14-Nov-2002 -- After failing at 23N 53E, we headed NW towards 24N 53E. We knew that previous visitors from the north had failed due to fences, and we hoped to avoid these by approaching from the south. Our map showed that the Confluence lay right on the main oil export pipeline, and close to a radio mast, so we reckoned it would be easy to reach.
We got to within 9 km SW of the Confluence and reached a fence. We followed it and the fence finally turned eastwards. We got onto the pipeline road and could see the radio mast in the distance, but as we approached we realised that the Confluence lay to the south, inside the fenced area (picture 5 looks towards the Confluence). (So much for maps!) The closest we could get by vehicle was 1.3 km.
There was a gap in the fence, and leaving my family with the vehicles, Martin and I started walking. Eleven minutes later we had reached the Confluence. This area lies to the north of the sand dunes, and is fairly boring (picture 1). However, if you do earn US-$ 23 billion a year from oil exports, then you can get anything to grow, anywhere, and there are huge plantations as can be seen in picture 3. Having taken the photos, we made our way back to the cars and headed for home.