22-Nov-2004 -- On a trip to Chile and Argentina with my father Nod and his wife Jennifer, we knew we would have some spare time in Chile's capital Santiago, so Jennifer arranged for us to hook up with expatriate Australian Jeff, introduced by a friend of hers, to visit this confluence 60 kilometres northwest. Judging by the accounts of the two previous groups of visitors, this would be a relatively easy one to reach. Joining us in the hunt was our local tour guide Ximena.
The village of Caleu, in which the confluence is situated, is accessible by two routes: from the south via a turnoff from the sealed Tiltil to Olmue highway, and from the east via a turnoff from the unsealed Tiltil to Rungue road. We elected to approach on the former and return via the latter.
The gravel road from the Tiltil-Olmue highway north to Caleu climbs to an altitude of 1,235 metres, offering good views both southeast to the perennially smog-shrouded Santiago basin and snow-covered Andes beyond, and north to the valley in which Caleu and the confluence are located. Curiously, the Turistel map I had indicated that the hill to the northeast of the Caleu valley was called Cerro La Campana (1,910 metres), not Cerro El Roble as mentioned in the first visitors' report.
Nevertheless, the previous visitors' reports were a good guide, and we easily located the green metal gate to the confluence property. A dog inside looked at us quizzically from a distance, then seemed to just vanish. There was apparently no one at home, which was unfortunate because an interview with the owners/occupiers would have added more interest to our visit and also to this report. The gate was unlocked, and, on the basis that previous confluence visitors had been made welcome, we decided to let ourselves in.
The confluence was 160 metres inside the property, near apple trees, almond trees, prickly pear cactus (known locally as "tuna"), Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica), and a variety of other unidentified flowers, bushes and trees. We took documentary photos of the GPS and views looking north, south, east and west, as well as a group shot and several shots of the surrounding flora.