07-Nov-2002 -- After a long summer break we decided to resume our activities in visiting confluence points in the Kingdom. Our first plan was to move south, but unfortunately the points we planned were already visited by some people from the Gulf region. So we decided to move north-west in the area of Burayda in order to visit 26N 44E and 25N 44E.
The evaluation on Garmin's worldmap showed that it would be a trip of about 900 kilometres starting from Riyāḍ. That means, we had to spend a weekend for such a long distance since the points are off the streets. So we started Thursday morning after we gathered at the King Sa`ūd University, northwest of Riyāḍ city centre. In order to 'eat' kilometres by car, we took the highway northwest up to Burayda, about 280 kilometres from Riyāḍ. That area is full of farming and one town connects to the other without any gap in between. Accordingly there are many rural roads and it makes it difficult to hit the right one, since most of those roads end up in a dead end or crop field.
As we approached the point, we saw a huge sand dune blocking our route and we were already prepared to stop, search for a camp site and visit the point by feet early next day, because the distance was about 2.5 kilometres off the road and sand after summer season is too soft to drive, because of lack of rain water, which makes it more strong.
A last attempt was suggested for another dead-end road further westwards and when we took it, the door was open for a very easy access, we almost could drive on the confluence point, because it was in a wādiy (valley) in between those huge sand dunes. That wādiy was utilized by farming as well and so we had an unpaved track leading to the confluence point. By this, we saved a lot of time and decided to carry on further westwards until 4 p.m. and then look for a camping site to stay.
Actually, we moved through a huge plain and it was very difficult to find a suitable site to stay, because the roads are all fenced by farms. But a single mountain in the plain is easy to locate and so we found a sandstone monolith after a while and at 4:30 pm, shortly before dawn, we settled and set up our tents and prepared for a romantic night under the bright sky with trillions of stars watching us.
That was our successful meeting of 26N 44E and the follow up of this story you will find at 25N 44E next to this.