06-Nov-2009 -- The confluence point is located in a volcanic lava field requiring a final walk of about 700 metres over rocky, craggy basalt lava flows from the nearest point reachable by 4WD transport.
Our day started at 07h30 in the coastal city of Yanbu`, heading out in a north-easterly direction on the route known on Google Earth as route 328, but nowhere sign-posted as such. The road followed a gentle curve in an approximately anti-clockwise direction, until we were heading roughly NW. We left the main 328 road at 24°56'46"N 38°10'39"E and headed roughly west on a tarmac road towards a village which may be called al-`Īs. We passed to the west of the village, hitting a main road and continuing west. We left the road at 24°58'03"N 38°00'54"E, at a place we called CP10.
From CP10 to the confluence point was a rough track, initially wide and clear but becoming increasingly narrow and rocky, flanked on the left side by a massive lava field and on the other by steep hills. From here you will need a rugged 4-wheel drive vehicle to navigate the rough terrain. Passing our waypoint CP20 (see map) the track opened into a wide, sandy area with two low hills in front of us and a saddle between them (marked as CP22) allowing us to pass over to the other side. The view from CP22 allowed us to see for the first time the rocky, ashy lava field where the confluence point is located.
Descending from the saddle, we turned left, again skirting between hills now to our left and the lava field to the right. We drove to the closest navigable point to the confluence point (marked CP28) at 24°59'41"N 38°00'03"E and parked the vehicles.
The confluence point lies approx 680 metres to the NE of our parking position as the crow flies, over a rocky lava field. Don't try and bring your grandmother or children under eight here, as the terrain is difficult, the lava sharp and angular with some steep climbs and descents necessary to reach the point. It will take you approximately 40 minutes to traverse these final metres and find the confluence point.
The total travel time from Yanbu` to the confluence point, assuming no navigational errors, is approximately three and a half hours.