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the Degree Confluence Project
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Belgium

1.2 km (0.7 miles) E of Zichem, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
Approx. altitude: 17 m (55 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 51°S 175°W

Accuracy: 2 m (6 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: I first tried this very nice path to the river Demer, but there was no way to walk along the riverside to the point. #3: The best path starts here, where Bredeveldstraat meets Steenweg Diest. #4: Horses guarding the path to the confluence #5: Fenced-in field: The best way to avoid the burning nettles is to follow the (dry) ditch around the fence, then take a shortcut to the point. #6: Steel bridge over one of the many ditches #7: 360-degree panorama #8: GPS with ESTB corrections and 2 m EPE #9: Track log showing several attempts. Follow the path furthest to the east! #10: The full moon was shining over the road junction as I returned from the confluence.

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  51°N 5°E (visit #4) (secondary) 

#1: Farm buildings in the distance

(visited by Terje Mathisen)

22-May-2005 -- Visiting Belgium on company business, I flew in to Brussels on sunday afternoon, and went for a little sightseeing drive to the nearest confluence that I hadn't visited previously.

From the airport I drove south to E40, then followed this east for about 12 km to E314. 26 km NE on E314 led to Exit 23 and N258 north to Rillaar and then diagonally NE towards Zichem. Less than a km before the village, road works forced a (lucky!) detour along Bredeveldstraat to Steenweg Diest and into the village from the SE.

I had read about how previous visitors had problems locating the path that leads towards the point, so I was very happy when I spied a narrow walking lane going towards NE and the river Demer. However, it turned out that when this path reached the river, it was still almost 500 m from the point, and the entire area in between was covered in burning nettles! I tried to find a path along the riverside, but this attempt was quickly stopped by a seried of deep ditches leading water in from the river. I therefore had to return to the car and look for another way.

Just 50 m further east I found an opening alongside a hedgerow, tried it, and very quickly was hailed by a man living in a house on the other side of the hedge. I explained the project to him, and asked if it would be OK to walk alongside the fields and into the stand of tall trees beyond. He said OK, and followed me to where the nettles started. I then spent the next 17 minutes fighting my way through the remaining 500 meters to the point: Partly running along dried-out ditches, and partly walking sideways, with my hands held high so they wouldn't be burned.

When I finally got to the point, I realized that it was just inside a cut field, with good visibility in all directions, and no more burning or sticking stuff.

I waited for the GPS differential corrections to stabilize on all satellites, when they did the EPE got down to just 2.1 m!

On my way back I spent a lot less time by simply following the path I had noticed on my way to the point. This avoided almost all the nettles, and led directly back to the junction between Bredeveldstraat and Steenweg Diest where the road works detour had led me an hour previously. Check the track log for the best path. It might even be possible to walk around on the right side of the fenced-in field halfway to the point, in which case the nettles and ditches would be completely avoided.

When I got back it was just around sunset, and a nice full moon had risen over the road junction: I had made the visit just in time!


 All pictures
#1: Farm buildings in the distance
#2: I first tried this very nice path to the river Demer, but there was no way to walk along the riverside to the point.
#3: The best path starts here, where Bredeveldstraat meets Steenweg Diest.
#4: Horses guarding the path to the confluence
#5: Fenced-in field: The best way to avoid the burning nettles is to follow the (dry) ditch around the fence, then take a shortcut to the point.
#6: Steel bridge over one of the many ditches
#7: 360-degree panorama
#8: GPS with ESTB corrections and 2 m EPE
#9: Track log showing several attempts. Follow the path furthest to the east!
#10: The full moon was shining over the road junction as I returned from the confluence.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)