08-Jun-2004 -- Iran is a big country - with lots of Confluences! I am working on a Telecommunications project in Tehran - hence we are surrounded by good maps with many tempting Confluences to bag. However, when you look at the map, many of them are in remote desert areas - miles away from easy access - and with the added thrill of knowing that Iran's military have a large presence here and may not appreciate keen confluencers wandering around with GPS devices!
Anyway... a new project takes me to Ardabīl province. All the maps that I can find show 38N 48E to be slap-bang on a road and only 30 km away from where I am staying. I persuade my colleague to visit it with me and he is only too keen to share the 'glory' of the 1st completed Confluence in Iran.
We set off one afternoon and head through beautiful green rolling hills - occasionally punctuated by fields of purple flowers. Our first obstacle is one of the many police roadblocks and I chat happily into the GPS as if it were a mobile phone while my colleague picks up a 250,000 Rial (29 US-$) fine for a vehicle paperwork problem.
After turning off the main road, we head off on a small road through fields of wheat. I think the Confluence in on the road, but suddenly the GPS points us off to one side, so we park up and pick our way over the fields.
Well, I have to say, our target was not that exciting - just a patch of ploughed soil. But the tranquillity and panorama of mountains in the distance more than made up for it.