13-Mar-2004 -- On March 13, 2004, I left the town of Cunco on my bicycle, heading south towards Lakes Colico and Caburgua.
Around 11 a.m. my GPS showed that the confluence was 1.5 miles east, at a 90-degree angle to the road. I talked with a friendly hitchhiker, who told me that about a kilometer ahead was a road that went towards the east. I biked on, found that road, and moved about a mile closer to the confluence before the road ended at a small house.
A very friendly lady and her son came to the gate. With my limited Spanish I attempted to explain why I was asking permission to walk across her fields. Although I’m not sure they understood latitude and longitude, they did understand that I really wanted to reach a point about a kilometer past their home.
The lady not only gave me permission, but invited me to park my bicycle within the safety of their fenced yard. I accepted this kind offer, and began collecting the gear I’d need for my hike: my GPS, my camera, my notebook, and a pencil. She said a few words to her son, who then ran into the house and returned with a small shoulder bag. This kind favor made it unnecessary for me to untie my pack from the back of my bike.
The confluence was still 0.66 miles ahead. I crossed eight fences en route, each guarded by thickets of blackberry bushes, so my bare legs paid a price for reaching the goal. I could see forest ahead, and for a while I wasn’t sure the confluence would be in the clear.
The last quarter mile took me up a slope, across a beautiful meadow along the side of a hill. The confluence was reached about 200 feet short of the forest.
I practically filled my compactflash card with images, not only of the GPS readings, but of the fine views in all directions. I then retraced my path to the bicycle. The lady could tell from my enthusiasm that I had reached that strange point I sought, and she and her son were equally enthusiastic. Her husband then arrived, and I went through a final explanation of what I had just “found”, hoping that “confluencia” and “satélites” are meaningful words in the Spanish language. I’m sure that they are now convinced that there are some very strange people in this world.