23-Sep-2014 -- This is the second out of 12 confluence reports, reaching 10 and attempting 2 confluence points in Iran and Turkmenistan. The story continues from 36°N 51°E.
On the same day we spontaneously decided to attempt another Confluence that had not yet been visited. Since it is located in a salt lake, I didn’t actually have much hope that it would be possible to access the point. However, we headed 110 km south towards the salt lake named Daryācheh-ye Ḥowẓ-e Solṭān (دریاچه حوض سلطان). This is a lake during the wet season and a muddy plain during the dry season with an extension of about 15 km by 15 km. The Confluence is close to its center and located on the far side of the main road between Qūm (قوم) and Tehrān.
The village Chešmeh-ye Šūr (چشمه شور) with its location 9 km north of the Confluence is probably the nearest that one can approach the Confluence on a road. In Chešmeh-ye Šūr we suddenly found ourselves in a dead-end with a gate and security guards. We quickly u-turned and circumvented the fenced complex. We followed skid marks further south up to a distance of 5.8 km. There, the edge of the salt lake was reached. We parked and started hiking.
The scenery is unique and wonderful. After 1 km into the hike, the ground cover consisted of hexagonal tiles of salt and soon we were surrounded by the flat plain of the lake. Only very far at the horizon, we could see high mountains.
The ground cover at the Confluence is also hexagonally tiled – even if the hexagons are not mathematically accurate. A close look at the ground discloses
salt stalactites and stalagmites. There are absolutely no plants visible.
I can clearly say that this is the greatest confluence point I have visited so far – which means quite something out of 500 visited points. The point is probably not dangerous. I say “probably”, because at some places the ground is soft causing our shoes to sink up to 5 cm into the mud. It could be that at other places the fluid part below the dry and hard surface can be deep and dangerous.
We reached the car at sunset – perfect timing. We drove for half an hour and reached the sacred city Qūm with its Holy Shrine of Fāṭima Ma`ṣūmeh.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 9000 m
- Distance to a track: 5800 m
- Distance of car parking: 5800 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 1 hour
- Time at the CP: 5:06 PM
- Measured height: 806 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: absolutely flat
- Vegetation: none.
- Weather: sunny, 25° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Salt Lake Confluence
The story continues at 35°N 52°E.