Our airplane touched down on the Jodhpur runway, in the Indian state of Rajasthan, at 2:30 in the afternoon; and even though this confluence point was about 150 kilometers (100 miles) away, we decided to try to reach it before dark. Having collected our luggage and found our car and driver, we headed north on the main highway toward Nagaur.
The drive took us into the Thar Desert, where red sandstone walls and barbed wire fences delineated the rural land ownership. Some of the enclosed fields were cultivated, but most were not, retaining instead the desert landscape of short trees, thorny bushes, and a sparse covering of weeds. The land was harsh but hardly empty. We passed women whose Rajasthani outfits (long skirt, two-piece top, and 8-foot long veil) were the most brilliant shades of red, pink, orange, and yellow. Men wore turbans of similarly vibrant colors, and school children were neatly uniformed. There was no shortage of animals either. We saw herds of goats, sheep, and cows, lots of peacocks and camels—some at work pulling carts and others wandering freely and grazing on tree leaves.
After about 95 kilometers (60 miles), we turned west, off the highway, at the small town of Khimsar. The road quickly diminished to one lane. But it was hard-surfaced, and there was little traffic, so we made good time.
We had brought along maps printed from Google Earth, on which we had marked numerous waypoints with their longitude and latitude coordinates. This aided navigation wonderfully, allowing us to make all necessary turns at the correct places. Approximately 53 kilometers (33 miles) from Khimsar, we arrived at our goal. The time was around 5:00 pm, and the sun was still well up in the sky. The confluence point lies in a field, about 140 meters (450 feet) south of a paved road.
As soon as we stepped out of the car, we were the object of curiosity for a number of children. They were too shy to approach us, so we walked into the field, found the confluence point, and took our photos. Returning, we called to the kids who came at a run, with a camel and goat in tow. They told us that the village just to the west is called Bapini, their camel’s name is Jadoo, and the typically-styled, round house with thatched roof at the edge of the field belongs to Panni Singh. Numerous photos followed. By the time we reached the road and our car, adults had joined the group and more photos were appropriate. No one inquired as to why we were there, though they did ask where we were from. They wished us well and waved as we left.