18-Aug-2003 -- When I browsed www.confluence.org for the first time, I checked if there were any Confluences still not visited in the United Arab Emirates where I currently work, but I found they were all gone, except for some that need a boat. Then I checked for Confluences in Egypt, where I come from, and was surprised to find that 31N 30E, which is about 30 km away from my house in Alexandria, is still not visited. So I put the visit on my plan for the 2003 summer vacation.
Although the location was not too far from my house, I was not sure what type of terrain we would face. At this area, Egypt's western desert (Sahara), the cultivated land of the Nile delta, and the Lake Maryūṭ all meet. So we decided to take Omar's old landrover and took off from Alexandria on August, 18th. We drove to the desert road leading to Cairo and then turned left before al-`Āmirīya. We drove in zigzags on the wide network of narrow streets approaching 31N 30E. The landscape turned from sandy desert to dense green plantations after a short distance.
After about 40 minutes of zigzagging we were close but a small water channel had to be crossed on a very narrow bridge. So we had to leave the car and continue on foot. We were finally there but we found that the exact point is 50 meters inside a field with mature corn plantations. It was impossible to walk inside the field. The GPS wouldn't have worked any way inside the dense and tall corn.
I tried to photograph my GPS for the first time and discovered that its glass pane is very reflective. I advise all confluence visitors who want to photograph their GPSs to use polarizing filters on their cameras. I also found that the macro option on my SLR camera was not enough and that I need some close up lenses for my next confluence visit.
Farmers gathered and started asking questions about what we were doing or looking for. We took some photos with them, they gave us some melons and then we left. On our way back we took another road, which ran through the lake towards Alexandria. I enjoyed this trip not only for making my first successful confluence visit but also because I explored an interesting region, which I never had time to visit although it is close to my house.