24-Jan-2007 -- It was the tenth day of our field trip through Senegal, and we had bagged only one Confluence thus far -- 15N 16W on the first day. Foregoing several potentially attainable Confluences along the way, we set our sights on 14N 14W, not far north of the Kaolack–Tambacounda highway. A well maintained dirt road took us most of the way, passing through Peul (Fulani) villages in Senegal's southern pastoral zone. We stopped to contemplate a dense grove of baobab trees, the largest being many centuries old with hollow trunks. Farther on we watched a pair of huge Abyssinian Ground Hornbills walking though the open woodland, searching for prey.
Nearing the Confluence, we walked the last half-kilometer through tall Andropogon grass. We crossed a dry valley with cattle grazing on residue from last year's rice crop. The exact Confluence lay at the edge of the valley among an attractive stand of shady Diospyros and Piliostigma trees.
On our drive back to the highway, we offered a ride to a Peul woman and her baby. Although we tried our Wolof and French, none of us could speak to her in her native Pulaar. Smiles and gestures replaced meaningless words. She certainly brightened our day.