23-Jun-2006 -- Continued from 32N 11E.
Travelling southward from Nālūt, near the Libyan/Tunisian border, Justin and I passed 31N 11E off to our left. With the outside temperature at 54°C and the conditions looking rough, we decided not to risk a journey into such unknown territory in those conditions. We would continue to 30N 11E further south.
At Daraj near Ġadāmis, we refuelled and, after a chat with a few locals, headed off east in the direction of al-Qaryat al-Šarqiyya, some 300 km away. The road was empty and the desert off to our right, in the direction of our intended target, was flat and deserted. After about 12km along the Šarqiyya road, we turned off to follow a track that looked as though it headed in the right direction. Taking guidance from our GPS, it was clear that the bearing we were on would take us too far to the South, so we parted company from the track and headed across the empty and featureless plain. Mirages shimmered in the heat haze ahead of us. We were on virgin soil.
Forty kilometers into the desert, in an almost dead straight line, we reached our confluence point. Although it was late afternoon, the temperature was still in the Forties. We took our site photographs and, mission accomplished, climbed back into the airconditioned cool of the car, turned and headed back north, towards the asphalt road. Continuing eastward, we looked out for a place to camp for the evening as it was our intention to visit more confluence points the following day.
Continued at 30N 12E.