14-Dec-2002 -- We came to hear about the Project from a family member; we then visited the website and decided that it looked like something interesting and different to do. Planning this trip from Potchefstroom seemed the right thing to do, since we were visiting our family there for the weekend and this was much closer to the Confluences than our native Pretoria.
After reading about other trips on the website, we decided to over-plan rather than under-plan. So, we got the street maps from the web, the basic travelling distances from these maps, and based our plan on these maps. We also got the topographical 1:50,000 maps from the State printers and backed up our plans with the information gathered from these maps keeping a conservative point of view. We also managed to rent a GPS for the weekend.
It was clear from our gathered information that there were no huge changes in contour, the main roads were fairly close to the Confluences (between 1 and 4 km) and there was a possibility that secondary roads could take us even closer. Still we planned conservatively in order to make sure everything goes according to plan.
After planning in this much detail, we at least had to start on time. Finally the day arrived. Our alarms sounded at 4:00 AM. Marking the departure from home as our first GPS waypoint, we set of from Potchefstroom at 5:00 AM on 14 December 2002, as planned. The travelling went smooth because of little traffic and roads in fairly good condition. We did however find it funny that the GPS indicated our efforts to be off-road most of the time, but did not really expect it any different. (Assuming that the plans loaded on to the GPS dated back to more inaccurate days of mapping.) Plain sailing got a much better definition after finding a turn-off that not only took us to within 460 meters of 27S 26E, but on the way took us past the owners house with the lady of the house busy outside. We got a friendly agreement to proceed, and went on our business. Stopping as close as the road would take us, we reached 27S 26E after a brisk 7 minute walk. Very far ahead of schedule, we realised that the planning had become much less important and fun much more. After taking pictures of the GPS, the four main directions and us, we headed back to enjoy a breakfast packed by our wives. Breakfast took longer than the walk and the photographs.
Making sure we took all this in to the best of our ability (discussion, looks and smelling the fresh country air), we decided to set off to the next confluence 28S 26E. The schedule now being the last thing on our minds.