13-Aug-2014 -- Our visit to Paraguay presented the opportunity to attempt several confluence points, so we rented a car planned a driving route that should enable us to attempt three of them. My 13-yr-old son quickly became an effective navigator using internet mapping apps.
The morning of 13 August was cool and beautiful as we headed south out of Villarrica on highway 8. Turning east toward the village of General Higinio Morinigo put us on a surprisingly good road on which we made great time. Along the way we passed the tallest point in Paraguay, the relatively dramatic Cerro Tres Kandu, and passed through a couple of very peaceful villages. Eventually it was necessary to turn off onto a dirt road with some alarming mud patches. One muddy stretch was crossed only after I observed a motorcycle get through it, but we had to use our bottled water to clean the windshield afterwards.
After a final turn north the road became even rougher, but at this point we only had to travel a few kilometers. While our small rented 2-wheel-drive car was probably unwise, we were hard to deter after such effort to get this far. The soil in this area was very red and the whole area appeared to be intensively farmed and lush.
The actual confluence point was about 300 meters north of the road behind a row of houses. It was in what appeared to be an out-of-season corn field, although other crops were grown nearby. After parking at the closest approach, we engaged a local mother and daughter to come out to find out what we were doing. After some discussion we persuaded the 12-year-old daughter to show us a way through a fence and we were on our way. Although the fields were devoid of crops, it was somewhat tough going and we had to stop several times to clear our shoes and socks of stickers.
The real fun occurred when we returned to our car to find a group of local men had gathered to interrogate us. They appeared to firmly believe that we were treasure hunters or mineral prospectors and demanded to know who we were working for. My repeated attempts to explain about confluence points and our tourist purpose were not believed until one key moment when I translated the assertion that we were gold miners to my son. His sincere laughter appeared to convince the locals that we could be safely ignored and they dispersed.