21-Nov-2013 -- This is the fifth out of 7 reports reaching 5 and attempting 2 confluence points in Botswana. The story starts from 24S 25E. The previous report is 23S 22E.
A couple days had passed after our last confluence visit. Meanwhile we had driven past Maun, the Okavango Delta, and the Sua Pan (a huge salt lake). The weather had changed completely: rainy season had started with two days of raining cats and dogs. And it continued to rain. The temperature went down such that dehydration was not an issue anymore. But such weather is extremely unfavourable for confluence hunting. Nevertheless, I was determined to attempt this unvisited confluence point.
From the main road A30 towards Francistown, we turned into a muddy road at a distance of 12 km. When a little track branched at 7 km distance to the confluence, we didn’t dare to follow it. There were deep huge puddles on the track with possibly soft ground. After we had been stuck on the first day of our trip, we decided not to risk anything again. So we parked right at the intersection and I started running in the rain.
First, I followed the main track. At 3.6 km I turned into a smaller track until I reached a farm. Suddenly I heard voices. In order to avoid long explanations of my presence (which might even result in trouble losing the point), I made a big circle around the farm through dense forest. Once in a while, I found some tracks, most likely created by cattle. After 1.5 hours on the run, I had reached the confluence point. Meanwhile the rain had stopped and the sun glimpsed between the clouds. The area around the Confluence had burnt some time ago. But now after the rains, young light-green leaves where sprouting. The ground cover is bare soil peppered with cow pup. The Confluence had been visited and marked by a cow (shame on the cow because confluence.org explicitly discourages marking Confluences).
The return was easier, because I was able to follow this track. With a 4x4 jeep and good weather conditions, it might be possible to drive up to 400 m to the Confluence. I spotted several huge centipedes.
3 hours after my departure, I was back to the car. We continued driving for another 50 km and stayed the night in Francistown.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 12 km
- Distance to an unpaved road: 7 km
- Time at the CP: 3:00 PM
- Measured height: 1124 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy: 4 m
- Topography: flat (slight slope)
- Vegetation: Scattered bushes and trees.
- Weather: overcast, 15° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Cow Pup and Centipede Confluence
The story continues is at 22S 27E.