14-Aug-2016 -- This is the last out of four reports reaching confluence points in Croatia, Austria, and Hungary. The story starts from 46°N 16°E and continues from 47°N 17°E.
After starting in the morning from 47°N 16°E and reaching 47°N 17°E at noon, I made it to this confluence at lake Balaton in the evening, using only the bicycle as means of transportation.
The location of this confluence is unique: it is in the coastal zone of Lake Balaton. More precisely: it is located at the outer edge of a huge reed zone.
I usually read the reports of other visitors after I have visited the confluence and this one was no exception. So I was naïve enough to think that this confluence would be an easy cake when I found myself on the
bicycle path (that goes around the lake) in just 130 m distance. I parked my bicycle at 108 m in the bushes, took my GPS receiver and my mobile phone and headed towards the confluence point. Soon I realized that the reed was becoming dense and the underground surface soft and wet. As the distance decreased, the density of the reed increased and the water level rose from my ankles to my knees and further up. I had to remove my mobile phone from my pockets, because the water level had already reached them. I had to set every step with caution, because I would lose two valuable devices if I would slip when making a wrong step. For a while I considered returning to my bicycle in order to put my mobile phone in a plastic bag, but I had already gone too far.
After 20 minutes I had reached the confluence. This was exactly the location where I could see the lake, i.e. where the reed zone ended. Walking further into the lake was not possible because the water became too deep. But I was able to make a nice picture with a swan when standing at the confluence. Interestingly, the water was amazingly cold considering the hot temperatures for the last weeks. I guess that this is due to the dense vegetation which shades the water and keeps it cool.
I returned the same way and with the same caution. 45 minutes after I had left, I had reached my bicycle again. But now I realized how sharp the reed must have been: I was bleeding from scratches all over my legs (I spare you the picture). Lesson learned: never enter such areas wearing shorts and take appropriate protection for electronic devices.
After visiting the confluence I realized that I was the first out of 12 visitors who had reached all zeros. Both approaches usually fail: the approach from the land is abandoned when the reeds reach a certain density. The alternative approach from the lake is abandoned when the boat gets stuck in the mud.
After visiting the confluence I had dinner at the wine festival in the nearby town Balatonalmádi. I spent the night there in a guesthouse and cycled to Vienna the next day, where I caught an overnight train back to Zurich.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 140 m
- Distance to a track: 130 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 108 m
- Time to reach the CP from bicycle parking: 20 minutes
- Time at the CP: 6:49 PM
- Measured height: 110 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy: 4 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: Reed
- Weather: sunny, 28° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Dense Reed Confluence
The story finishes here.