27-Nov-2011 -- We started from Masqaṭ taking the Muscat Expressway towards Wādiy Maḥram via Nizwā Highway. About 120 km from Masqaṭ, we took a turn towards the Wādiy Maḥram access road. The Fanjā' oasis and the many villages and oases on the way were a delight to look at and made the long drive very interesting.
Once we reached Maḥram village, we drove through the narrow lanes and bylanes to reach the backyard of the village, and passed by the impressive structure of the village mosque. Now it was time to abandon our cars and be on our feet to meet the target of the day – the Degree Confluence Point at 23N 58E, which was about 2.1 km as the crow flies.
Initially, we took the tracks and followed the pugmarks of goats and donkeys. However, these tracks disappeared very soon and we had to make our own tracks through the wādiy bed and rocky hillocks. Initially, the incline was easy but gradually the climb became tougher and tougher. We had to cross the mountain pass after climbing up about 300 meters. The valley on the other side of the mountain pass presented a visual delight from different angles as we descended to the valley bed.
The further progress was pretty uneventful, except that we overshot the confluence point probably due to the handheld GPS losing satellite reception on the side of the hills. Upon realising the error, we corrected our course to finally arrive at the base of the hill, on the slope on which the location 23N 58E is situated.
The 200 meters vertical climb from the base of the hill to the confluence point was very tough and challenging. Numerous spots on the hill slope were pretty slippery and slowed down our climb. We managed the climb by going up in a zigzag fashion. Once on the exact spot, we clicked the customary pictures and turned back towards the village Maḥram with a feeling of elation.
Coffee, sandwich, and snacks at the village parking after the gruelling trek were well earned and deserved by the Confluence Team.
What a satisfying day it was, especially because it was the first ever confluence visit for 3 members of the Confluence Team.