03-Sep-2006 -- Done! Done! Done! Well done! See our satisfy feeling when you reach the confluence 16N 108E! It was a very hard confluence, so deep and tottery on the mountain abysm of Vietnam midland. The trip to 16N 108E had over 40 members from North, South and Central of Vietnam taking parts. Maybe, it was the densest confluence-visiting trip. And, more than one special thing was the youngest member, Tivi (Hoankiem‘s son), he is only 7 year olds.
The visiting plan was posted on one of the busiest Vietnam forums a month before the trip, on the occasion of the Vietnam Independent Day vacation. Basically, we had the parameters: 16N 108E, about altitude of 1200 meters, deep in about 200 meters, light slope terrain, tropical protected forest with bushes and brushwood. However, in the past, there were two unsuccessful attemps (of claymore and BS). Both of them did try their best but could not reach the confluence. Therefore, it becomes the attracting point! A lot of female (without the trekking experience) joined with their young strength and the eager of the first time participating in confluence hunt. Mr. Vietnam had just in time, backing from Azerbaijan to find out his confluence feeling on his country. Tay Bac Group (10 members from the Northwest) was very interested in taking part in this trip, too. What a very powerful force!
We divided by very small groups. All Sep 1st & 2nd, Sai Gon-Ha Noi two-way flights, buses, trains carry in them members of this trip with their thirst for conquering the confluence 16N 108E. Sep 2nd, at dead of night, North and Sound members were in full. From one Da Nang city corner, there was one agitated night.
Sep 3rd was the pure autumn morning. From the Saigontourant yard, we officially did start the trip with 2 coaches and some motorbikes. We went through Hai Chau and Lien Chieu districts, towards Hoa Vang district. Our procession was with impetuous air, in the middle of coastal street.
We arrived at the transit shed 30 minutes later, where we paid toll for each head. From there, we had to go more 17 kilometers to reach the altitude of 1200 meters before going on our foot. What an abrupt mountain slope! The Ba Na top was over our heads.
That was a very hazardous stretch of road; 17 kilometers were stood back quickly. We stop our coaches and motorbikes beside Hoang Lan villa.
Going through the forest in the early autumn, how enjoyable feeling was! And, all had the same goal: conquering the confluence 16N 108E. We did adjust ourselves securely. We applied DEP cream (hoping to scare away the terrestrial leeches) for each other. Mr. Hailua, our delegation leader, quickly held a fast map using and reading training for very new members. That was about 10 AM. We checked again all things: role-call, individual equipment, bush-hook, rope, emergency equipment, water and food, paper map, compass, GPS, whistle, radio communication equipment, camera… All was in ready status!
The paved road team leaded by Ducko, Claymore judges and orients. Some vehement underling like T.A, Chaotyct, DuyTrung, Bao Thanh and Claymore was excellent in their mission: tree, creeper, sharp tree branch was cleared so the girls went into the real woods but feel easy than go into it for travel. Bravo the Sapper team! However, going down the abyss without familiar, the girls still take turns to…slip buttock ploddingly, then stand up, go on, so brave, cause of love confluence (confluence- alcoholic)!
The distance to confluence was shorter and noticed every 5m. Moving for a moment, from altitude 1280mts, down to the valley about 70mts (altitude 1210mts), Vietnam noticed that his iFinder lost its fix, at the same time the Garmins have no signal. Currently, only the Magellans (Meridian and eXplorist) and BT338 have been operating doggedly. At that time, Hailua was taking mission in the rear, he moves while guides the girls who were recalled to take the meeting with the sapper paving way team. Hailua run like the wind and make the BT338…”dizzy”, the displayed arrow on the PDA turned in confusion. Finally, the Magellan was the most useful. Consult together for a moment, then continue move on. The Confluence was come nearer.
After a moment, the walkie-talkie resound Tabalo’s voice reporting that he was at the Confluence and repairing boiled water to entertain everybody coffee. Wow! Astonishingly! Tabalo and TayBac Group decided the personal way with the Garmin at the beginning of the journey.
Hailua steps backwards again to do mission in the rear, but he still keep in touch with Ducko and Vietnam via Radio to determine the direction and the distance to Confluence. Mission in the rear, but the simply task is remind the girls the rule of 3 points when go into woods.
Ducko and the paved road team report that was 50mts distance from confluence, suggest stopping to gather as good tradition of GPS when taking part in confluence hunt, wait for gather enough member then go to Confluence!
But at this time, the team recognizes that Tabalo group still wander somewhere, around and around the confluence. Understanding the situation immediately, Etrex can not fix the signal. Have no way, he resign himself guiding for Tabalo via Radio, whistle and…howling!
Finally, after South-North Dating, after several times the GPS recivers lost their signals, after…slip buttock to sloping wood…The Confluence was conquered in the cheerfulness of 40 people, in the middle of autumn.
Just back to city, Vietnam has thought to…Confluence 18N 106E in Quang Binh and appeal quickly. And immediately, Hailua and other friends…respond in cheerful. Such a confluence-acoholic!
Date! The next confluence, a very near day!
Reported by duyytrinh