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the Degree Confluence Project
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Saudi Arabia : al-Riyād

83.8 km (52.0 miles) SW of Al Khala'iq al Gharbiyah, al-Riyād, Saudi Arabia
Approx. altitude: 944 m (3097 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 24°S 135°W

Accuracy: 10 m (32 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Northeast #3: South #4: GPS #5: Nest #6: Mud House

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  24°N 45°E (visit #2)  

#1: Northwest

(visited by Alistair Rausch and Sean Rausch)

14-Nov-2002 -- I had a spare day during the weekend and as this Confluence was only classified as “Attempted”, I decided to try to bag another confluence point. This Confluence was very close to the main road and was therefore safe enough to go as one vehicle. My son, Sean, and I started off fairly early on the Makka road, a route that we both knew well.

The two-hour journey took us down the scenic Ṭuwayq escarpment, through the beautiful Nafūd Qunayfidha sand dunes, across the flat gravel plains and into the northern granite fields. As a contingency, we refueled in the small town of al-Quway`iyya and soon after, we left the highway for the village of Muḥayriqa. The tar road wound through the granite hills until we stumbled upon a side road that seemed to lead us in a more appropriate direction. This narrow tar road took us to a tiny settlement called Nasaq, which was less than a kilometer from the confluence point. We guessed well, in that we found a faint track up a small valley, which took us within 200 m of the confluence point. This final leg to reach the quest was an easy climb, half way up a granite hill.

The view was very pleasant from the Confluence’s vantage point. The valley curved from the northwest to the northeast. Of course the southern view was blocked by the hill we were on, but we climbed to the top of the hill for a view of the whole surrounding area. On route, we discovered a bird’s nest that had been constructed precariously on a ledge half way up a sheer cliff face. No one seemed to be at home.

Reluctantly, we left the area and headed home. On the way we spotted a larger than normal Arabic mud home that had not long been vacated, judging by the good condition that the mud walls were still in. The small plot seemed to have been abandoned as the date palms in the palm grove had been left unattended and they had started to die. How pretty this scene must have been during a bygone age.

We still had some time in our day, so on the way home we popped in to the well-known Graffiti Rock I. The interesting thing about this site is that there are many petroglyphs (rock etchings) on the one rock face. Normally, the petroglyphs are less numerous on one face. Sadly, the petroglyphs are quite weathered as the sandstone on which they are etched is susceptible to the wind, heat and rain.

And so ended another pleasant day in the desert. “Why do you like going to these confluence points, dad?”, asked my son. “Because it means that we can see places that we would not normally see”, I answered. “You mean, like explorers?”, he pressed. “Yes. Just like explorers”, I said. I guessed that, at that age, I must have asked my dad similar questions when he took us on wild adventures through the countries of central Africa during the nineteen sixties.


 All pictures
#1: Northwest
#2: Northeast
#3: South
#4: GPS
#5: Nest
#6: Mud House
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)