11-Jan-2004 -- My home in England is close to the Greenwich Meridian, and I've always been interested in things which sit exactly on this line. So, the degree confluence project was immediately intriguing to me, and I took the opportunity to visit some points while visiting my wife's family in Brazil.
On the map S21 W49 looked to be quite a distance from the nearest road, but when we got there we found that it was just 2.35 km from a convenient parking spot, by a farm gate. A path led in the right direction alongside a field of corn, and we set off along this with plenty of water - since the temperature was over 40 degrees; quite a challenge for a pale Englishman!
After about half a kilometre, the path reached a T-junction, and we chose a direction at random and hoped for a crosspath before too long. As it turned out the corn was criss-crossed with paths, and it wasn't hard to keep fairly close to our bearing.
After the corn was a field of young orange trees, less than a metre high and easy to cross. At the other side we detoured to avoid an area of rough ground, and found ourselves on a path through a mature orange orchard -- so a couple of fresh oranges helped keep the thirst at bay! At the end of this path we entered a rubber-tree plantation, which was welcomingly cool and still easy to walk through.
The confluence turned out to be on the far edge of the rubber plantation, exactly in line with the last row of trees. A metre or two further and we would have been in dense sugar cane, which would have been hard to traverse - and made for extremely dull pictures!
As it turns out, the spot is particularly beautiful. The point itself is shown in the photo as the cup collecting the latex sap from the tree. To one side is the cool, open forest; to the other is the sugar cane and palm trees.
Corn, oranges, rubber and sugar - how much more Brazilian can you get?
Time reached: 16:55 (18:55 GMT)