16-Mar-2007 -- Continued from 43°S 173°E.
This visit was actually not planned, but arriving at Auckland International Airport which is 18.3 km beeline distance from this confluence and having half a day to kill, we thought that a spontaneous hunt could be the best use of our time.
We didn’t carry a camera, but we were able to purchase one of these single-use cameras for $10 NZ. Luckily we were carrying a GPS receiver so the hunt could start. Our arriving time was late in the night (10:30pm) and only one expensive car rental company was still open. Since the price for the rental car was a little more than expected and since the use of the car would take away most of the challenge for this easy-to-reach confluence, we just started to walk through the night - always following the arrow on the GPS display.
We knew that we would not make it to the confluence in the night, but we nevertheless continued walking towards the confluence. We followed along the main road over the bay bridge in eastern direction. Approximately one hour after we had left the airport, a car stopped and the driver offered us a ride. He had seen me already half an hour earlier and when he saw us still walking through the night on his way back, he felt sorry for the poor persons. He was a corpulent man from Tonga. When I told him that I want to find a point near Clevedon, he offered us to bring me there. I tried to explain the idea of confluencing to him, but he didn’t quite comprehend it. In particular when I couldn’t answer his question what the address of that point is, he got confused. Nevertheless he followed our orders to take a left here, a right there, turn around and turn again into other small country roads until the distance to the confluence was 800m. Here, in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of the night, we requested to be dropped off. We kindly refused his offer to stay the night in his house. We rolled out our sleeping bags and gazed a while to the Southern Sky until we fell asleep.
The next morning we got up with the first daylight and hiked to the point. We mainly hiked through forests with steep up and down grades. Finally we found the exact location at the bottom of a deep valley. The GPS signals weren’t the best and the lighting conditions were poor as well. With the cheap photo camera we were not able to take better pictures than what you see here.
We walked half way back to the airport (about 3 hours) until we reached the township Manukau. There, a taxi driver offered us a free ride for the remaining 10km. At 11:40 am we were back in time to catch our connecting flight.
CP visit details:
- Time at the confluence: 8:29 a.m.
- Time to reach the confluence from the road: 40 min
- Distance to a track: 60 m
- Distance to a road: 800 m
- Topography: hilly, rolling hills but CP is in a steep valley.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 6.5 m
- Position Accuracy at the CP: 8m
- GPS height: 70m
- Vegetation: Pine trees, mixed forest, digitalis flowers, small meadow at the valley floor.
- Weather: overcast, 15° C
- Description of the CP: South East of Auckland in a farming area. The exact location is in a pine forest in a ravine.
- Given Name: The Spontaneous Auckland Confluence
Story continues at 39°S 176°E