01-Dec-2002 -- Some lucky employees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are given a compulsory break at the end of the holy month of Ramaḍān. I was one of them, but was unable to find any others that had stayed in the Kingdom and who were interested in a long trek through the desert. Therefore, I decided to visit the south-west region of Saudi Arabia on conventional tarmac roads rather than across the desert. So, my son, Sean, and I embarked on a six-day journey of nearly three thousand kilometres which was routed to visit the region’s sights as well as take us past as many confluence points as possible (see also 20N 45E, 19N 45E, 18N 44E, 18N 43E, 21N 43E, 22N 42E, 24N 43E).
After the disappointment of failing to reach the 18N 43E confluence, we were determined to be successful with this visit. We drove through the town of Khamīs Mušayṭ and then north towards Bīša. With the Confluence showing due east on the GPS, we found a narrow tarmac road which headed in the right direction. After a few kilometres, we encountered a small settlement, so we found a suitable track and headed out into the desert.
The tracks were kind to us and after about ten kilometres, we eventually were able to leave the car and walk the last 600 meters to the confluence point. The actual point was a little way up a rocky hill in an area that was sparsely vegetated with small acacia bushes. The area had obviously been recently harvested for firewood as many of the bushes had been hacked out of the ground.
Continued at 21N 43E.