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the Degree Confluence Project
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Saudi Arabia : Makka al-Mukarrama

33.6 km (20.9 miles) S of al-Dafīna, Makka, Saudi Arabia
Approx. altitude: 917 m (3008 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 23°S 138°W

Accuracy: 10 m (32 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: The view south #3: The view west #4: The view north #5: Finally the GPS

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  23°N 42°E  

#1: The view east

(visited by John Loughrey, Steve Baker and Mike Taylor)

07-Dec-2002 -- During the `Īd holiday weekend our group set out with a number of objectives for the trip: 1. To pick up a geocache at a spot known as Graffiti Rock 1, 2. to visit Qal`at al-Muwayh al-Qadīm, also known as the King `Abdu-l-`Azīz Hunting Lodge, 3. traverse the salt plains south and west to reach Wabha Crater and, finally, 4. to attempt 2 confluence points in the area (see also 23N 41E).

Having completed most of our objectives (see 23N 41E) over the weekend, it was time to head back to Riyāḍ. On the way down to Wabha we had selected the point we wished to enter the desert some 23 miles (37 km) from the confluence point. Reaching this point near Ẓalim, we set off and quickly located a partially graded track across an extremely flat and desolate white sands with no sign of any human activity whatsoever. With the wind rising and the sand beginning to blow it was, visually, almost like driving in snow. At the 21 mile (34 km) mark a low hill appeared and we left the track heading directly for the confluence point and, just short of the convergence, we arrived at the edge of a salt plain stretching to the horizon - there were no vehicle tracks of any kind on the surface, so taking 1 vehicle only we ventured onto the surface - this proved to be crumbly but firm underneath and so we arrived - nowhere!!! A very desolate point indeed.

If anyone visits this area we would be very interested in finding out where the graded track was prepared for, given the complete absence of anything in the area. And so we turned for home in tandem with the other weary convoys who had visited the area over the weekend.


 All pictures
#1: The view east
#2: The view south
#3: The view west
#4: The view north
#5: Finally the GPS
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)