W
NW
N
N
NE
W
the Degree Confluence Project
E
SW
S
S
SE
E

France : Île-de-France

1.9 km (1.2 miles) N of Triel-sur-Seine, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
Approx. altitude: 181 m (593 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 49°S 178°W

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: The intrepid explorer at n49e02 after a long, muddy hike #3: The trail leading to the confluence on a misty morning #4: The typical condition of the trails in the Forest of the Hautil!

  { Main | Search | Countries | Information | Member Page | Random }

  49°N 2°E (visit #1) (secondary) 

#1: The large tree growing out of the confluence

(visited by J. Baker Hill)

24-Sep-2001 -- In France and near Paris for a few days of vacation with my children and their spouses, I decided to look on the Confluence web site to see if by chance there were any confluences left in France. To my surprise there was one (although secondary) just about 5 kilometers from where I was staying in Cergy. I had figured that the closest confluence to Paris would have been captured long ago. But no, there had been no visitors to 49 north, 2 east.

I began to make my plans and study my maps, and the kids got interested and volunteered to go with me. I figured the hike would be about 8 kilometers one way (I had no means of transportation) but they still seemed excited. We planned to rise early on the following day, September 24, 2001 and hunt for the confluence.

I woke up early and got dressed warmly as the temperatures were in the 50's. No kids to be seen. I waited until 9 and finally decided to go it alone. Outside it was very misty and there was intermittent drizzle, but the brisk weather enabled me to walk quickly and make good time. I headed south out of Cergy on a wide sidewalk next to the major departmental road, and passed through the town of Vauréal. At the next village south I turned east off the main road, headed through some apartments, and came to a gravel track leading through corn fields and under a powerline. This passed a golf practice area before I came to another village. Here I was supposed to take another track past a "gîte" or a farm that takes in tourists.

I missed the trail, however, and ended up cutting through some woods and up a steep hill before crossing another departmental road which I recognized from the GPS basemap. Then I was in the Forest of the Hautil, in which the confluence was located. Due to the wet conditions the trails in the forest were very muddy and in bad shape. There were signs warning of old quarries and the dangers of cave-ins. At first I was headed straight for the confluence but the trail turned slightly and I soon found myself reading 300 meters still to go and no trail in the right direction.

I continued on a little and found a trail heading back in the general direction. This was very muddy as you can see from the pictures. It was now about 10:30 and the fog had not lifted much. Now and again it would rain on me a little, but not enough to drench me. Eventually I came upon one of the old quarries, with the GPS reading 50 meters to the confluence, across the quarry. It was overgrown and the sides were steep so I decided to go around and try to approach it from the rear. Sure enough, a couple of hundred meters further along there was a trail that looked like it would take me very close. It was even muddier than the ones I had already been on. My shoes were now soaked and squishy. My GPS readings were getting less and less accurate due to the leaf cover, and by the time I was opposite the confluence again I had between 25 and 30 meters EPE.

I struck out into the forest, but the map and my track kept shifting, and I was not able to get the GPS to read any closer than 22 meters from the confluence. After some minutes of trying to get the zeroes to show, I gave up. As nearly as I could tell the biggest tree around was growing right out of the confluence point. I photographed it, and then did a timer shot of myself in front of it. I then tried to get back to my original trail across the quarry, but the GPS readings were so erratic that I got lost and could not find the trail, so had to backtrack out past the confluence again. I then began the long hike back.

I arrived home at noon to the reproaches of my kids and in-laws who had wanted to go with me. Of course they wanted to go in to Paris, so after having hiked some ten miles in the morning at a fast pace I walked another mile to the train into Paris and hiked probably another 6 to 8 miles before bedtime! I slept well as you may imagine.


 All pictures
#1: The large tree growing out of the confluence
#2: The intrepid explorer at n49e02 after a long, muddy hike
#3: The trail leading to the confluence on a misty morning
#4: The typical condition of the trails in the Forest of the Hautil!
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)