16-Oct-2003 -- We planned visiting at least three Confluences (29N 45E, 28N 45 E and 27N 45 E) as the part of the kickoff winter season of 2003 during the weekend of the 15th October 2003, before the Holy Month of Ramaḍān (Muslim fasting month) commenced. The total round trip would be about 2000 km from al-Khubar since the available Confluences are now way beyond 600 km from here. The two families travelling out on this adventure would be the Brays and the Mahmoods.
As usual we met at the first service station on the Hufūf highway on a pleasant Wednesday night, and set off in high spirits with our loaded Landcruisers towards Ḥafar al-Bāṭin some 480 km away. The night driving was not as stressful as we thought, and as we entered Ḥafar al-Bāṭin, tens of people were sitting around in small groups along the way on either side, sipping qahwa and chatting away. It was an unusual site indeed. We booked ourselves at the Hotel Bodl for a very comfortable night's sleep.
Early next morning, after a hearty breakfast and before we set off towards our first Confluence at 29N 45E, we noticed one of the tires was flat, we lost almost an hour changing and fixing the tire (a broken 7UP glass bottle had gone through it!).
After travelling approximate 100 km on the Ḥafar al-Bāṭin – Qurayyāt highway, we turned north towards the border (Iraq), we were a bit apprehensive going off road, since we didn't know what to expect being so close to the border. Anyhow we approached the gravel plains cautiously and eventually latched onto a good dirt track which brought us to very close proximity of the Confluence. The Confluence is situated in a barren gravel plain with no distinct features or landmarks. As the border was only 15 km away, we hurriedly took the mandatory photos and back tracked to the highway, heading towards our next Confluence at 28N 45E.