28-Mar-2004 -- My son Brendan and I left our home town of Santa Rosa (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) at 15:00 on Sunday afternoon and headed west, having set a waypoint in the GPS at 28ºS 055ºW.
We followed the tarmac road as far as the town of São Paulo das Missões, some 50km. from Santa Rosa, and there took a dirt road north towards the village of Pinheiro Machado, 8km. north.
The countryside there is hilly and heavily wooded, and we were concerned that the Confluence Point might be on the top of a hill or in the middle of a patch of forest.
However, the road kept going where the GPS pointed, and as we entered Pinheiro Machado, we found we were within 200m of the CP. We drove into the village and parked within 80m of the CP. It seemed to be behind a pig building in a farm yard, and we found the owner's daughter, who gave us permission to wander into their property.
However, as we followed the GPS, we ended up in the neighbour's farm (by coincidence son-in-law of the first owner), and once again were given permission to do whatever we wanted.
In any event, the CP ended up being about 3m. north of another pig building, so the southern view is of that pig building!
The owner of the property, Mr. Carmo Mittmann, is, like many of his neighbours, a descendent of German settlers who came to this area of Brazil around 1920. He and his two sons are smallfarmers in the area. Many of the people in the village are relatives, and most live from agriculture, mainly dairy farming, pig farming and arable farming.
Having taken photographs of and around the CP, we thanked Mr. Carmo and also the first lady we spoke to. She invited us to visit her 90-year old father, Mr. Libório Bohn, where we were entertained with fresh bread, cake and "chimarrão", the local brand of tea drunk out of a gourd.
So as well as making a successful visit to the Confluence Point, we made new friends in a village we had never visited!
Report by Martin Riordan - "firstname.lastname@example.org"
PS The site states that this CP is 12.2 km. SSW of Cristal, RS, Brazil. Nobody in Pinheiro Machado has heard of Cristal.