13-May-2010 -- This report is the first out of a series of eight confluences that we visited on a tour from Zurich (Switzerland) to La Rochelle in France. For us, it has already become a tradition to go on a confluence hunt in May. In 2005 we had our unbeaten 10-confluences-in-one-day-hunt, in 2006 we visited 11 confluences on a trip to Ukraine, 2007 we found 3 points in Belarus, 2008 we did 7 hunts on a trip to Croatia and in 2009 we had 4 visits in Hungary, Serbia and Romania.
We started the tour on Thursday early morning from our home in Zurich. It was Ascension Day, so the roads were almost traffic free in these early hours. This time, we used a GNSS based navigation device for road guidance. We simply entered “Saraz” as our destination, and the instrument would guide us from Zurich to that village close to the confluence point.
But the final approach can rarely be achieved by road guidance – that’s why confluence hunting will stay an interesting discipline. In case of this confluence, we hadn’t done any preparation; we even hadn’t read previous reports. The terrain turned out to be extremely rough (which was no miracle after entering the French Jura) and consequently the access to the confluence was not easy. First of all, we had to decide on which side of the river Loue (a tributary of the Doubs, which joins downstream the Dole) we should start from. The confluence is close to the river, but due to the steep cliff, it is high above the river. We crossed the river and serpentined a hair-pin road towards Saraz. We parked our car in one of those hair-pins and walked about half a kilometre to the confluence. The last bit turned out to be steep and dangerous. With a point accuracy of 21 m in the GPS display, we refrained from carrying out a confluence dance at that location. The view at the confluence is amazing, you can see the deep Loue valley directly under you and also several forested mountains.
On the way back we saw stones beautifully covered with moss.
CP visit details:
- Beeline distance from car parking: 550 m
- Walking time (incl. return): 55 min
- Time at the CP: 9:31 am
- Measured height: 438 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 16 m
- Minimal distance to the CP: 21 m
- Vegetation: Beech and linden trees, moss.
- Distance to a road: 470 m
- Distance to a track: 180 m
- Distance to houses: 1230 m (Saraz)
- Topography: steep and dangerous cliff, mountainous area.
- Weather: overcast, 8° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the Département Doubs, in the Franche-Comté Region in eastern France. Exact location of a steep grade above the river Loue.
- Given Name: The Steep Cliff Confluence
Story continues at 47°N 5°E.