06-Apr-2004 -- I had known about the confluence project for quite a while, but I just hadn't been close enough to unvisited confluences until my travels took me to South Australia. A quick check on the website indicated that there were two unvisited confluences not too far away from where I was staying. I didn't have access to a car, so I had to enlist the help of a couple of friends. Hilary was immediately interested; however, his car, a VW Beetle pickup-truck, would only take two people, and wouldn't be the best alternative for travelling the Australian Outback. Hilary contacted Andrew, who had a slightly more appropriate car for such a trip. The fact that the Mitsubishi Magna didn't have a third gear didn't really make us worry too much.
On the 6th of April 2003 we set out for our expedition. Armed with maps, a GPS unit, and a carton of Fosters, we were on the road at 10am. According to the maps, there would be a dirt road that should take us to within 1km of the first confluence(33°S 137°E). Confident that we would have no trouble getting there, we stopped for a long lunch in a pub along the way. We arrived at the beginning of the dirt road at approximately 4pm, only to find out that the road was barred by a locked gate. A short reconnaissance mission along the highway revealed no way around the gate; we were forced to abandon our car 10km from the confluence.
We started the hike following the track. I set a brisk pace, hoping to get to the confluence before sunset. After a while we got tired of the winding track, and decided to take a heading from the GPS and just walk directly towards the confluence. The hike took us about 2 hours, and we arrived at the confluence point minutes before sunset(as can be seen from the GPS photo). We took the pictures, rested for a while, and started the journey back to the car. Luckily we didn't have to walk in complete darkness; a full moon lighted our way. Even more luckily, Venus seemed to be guiding us directly towards the car; this came in handy when the GPS momentarily lost all satellites. Not being in such a hurry to get back, it took us about 2.5 hours to get back to the car, where we celebrated with a couple of beers.
We drove back to Port Augusta to have some dinner, and to discuss our further plans. The decision was made to drive as close to the second confluence as possible that night, and make a decision on whether we would try the hike the following day.
Continued at 32°S 137°E...