04-Sep-2006 -- I arrived in Egypt at Cairo International Airport and decided to drive to Dahab instead of flying to Šarm al-Šaykh and driving from there so that I could attempt the Confluence.
I left early in the morning, around 04:30 and headed for al-Suways (Suez), then took the Suez Canal tunnel turn off. After exiting the tunnel, I turned and headed for Nuwayba`. My initial perusal of Google Earth had shown what looked like a turning from this road almost 21 km SSE of the Confluence, as I approached this point I was pleasantly surprised to find that the road was asphalt and I was able to make good progress. I thought that I had this one in the bag!
With just 11 km to go the asphalt ended and I went onto a dirt road, although only for a short distance, as I saw people exit a dwelling and start driving towards me. I parked on the side of the road and waited for them to get to me. It was a casual and friendly atmosphere when the 3 men got out of the pick-up, and with their limited English and my very limited Arabic, we tried to have a conversation. We did not get very far in understanding one another, so I volunteered to turn around and head back.
Unfortunately, on the way back I found a road that headed directly to the Confluence and considering that I was so close, thought that I should give it a go. Mistake! The same men that had returned to their dwelling shot out in their pick-up and intercepted me when I was in the region of 7.5 km from the Confluence, this time their mood was not so jovial.
My vehicle was emptied and searched and my papers thoroughly inspected. The maps, satellite photos, binoculars and camera did not help in my defending my case! It so happened that these men where military personnel stationed in the desert! After nearly an hour of interrogation, they let me repack my vehicle and return the way that I had come. Lucky escape!
A word of warning if trying to attempt a Confluence in this area: try to get a local Bedouin to guide/accompany you in the area, and try to get written permission from the military/police if you can. Good luck!