05-Sep-2001 -- On September 5, 2001, intrepid travelling companion Iwona Wasilewska developed a toothache after departing the South African city of George. If I had had any sense of decency I would have continued west in our rental along the paved smoothness of the highway N2 to the nearest dental facility. Instead, in the afternoon while Iwona slept I turned north at the town of Duivenhoks in search of Confluence 34°S 21°E.
We had already driven through the renowned Garden Route and the climate had become drier but no less spectacular. From N2 the GPS reported this Confluence 10.2 kilometres in a northeasterly fashion and I could make out in the distance a dirt road heading up the mountain in exactly that direction. On and on I pushed while Iwona slept fitfully, until I came to a bend in the dirt road leading away from the Confluence, according to the GPS. Now I was 1.2 kilometres from it.
Although it was getting late in the afternoon and the path to the Confluence – over a fence, down a steep ravine heavy with brush and up the other side - appeared to be rather demanding, after consulting with Iwona I decided to try to capture it. Off I went until I actually came to that ravine. The Confluence was now 1.1 kilometres away as the crow flies: down one side of the ravine and up the other would have added another three to four hundred meters, not to mention up to an hour to the trek. A quick calculation put me back at the rental car and in the arms of my intrepid but hurting travel companion around dusk. I knew my quest for this Confluence was now over.