15-Mar-2007 -- Continued from 44°S 169°E.
Having three unsuccessful attempts on a row, we definitively needed an achievement this time. This easily accessible confluence was the optimal candidate to prop us up.
On “confluence day”, we started at Fox Glacier at the West Coast and drove across the South Island to the east coast. While there was heavy rain at the west coast and snow at the pass, it was sunny and warm in the east.
The confluence can be reached easily from the main highway no.1 and turning at Motunau towards Motunau Beach. Not far from this intersection we stopped at a gas station, where we asked for Mr Rob McKenzie who is the landowner according to the first visitor of this confluence. The woman behind the counter indeed knew him and described us how to get to his farm (which is basically to follow Motunau Beach Road ca. 5km until his house is on the right hand side).
Rob (picture #3) was at home. When we explained our purpose of the visit, he remembered that there had been someone six years ago. He showed us a map of his property with the confluence point marked in it. Actually - he said - the exact spot is on my neighbors ground, but I can give you permission to access the confluence in his name. He gave us exact instructions how the confluence can be reached best: turn into Heathfield Road and park at the gate. From there, climb the hill in front of you and follow the ridge. Finally, drop down to the point. We did exactly follow these instructions and reached it within half an hour.
Only the final approach was a little tricky - as usual. The mountain grade is steep and in order to see the zeros in the GPS display, one scrambles back and forth in the bushes. Best is to directly go to the Yucca Tree - this is a unique feature in the area and it is where the confluence points is.
Subsequent to the visit, we drove to Christchurch (ca. 70km) where we met an English penny farthing cyclist who is on an around-the-world tour similar to the famous Thomas Stevens 120 years ago (#picture 10).
CP visit details:
- Time at the confluence: 12:23 p.m.
- Time to reach the confluence from the road: 25 min
- Distance to a track: 500 m
- Distance to a road: 600 m
- Topography: hilly, rolling hills but CP is at the steepest grade of the area.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0.00 m
- Position Accuracy at the CP: 5m
- GPS height: 107m
- Vegetation: Meadow, and bushes, a unique Yucca Tree at the CP
- Weather: clear sky, 20° C
- Description of the CP: 8km from the East Coast in a cultivated area on a farm. On a grade halfway up between a swampy valley and the top of a hill.
- Given Name: The Rob’s neighbor’s Confluence
Story continues at 37°S 175°E