10-Oct-2010 -- It was 10 October and following our visit to confluence 27N 16E, our guide and driver Alagui `Ali Alagui `Ali took us north over desert tracks to the village of al-Fuqahā', then turned east towards al-Harūj al-Aswad (the Black mountains). The Harūj is an immense extinct volcano that erupted 6 times through the millennia. The lava field here covers an area of 45 km². The magma must have been fairly liquid when it seeped out and this enabled it to spread slowly over this extensive area.
It was extremely hot so we only spent a short time exploring the lava and looking for mineral traces. We found some evidence of peridot, but nothing else. We did however see a grey lizard about 20 cm long, which, we were told, could change its colour to red when angry. We retired to the shade of a nearby Acacia tree for lunch where we were soon found by a Mulla Mulla bird. After a rest we headed back to al-Fuqahā', and turned northwest on the main B2 road. A while later the GPS indicated that 16 East was some 12 km to the right, so we turned off the tarmac and onto the desert. This was very difficult terrain, boulder-strewn, gullies and lots of small rocks, but we finally made it to 28N 26E.