the Degree Confluence Project


52.0 km (32.3 miles) S of Miqt, Mafraq, Jordan
Approx. altitude: 720 m (2362 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 32°S 142°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: North view #3: East view #4: South view #5: West view #6: GPS #7: Confluence hunters #8: Our cars #9: The basalt desert #10: Along the pipeline... #11: Just a minor obstacle...

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  32°N 38°E  

#1: View of the confluence point

(visited by Dennis Vilovic, Torben Feyerabend, Anthony Stadel, Ariane Borgstedt, Ingo Rudolf, Thomas de Beyer, Iñigo Alonso, Lucía Álvarez and Philipp Hansen)

23-Jun-2007 -- Nine confluence hunters left `Ammān on 22 June 2007 heading for 32N 38E, the seventh of eight confluence points located in Jordan in the northeastern part of the Jordanian desert 27 km from the border to Saudi-Arabia. Thanks to our confluence-point-experienced team members Dennis and Torben, the trip was very well prepared with regard to all necessary data and satellite images. Catering was prepared to stay even more then 2 days as we moved to "unknown" desert territories. The equipment included all you need to spend an enjoyable night in the stunning ambience of the imperishable and immeasurable desert. As vehicles we used a Range Rover, a Discovery, both slightly aged, and a non-adapted new Suzuki Grand Vitara.

The Eastern Jordanian desert is mainly composed of volcanic basalt rocks. From 30 km NE of Azraq we followed the path of the Trans-Arabian-Pipeline for 75 km towards ESE. The track runs over a more or less even, stony to sandy prepared way and is easy to do having a 4x4 car and a good driver. We passed at a holy tree and had some conversation with sheep on the way. 21.5 km away from the confluence point we left the track and continued on tracks towards NE. The real challenge for cars, drivers, and the patience of passengers began. The tracks in this area seem to be prepared by caterpillars just pushing the most dominant basalt-blocks away so that erosion had an easy game (even here it rains sometimes...). Just some hours later and 7.5 km away from the pipeline track, and after several dead ends and driving over pure virgin basaltic desert it became evening. The first night we camped at a distance of 14 km from our point of desire on the edge of a small and comfortable wādiy. We spent a night with BBQ, Narghile, and the sounds of Anthony's guitar. Later a sound of exorcising snore protected us from all evil...

Next morning, sun was shining (not surprising), the expedition continued with some km return on our own tracks. Finally we found some +/- drivable tracks probably used by oil explorers some years ago. Some six hours, one loose bottom plate and several U-turns because of deep erosion trenches later, we came 1.9 km close S to the point. Even though the Disco conquered one more km to NW there was no way to continue with cars. Instead of walking we decided to try another access what took as at least 1 hour more, we managed to get as close as 950 meters to the point. It meant a short but stumbling walk over basaltic boulders before we found ourselves on a circular alluvial plain of hard silt that almost painfully reflected the glistening sunbeams during the blistering midday heat. Mission accomplished...

At the western border of the plain we found some small strange stone walls of several km lengths and a Stone Age tool. After having finished the conquerors' beer can, we started our fallback on new tracks further south more close to the Saudi border. This track was much easier (faster) to drive although we had to deplore a car stuck in the sand and failure of the Range's suspension. Crossing a gorgeous and dizzying landscape of black mountains, yellow sand and colourful sunset, we found our way back to the main highway Azraq-`Ammān. Friendly Bedouins guided the final kilometres through dark night to avoid another night in the desert viewing the lights of the Jordanian-Saudi border crossing.

Around midnight back in `Ammān the two English cars decided to quit their service for having a small break in the next workshop while the adventurers already made plans for the next Confluence-Point-Conquering.

 All pictures
#1: View of the confluence point
#2: North view
#3: East view
#4: South view
#5: West view
#6: GPS
#7: Confluence hunters
#8: Our cars
#9: The basalt desert
#10: Along the pipeline...
#11: Just a minor obstacle...
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)