22-Oct-2010 -- This report is the first out of a series of five Confluences that I visited during an extended weekend to Morocco.
Is it still possible to reach unvisited confluence points with a time budget of 3 days from central Europe? The answer would be: yes, if you are committed to proof this.
Instead of spending an October weekend in cold and rainy Switzerland alone (Elionora was enjoying a vacation in Australia), I set off on Thursday evening from Zurich, biked directly from work to the airport, hopped in the plane via Paris to Casablanca.
I wouldn't get far, since in Paris the air controllers were on strike and our plane didn't get a landing slot assigned. So we waited two hours in the plane, until we suddenly had a slot and could fly to Paris. Due to this delay I had only 20 minutes to change the plane – I ran through several hallways, took a shuttle bus, and managed to hurry through all barriers only to find out that the gate was already closed.
The connection to Casablanca was missed, but it turned out to be the preferable outcome: I would have landed in Morocco late at night without having a hotel reservation. Now Air France sent me to a pleasant 5-star hotel, including delicious buffet for dinner. My replacement flight to Casablanca was right after breakfast, so I arrived in Morocco early enough to have a full day ahead.
I had been in Morocco before, so this time I did not repeat visiting historic sites, instead I devoted all time and energy to reach confluence points. In contrast to “normal” confluence hunters who once in a while visit a point in-between touristic sightseeing, my trip was under the slogan: Confluence first, everything else (such as food, sleep, socialisation etc.) are obstacles. This is surely the reason why I did this trip alone: who else would be ready to bypass a medieval medina for a muddy spot of arbitrary location?
In order to warm up, I visited this Confluence which was on my route anyways. Directly from the airport, I managed to reach this point with a rental car via the motorway to Berrechid, followed by driving on a country road to Souk Tleta Loulad and finally the last 10 km on dusty tracks. This all took about 1.5 hours and was not particularly notable. Only the last kilometre with its moon-like rock cover of the ground with some flowers in-between makes up a special landscape.
At a distance of 168 m to the Confluence, the track was bending away and I parked the car. The area is pure agricultural land, with scattered farmhouses in-between the farmland. At this time of the year, all crops are harvested, so it was harmless to walk straight to the confluence point which is located on one of those fields. The next farmhouse is 120 m to the South and belongs to the community al-Brāziyīn Awlād Šarqiyy. In October the barren soil stands in contrast to the rich colorfulness during spring time.
I did not need to trace back. Some tracks brought me quickly further east to Khouribga.
CP visit details:
- Beeline distance from car parking: 168 m
- Walking time (incl. return): 3 min
- Time at the CP: 12:30 p.m.
- Measured height: 782 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 3 m
- Minimal distance to the CP: 0 m
- Vegetation: none, some stubbles.
- Distance to a road: 7.7 km
- Distance to a track: 170 m
- Distance to houses: 120 m
- Topography: flat, slightly rolling hills.
- Weather: sunny, 24° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In Morocco's region Chaouia-Ouardigha (in Arabic الشاوية ورديغة), northwest of the town Khouribga in a agricultural dominated area.
- Given Name: The Flowery Rockbed Confluence
Story continues at 33N 6W.