15-Nov-2014 -- This is the first out of 8 reports, describing confluence visits in South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho. More pictures about our trip can be found here.
We tried to escape Europe’s misty and dark November in exchange for a sunny warm time in the southern hemisphere. We had only five days vacation time left for this working year, but adding two weekends, we had altogether 9 days to spend for the trip. We arrived at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Saturday morning at 11 AM. Elionora had made bad experiences in Jo’burg last trip when she barely escaped a robbery. Anyway, Jo’burg is not an easy place if you don’t know where to go, so we left the urban area directly via motorway heading straight east towards Kruger National Park.
This confluence point was inviting us for a visit – with its location 2 kilometres from the motorway N12. We left N12 already at the intersection with R545, causing a little deviation but therefore avoiding to take a road twice. Our attempt to drive to the confluence point directly failed, because the
track was soaked with water after heavy rains. We had already driven 400 m into the track, when we realized that our car was close to get stuck. At a safely looking spot we cautiously risked a U-turn. Our manoeuvre was successful such that we could park our 2-wheel drive pointing to the exit and have a relaxing walk to the confluence point. We walked these remaining 1.2 km in light rain over endless agricultural fields.
The Confluence is 200 m into a field, but waking between two paddies is possible without stepping into the crops. Anyway, the fields had recently been ploughed and sprouts were not yet visible. At the Confluence the only feature on the horizon is a power plant, adding quite some steam and smoke to the already dusty air. The two previous visits show that the area of the Confluence was turned into farmland between 2002 and 2004.
After returning to our car and successfully reaching asphalt without getting stuck, we directly headed back to the motorway, thereby passing through the poor and densely populated neighbourhood Phola.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 1600 m
- Distance to a track: 200 m
- Distance of car parking: 1200 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 20 minutes
- Time at the CP: 2:35 PM
- Measured height: 1561 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: almost flat
- Vegetation: currently none. Some crops to sprout soon.
- Weather: light rain, 15° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Power Plant Confluence
The story continues at 26°S 30°E.