Where Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina join on the map of South America lies the Gran Chaco, a steaming, insect-swarming triangle 600 miles by 300 between the Paraguay and Pilcomayo rivers. British Explorer Julian Duguid has described the Pilcomayo as "a vast, foul-smelling, oozy stretch of bog with as much movement as an unsqueezed sponge. ... An Englishman may obtain some slight insight into the discomfort of penetration into the Chaco if he locks himself into a hothouse, waters the flowers, closes all the windows, and allows a blazing sun to shine through...

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