24-Sep-2014 -- This is the third out of 12 confluence reports, reaching 10 and attempting 2 confluence points in Iran and Turkmenistan. The story starts at 36°N 51°E and continues from 35°N 51°E.
In contrast to the previous two confluence points which we visited successfully, this one was not going to be very difficult – we thought. The point is located in a valley with agricultural land use in an otherwise flat and deserted region. On Google Earth we spotted a car track in 600 m distance.
Starting from Qūm, we had a smooth drive over a recently built road straight through the desert for about 80 km. At the almost deserted village named `Asgarābād (27 km from CP), we left the highway and continued on an asphalt road. As we went further into the river oasis, the road became tinier and tinier and soon we drove on a dusty track. At a distance of 9 km, we entered into a compound with an open gate. And suddenly, at a 7.7 km, the track was blocked by a huge sandheap. It was impossible to traverse it by our car. And we simply didn’t have enough time for hiking 15 km through the desert, because we had to return our car in Tehran 3 hours later.
Nevertheless we tried to find another track. We went out of the compound through the gate and tried several tracks further south. But we always ended up in dead ends or loops. It seems that construction work for a water channel is currently blocking all tracks.
The last possibility I saw, was the approach to the Confluence from a desert track further south-west and walk 3.5 km. But there was not enough time for the long drive around, and the relatively long walk.
We went back the same route to `Asgarābād (no water, no food there) and returned our car in Tehrān (2 hours’ drive).
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 10 km
- Distance to a track: 600 m
- Distance of car parking: 7700 m
- Time to reach the closest point to the CP from the road: 1 hour
- Time at the CP: 1:40 PM
- Measured height: not measured
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 7700 m
- Position accuracy: 5 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: scattered bushes on bare ground, dry agricultural fields.
- Weather: sunny, 32° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Sudden Sandheap Confluence
The story continues at 36°N 50°E.