08-Dec-2001 -- In my planning for a trip to Mauritania, I found that the country is the size of Texas and California combined, more than two-thirds of which is desert. Checking the Confluence Project web site I found as expected that out of 93 confluence points in Mauritania none had been visited, and that 18 north, 16 west was located a mere 10 kilometers south of the capital city of Nouakchott.
On December 4, 2001, I flew into Nouakchott from Bamako and had my GPS out as we flew the approach. We were directed far out over the ocean and headed back to the airport from the southwest. It was dark and I noticed a large complex of buildings lit up very near the Confluence, so I thought it might not be too hard to get.
A couple of days after arrival I was able to obtain a Land Cruiser, and drove south along the main road to Senegal until I came abreast of the point reading 2.8 kilometers to it, towards the west and the ocean. There was no road leading that way but I remembered the well-lit complex of buildings and figured there must be a road to it at some point. I continued a short distance further south and came upon a paved road leading to the Port of Nouakchott. It even angled back slightly to the northwest and by the time I came abreast of the point again it was only 800 meters to the north. No road, of course, but the terrain was flat and sandy, looking like it was covered with a tidal pool at some times. I took off and drove straight to the Confluence without even turning.
I was now about one kilometer from the port complex, a lighthouse, and the ocean. Usually my points have had an object or at least something growing out of them to photograph, but as you can see the terrain was quite barren. I drew a circle with my foot and photographed it with the vehicle tracks leading off into the distance. I then took pictures of the port complex and the lighthouse, and a picture to the northeast towards the city. This was by far the easiest Confluence to reach that I have done. Afterwards I visited the fishermen at the port and got a shot of a large herd of camels on the beach west of the Confluence.