26-Jul-2004 -- 29S 25E was the last unvisited confluence point in the Free State Province, close to Kimberley, one of South Africa's major cities and not far from one of the two major highways, which connect the interior of South Africa with Cape Town. Furthermore, it lies just off the N8 highway, which connects Kimberley with the capital of the Free State Province, Bloemfontein. The historical site of the Battle of Paardeberg, one of the major battles of the Anglo-Boer War, a tourist attraction, lies just 12 km to the East. The terrain is flat and open with sparse vegetation, and a good secondary road network serves the farming communities in the area. I couldn't help wondering what obstacles prevented somebody from visiting this confluence point up to now.
My family and I were on our way to Cape Town where my kids were going to compete in the final round of the national mountain biking competition, in no hurry to get there. We left Bloemfontein early on a cold winter Monday morning, with subzero temperatures just before sunrise. We followed the R8 to Kimberley, and turned off the main road just across the Modder (mud) River, following a dirt road running east-west just below the CP. I stopped directly south of the CP, which was now 3 km away, at a huge shed and enquired who the land belonged to.
The person I spoke to, Mr Du Plessis, indicated that he was the owner but said, it could be that the CP might lie in his neighbour's property. With his permission, I lifted my mountain bike over the fence and set off. The terrain was flat with sparse vegetation-growth, offering easy progress. Mountain bikers are used to riding jeep track but this was my first experience of sheep track, following the narrow footpaths made by livestock criss-crossing the land. With about 200 meters to go I got to a fence, realising the CP was indeed in the neighbour's property.
My good luck continued, as a vehicle was moving in my direction, and I waved to draw the driver's attention. The vehicle drove up to the fence and I explained my mission to the driver, who turned out to be the owner of the farm Klipkraal. He told me that a group of people came looking for the point about two years ago, and indicated an area which coincided with my directions. I crossed the fence and Mr Hansie Bekker and I walked to where the GPS-receiver indicated the exact spot. After the photo-session, Mr Bekker offered me a lift back to my car and family in his truck, making this Confluence one of the easiest I have done.