10-Jun-2006 -- Our first confluence point was plotted and planned completely on Google Earth. Having made an assessment of how best to reach 32N 14E, and that we would only have to hike about 8 km across the desert from the nearest track, we selected an overnight camping spot near what looked suspiciously like a small isolated lake at 31°57'55"N 13°56'58"E. Since this was in the area of Libya's Great Man-Made River Pipeline project, we thought the idea of a small lake in the middle of nowhere might not be entirely unrealistic.
So, with visions of waving palm trees, warm beaches, and cool fresh water in our mind, we set off from Tripoli a little after midday on Friday and headed south through the hills and mountains outside Tripoli. Although it was approaching mid summer, the temperature was quite mild and we thought the anticipated walk might not be too bad.
Turning off the main road on to a rough track, we twisted and turned our way through very broken ground with the track disintegrating into various stages of disrepair. It was still passable in our ill-suited Citroen C4 - just -, so we pressed on until eventually we reached the area of the 'lake'. The lake turned out to be a large round shallow dome of broken black rock, almost completely circular in shape. No water, no palm trees, no beaches in sight, but plenty of sand.
The track seemed to continue, so we pressed on carefully until we came out at the edge of what we thought was the GMMR Pipeline, but which turned out to be a well-maintained, broad gravel highway. Crossing this, we pressed on in the direction indicated by our GPS until, about 800 meters from our target, we had to abandon the vehicle and continue on foot. On our way we were fortunate to catch glimpses of two desert foxes. Small, light little creatures. We found the site, took our photographs, reveled in the near complete silence and quietly walked back to the car.
Although we had discovered our lake to be far from wet, we headed back to that vicinity anyway, and made our night's camp on a patch of grass nearby. The moon was almost full and we had a very peaceful and well lit night.
In the morning, mission complete, we left to return to Tripoli in a large swinging arc to the East, attempting to visit 31N 15E on the way.