03-Aug-2012 -- The opportunity to visit 46 N 109 E was occasioned by an international technical review of progress on a road intended to complete the link between Choir and Sainshand, on an established but hitherto haphazard route across the Gobi desert between Mongolia and China. This south westerly road alignment, running to the east of the existing railway line, passes close to several confluence points.
Having completed the first element of our work program, we were traveling north to spend the remainder of our site visit working from a base at Gobi Shivu, a small mining town a few km to the wast of the railway line. Just to the south of 46 N we saw that we were under 5km from the confluence point, so simply set out across the open steppe. This was unseasonably green following a period of heavy summer rain, so our driver needed to be careful to avoid the occasional hidden rock, particularly on any slightly higher ground. After encountering camels, and crossing an established but unpaved road, we readily found the point. This is marked by a small cairn, about 1.5 metres to the south of the location indicated by our GPS (set to WGS 84). Local landmarks close to the confluence point include a rock outcrop about 300 m to the East, and an abandoned building about 600 metres to the north west.
There was a minor but established track just to the south of this building. Looking for a way to avoid driving over open ground, we headed west along this track, until we joined the more important road we had previously crossed. An obvious landmark close to this point is a road safety warning sign, in the form of a the cab from a crashed truck placed on an elevated frame. Heading south down this road, we completed an anti-clockwise circle, continuing on to the main road alignment, about 3 km south of the point we had left.