17-Jun-2002 -- This confluence thing has really got us going, I tell you.
We are a fairly Romany sort of people and spend much time engaged in travelling to some far horizon. This time it was Lesotho, the mountain kingdom of South Africa. We spent two days visiting the dams Katse and Mohale of the Lesotho Highland Water Scheme. Dams running at altitudes of 2100 odd metres and containing some 1950 million cubic metres of water. To get to them we traveled roads passing over passes at 3097 metres. The snow lay thick on the ground and the scenery was incredible beyond belief.
Our return was via the towns Clocohlan, Marquad and Arlington. Just outside Lindley we turned onto the road to the Confluence 28°S 28°E. To our right and left and to the horizon we hold so dear, stretched the Orange Free State. A flat endless plain of maize and grass that rolled on and on in the wintery sun. Just 90 klicks to our left lay an earlier Confluence we had visited just 100 metres off the road at Whites: the confluence of 28°S 27°E. That was easy to get to although we had to crash through a field of dried sunflowers.
Our trusty GPS was telling us this time that the confluence 28°S 28°E was lying to our right and a long way off across the rolling fields. A simple farm road got us just 500 metres closer before fetching up at a locked farm gate. We scaled this and visited Samuel the caretaker who told us we could walk on provided we did nothing else. The farm owner lived in Arlington and there was no homestead hereabouts. With the GPS set to direction beacon we trudged on 1.946 kilometres and crossed two more fences before entering a ploughed field. We walked along the edge and at 100 metres we turned into the field to approach the Confluence.
It was a particularly arbitrary spot but to us it held special significance. After a 1200 kilometre weekend of scenic splendour being awed by majestic mountains and vast water reservoirs, it seemed an incredible juxtaposition to end it on the flat plains of the Free State stretching away all around to the horizon. In silence and awe we watched the symmetrical numbers S28 00.000 E028 00.000 come up on the GPS and declared officially our weekend a magnificent success.