24-Dec-2012 -- Having spent 3 days in "The Empty Quarter of the Great Arabian Desert" - a place not crossed by Westerners until the mid-20th century but now where, if you stand on a 250 m high sand dune and angle your phone just right, you can SMS Xmas greetings to your family and post on twitter and/or facebook. The Omani government takes communication seriously.
On our route back to civilisation (Thumrayt), I noticed that there was a confluence point just 4 km off to our left, close to the '31' trunk road from Ṣalāla to Masqaṭ (nearly a 1000 km and not a lot to see on the way).
Having left the highway at the first opportunity, my driver (Mr Muḥammad) took great pleasure in driving directly on the GPS track whatever obstacle (wādiy, sand dune, rock pile, vertical drop) appeared in our way. He is, however, a descendent of Bedu who travelled with Thesiger and knows how to really drive 4x4 in the desert.
There is not a lot to see at the Confluence - a flat gravel plain - with the main road 1 km to the East and what looks like a series of abandoned quarries to the West but which are probably natural mini-mesas.