21-Apr-2003 -- Having successfully discovered our first point of confluence the preceding day (at 26 degrees South, 150 degrees East), 16km north-east of Wandoan in south-east Queensland, we decided that our Easter Monday 2003 would become another adventure by crossing the State border into New South Wales at the tiny township of Mungindi.
I was travelling with my wife Liza, sons John-Paul (3) and James (19 months) and our niece and their cousin Aileen Sandoy (18) from Toril near Davao in the southern Philippines, who is staying with us in our home town of Ipswich.
We stayed overnight in Goondiwindi and then travelled 158km west along the Barwon Highway to Nindigully through some very dry and inhospitable country, although recent rains had obviously improved the situation for graziers.
We saw a few wild emus along the way, a cunning little fox in broad daylight and several billabongs which John-Paul assured us were the very location where the swagman had evaded the law by jumping into, according to Australia's National Song, "Waltzing Matilda".
At Nindigully, we joined the Carnarvon Highway and travelled 74km south to Mungindi. My GPS car system indicated that the point of confluence we were seeking was almost 2km south of the town and less than 1 km from the main road linking Mungindi in the north and Moree, 121 to the south-east.
A double bend in the road about 2km south of Mungindi created some confusion in finding the confluence point, as I had no compass and only the midday sun to guide us, along with our ever-reliable handheld GPS system.
We drove into what appeared to be an abandoned farm with cows which were long since dead from the scorching sun and a few spindly stalks of a failed sorghum crop. There were dry irrigation canals which we drove alongside with no fear of being bogged, as this had been a drought of gigantic proportions.
One kilometre off the highway, up one canal and down the other side, we were basically in the middle of nowhere but according to our GPS, only 150 metres away from the point of confluence in a dry and dusty abandoned field. This could have been the middle of the Sahara Desert but we were actually less than 2km from civilisation and an eternity from the lush and succesful farm this obviously once was!
I walked down the embankment of the canal alongside Aileen, with John-Paul tagging behind as usual. As with the previous day, Liza and James stayed with the car but this time they could see us reach the confluence point and in another minute or two, would join in the excitement!
29 degrees South and 149 degrees East in the middle of a very dry Australian autumn! I wondered how much worse this might have been a few months earlier in the middle of summer.
Our GPS duly recorded the confluence point at 11:41am.
It took less than 10 minutes to find and locate this point of confluence and then we were off to Moree and our 460km return trip to Ipswich via the Newell and Cunningham Highways.
2 points of confluence discovered in 2 days - and only 2 weeks ago, I didn't really know what a "point of confluence" was!
Marco Polo - Eat Your Heart Out!