14-Jul-2006 -- To get from the 31N 12E confluence to 31N 13E we first had to negotiate our way up onto the first and then the second of two successive plateaus. This proved a little more difficult than expected due to the loose underfoot conditions! To get traction we had to load approximately 350 kg of rock into the pickup!
A puncture 15 kilometers from 31N 13E further slowed our progress and we only arrived at the Confluence after 13:00. We took the necessary photos, had a snack, and departed for the northeastern edge of the plateau to look for a way down.
We did not have immediate success in finding the route down, but we did manage to get a good view from the plateau looking in the direction of Mizda. On the route down we found many signs that this route had been used for quite some time and there were a number of wells that provided a good reason to stop and rest in the afternoon heat.
The relatively short and easy drive on the tarmac road back to Mizda gave us time to reflect on the day's success of having managed two Confluences, and we started toying with the idea of attempting a third Confluence: 31N 14E!
So, the deal was struck; if we could get the punctured tire repaired in Mizda, be refueled and re-supplied with water by 17:00, we would make the attempt. Needless to say, we were highly focused on achieving the objectives and managed to get everything done by the specified time! Off to 31N 14E...