24-Jan-2015 -- This is the third out of 6 reports, describing confluence visits in Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia and Hungary. The story starts at 45°N 16°E.
Coming from 45°N 17°E, I had only 2 hours of daylight left to visit this confluence point. But making an attempt that day was tempting. So I decided to give it a try and in case I reached the confluence point too late, I would overnight nearby and visit the next morning.
The quickest route was indeed crossing the border into Croatia, cruise the motorway to Slavonski Brod and cross the border back to Bosnia at the town of Brod. Although I had 6 passport controls and two toll stations to pass, I reached the confluence area relatively quick. I didn't have a navigation-assisted GPS with me, but I was able to remember the correct roads from prior research. I had already planned to park the car in the village Polje 150 m from the confluence and not at the dead end road that was used by Greg’s visit for parking. I wanted to walk the way that had been used by the boy carrying a bucket. I figured that this would be the safest way in terms of mines.
Every visitor of confluences in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be aware of the land mine contamination. By 2013 still 2.4% of the country’s territory had been mined. Most contaminated areas are marked and sign-posted, but not entirely. It still happens that people become victims walking in unmarked areas although the numbers have decreased to less than 10 fatalities per year. While roads and tracks are generally safe, walking cross-country through forests can be dangerous. The map of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre (BHMAC) shows that this confluence point is in an area close to minefields (CP is the cross in the center of the map).
Normally I would have first talked to people in the village before walking into the field. Here, I made an exception due to the approaching nightfall. I simply parked my car in someone’s yard and ran across the field to the exact confluence point. In my haste I forgot to change my shoes such that my feet became soaking wet in the muddy field. The confluence is located in the lower corner of a grass field.
Returning to my car, half the village of Polje had gathered to participate in the rare event of a tourist visiting the village. Luckily, Tanja and Brankica spoke English and I could explain the confluence project. We kept on talking for an hour and I learned much about the village, e.g. that all houses had been destroyed during the war. There were a lot of mines in the area, but not in direct vicinity of the village.
Now that it was completely dark, I had all the time in the world to drive to the Croatian city Osijek and spent the night there.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 150 m
- Distance to a track: 150 m
- Distance of car parking: 150 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 3 minutes
- Time at the CP: 4:40 PM
- Measured height: 119 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: slight inclination, hilly
- Vegetation: meadow with grass, nearby a row of trees.
- Weather: overcast, 0° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: Tanja’s Hasty Confluence
The story continues at 46°N 19°E.