27-Apr-2002 -- After our successful visit of the Confluence 33°N 8°W yesterday afternoon, we still had our rented car until 12 o'clock today. As the Confluence 33°N 7°W was located only 15 km NW of my brother-in-law's apartment in Khurībga, this should be feasible. At 8 o'clock in the morning, Jamila and I left the house before breakfast to tackle the last remaining Confluence on our list.
Referring to my roadmap, there should exist a smaller road branching off from the main road P 13, 12 km west of Khurībga, and leading close to the Confluence. We quickly found the dirt road beside a fenced area with trees, and began to follow it in a northerly direction. But this road soon turned out to be in a very bad condition, deeply washed out grooves, many boulders, deep traces of vehicles, moreover it ran slightly left of the Confluence's direction. All around were endless barley fields, now and then a farmhouse, but no other roads going off in the direction we wanted. In the end it was clear that this road wouldn't approach the Confluence nearer than about three kilometres. When I was already considering to stop and turn, we finally found a way branching off to the right, which meant a new chance to get nearer. This carriageway was even worse than the first, but we slowly got along while I was steering wildly our car, not being designed for this type of terrain, around the potholes, to avoid hitting nasty protruding stones with its underside.
After some time, we arrived at a crossroad, now only 1.5 km SSE of the Confluence. A quite good-looking dirt road came from the direction of Khurībga, and went on in the Confluence's direction. Since a while I had noticed that our car was alarmingly low on gasoline, and not knowing how we would have to get back to town, we decided to ask at a farmhouse near the crossroad for permission to leave the car there, and do the rest on foot. It was now 9:30 a.m. and the weather was becoming warm, we followed the carriageway, passed some other farmhouses surrounded by opuntia cacti, and already from afar I could make out a big tree (Picture #8) on a hill as a guiding sign obviously near to our goal. After the road had ended at a farmhouse, we could walk on over an empty field, but when we had climbed the hill with the tree, we stood again on the edge of a large barley field, the GPS receiver indicated a remaining distance of exactly 100 m.
Jamila asked a man working in the fields nearby (it turned out that he was the land owner) for permission to step inside the field, which he granted freely. So we could visit finally even the last of our planned six Confluences! We arrived at the Confluence 33°N 7°W in the middle of a barley field (Picture #1) full of flowers at 10 a.m. GMT (UT + 0). The GPS receiver (Picture #6) indicated an altitude of 790 m and an accuracy of 5 m. The farmhouses (Picture #4) all around were part of a community called al-Brāziyīn Awlād Šarqiyy.
On the way back, it had become really hot, and we arrived quite exhausted at our car. When he saw us returning, the farmer came to us and invited us to have a tea in his house, but we had only one hour left now to bring the car to the rental, and so we could only accept to drink each a big cup of fresh buttermilk. The farmer, sad about our quick departure, confirmed that the road would lead back to Khurībga, and invited us to come back to him whenever we liked. And the road in fact lead back to town, it was in a very good condition, no comparison with the cart-tracks we had struggled along before, and after only a short while we came back to the main road P 13 at 32°54'8"N 6°56'25"W, 12 km SSE of the Confluence and only 3 km away from Khurībga! If we had already known this way in the morning...
In the evening, we took another night coach back to Agadir, where we arrived the next morning. Another two days later, my sojourn in Morocco ended (but not my wife's and son's) and I had to return to Germany.
When we came to Morocco, we had a very ambitious goal: Six yet undiscovered Degree Confluences. The probability was high that some of them might be out of reach for us. But four weeks later, we had discovered all of them during only six days of confluence hunting! In these days, we had seen beautiful sceneries, we had climbed mountains and crossed plains, we had found enchanted spots covered all over with flowers in a normally arid region, we had ventured to drive along roads and to walk across landscapes that we otherwise maybe wouldn't even have noticed.
And what was most fascinating: We met wonderful and friendly people wherever we came, who never even asked what we were doing on their land, or why we had come to them. Instead they offered us all their kind help and their warm hospitality without even knowing our names, they offered us to eat and to drink without the least demand. (So to speak: Not a single one took us for "chicken", but to be fleeced of your "feathers" maybe you also have to behave as a "chicken" beforehand, and this does not at all apply to Morocco alone!) Our only regret being that we had to refuse too often the people's friendly invitations because of a lack of time. A constraint to be avoided next time absolutely for sure!
So it remains only to pass my great thanks to the Degree Confluence Project who was the cause for all the beautiful adventures we could experience, and my even warmer thanks and salutes to everybody whom we met during our confluence hunting, most of whom will probably never ever hear of such strange things as Degree Confluences, although they might be walking over one every single day...
Narration began at 30°N 9°W and ends here.