29-Mar-2005 -- Story starts from 14N 44E.
This is the second visit to a Confluence on our tour in Yemen. This CP is located 30 km north of Yemen's second largest city `Adan (Aden). The main road between Ta`izz und `Adan misses the target by only 7.5 km. Since we were travelling from Ta`izz to `Adan anyway, I assumed a visit of the CP as relatively easy.
We took the public Ta`izz-`Adan bus (ca. 170 km), and when we came close to the confluence point, I asked the bus driver to stop the coach and let us get out. Everybody seemed to be surprised why we wanted to leave the bus in the middle of nowhere, but my wish was satisfied. The bus driver was so kind to continue to the next intersection.
It was about 2:00 p.m. and the heat at its peak. With about 35 degrees Celsius the climate in the highlands (where we just came from) appeared mild to us. At the intersection is no town, just two houses. An already overcrowded taxi was waiting to go somewhere. We began to explain where we wanted to go, but nobody seemed to know a place called Dār al-Manāṣira. We attracted a crowd of people around us and further negotiations got a little exhausting. I wasn't amused to attract a crowd because this would increase the chance to attract the police (see our experience at CP 14N 44E). The taxi's destination was not on my map. The crowd suggested that we should wait for a Jeep that can drive on sand. Indeed, 15 minutes later, an off-road able pick-up arrived. Certainly, the backside loading area was cramped with people. While Guang as a woman was so lucky to get offered a seat in the front, I was cramped with about 15 other people in the back.
We ended up changing the vehicles three times until our 4th vehicle brought us as close as 250 m to the point. All of our drivers had been very nice to us: they all refused to take money and also helped us to get the next ride. Normally, we don't mind hiking, but considering the heat, the fact that we carried our entire luggage with us, and the fact that the unusual event of foreigners let the local people overreact, let us be relieved to have just 250 m to hike.
Now, something happened which is rare in Yemen: we were totally alone, when we got to the CP. We walked along a tobacco field, some cotton fields, and finally found the point in a field with young corn-like sprouts.
On our way back, we had to hike quite a while until we found transportation again. However, we made it to the city of `Adan before it got dark.
CP visit details:
- Time at CP: 3:00 p.m.
- Duration: 3 hours (until we were back to the main road)
- Distance of car exiting: 250 m
- GPS height: 47 m
- Description: On the southern flatlands (Tihāma) of Yemen. Irrigated farmland with corn, tobacco, and cotton. Sandy surface. Some scattered palm trees. In 800 m distance sand dunes. Some houses in 400 m distance, area is not heavily populated.
- Given Name: The Cramped Taxi Confluence
Story continues at 15N 43E.