Using this road we approached the confluence near 2.5 km. This road is a passage to Diamantina, in dry season, and the people of Santa Rita, Buriti ride trucks to go to Diamantina. They avoid this road to Açude because the trucks can not handle steep ramps.
In the top of Sierra we found a residence. It belongs to Seu Andre. Near there are other houses and then the Santa Rita Village with a small church and beneath, in a valley, the school.
All this area is in the border of National Park of Sempre Vivas (a flower that sprouts all year long).
We asked Seu Andre how to reach the scarps on the border of the field without sinking the car in the mud. So we contour the flood field and reached the base of a hill full of boulders.
From there to the confluence was 2.5 km. So we walk to the top of hill and saw another hill ahead. So we descended this hill went up to the top of other hill and figured out that the confluence was behind the next scarped hill.
So we solved to contour this hill of boulders following a spoiled footpath near the stream and the GPS was showing that we were far from confluence around 1.1 km.
When we reached the valley behind this hill the foot path disappear and we started to walk in the middle of a thorn bush and thick and dry vegetation, going up in the valley, now with the confluence ahead.
We followed a small stream to the top of the hill but the confluence was far from 700 meters.
We left the river and started to scramble some boulders far from 500 meters from confluence. After 2 hours walking in thick vegetation and now scrambling some rocks we guessed the confluence would take us much time and we gave up, at 500 meters from it.
For us it would take a long time looking for this confluence inside this boulder confusion. Maybe could take two hours, maybe more. Then we guessed it was better to give up this time.