18-Dec-2019 -- This is the 12th out of 21 successful revisits and 2 unsuccessful attempts on unvisited confluences in Saudi Arabia. The story starts at 28°N 48°E and continues from 26°N 38°E.
On our way to the coastal city Yanbu, we made a little excursion on road no. 8888 to the village Alfera to visit this confluence point. At a remaining distance of 4 km, we left the asphalt road and continued a very rocky track one more kilometre. Then we decided that it was too rough for our car to continue and parked it.
I began one of my confluence-runs. First, I followed a drivable track squeezed in-between a fresh-looking lava stream and mountain rock-faces. This track was very curvy, such that it almost doubled the distance. At some point, I made a shortcut over the mountain. On its top, I had a great overview of the lava stream.
The confluence is located inside the lava field, with a minimum distance of 600 m to its edge. The surface is incredibly rough. I can’t remember having seen such an irregular surface. Every step must be set carefully. I expected that it would take me an hour to overcome these 600 m. This expectation worried me, because I could not let Elionora wait at the car such long time. The deeper I got into the lava field, the rougher got the going with omnipresent obstacles of all sizes, lava towers and deep clefts. Nevertheless, 12 minutes after I had entered the lava field, I was standing at this very interesting confluence point.
At the confluence, there is solidified lava in all directions. Only at the horizon the mountains can be seen. There are no plants at all. On my way back I came to a tree with greens around it near the edge of the field.
It took me 1.5 hours to reach the confluence and return to our car. We continued our drive downwards to the coastal city of Yanbu. We reached it at sunset and spent the night there.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 4000 m
- Distance to a track: 3000 m (it would be possible to drive within 600 m with a suitable car)
- Distance of car parking: 3000 m
- Time to reach the confluence from the car: 45 minutes
- Time at the confluence: 3:05 PM
- Measured height: 803 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 2 m
- Topography: mountainous, but in a wide valley
- Vegetation: none
- Weather: sunny, 23° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Fresh Lava Flow Confluence
The story continues at 23°N 39°E.
More pictures of the trip can be found here.