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the Degree Confluence Project
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Liberia

2.6 km (1.6 miles) NW of Blalabli, Grand Bassa, Liberia
Approx. altitude: 12 m (39 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 6°S 170°E

Accuracy: 99 m (324 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View towards East #3: View towards South #4: View towards West #5: GPS readings: 98 m distance, elevation 10 m #6: 1:50,000 map (Confluence in upper right corner) #7: Saint John River #8: Road to the Confluence #9: Rice kitchen #10: A family we met on the road #11: The successful visitors #12: On the way back

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  6°N 10°W  

#1: View towards North

(visited by Josef Hinterecker, Pablo Marini and Helmut Rauschenberger)

24-Aug-2005 -- On the afternoon of 24 August 2005, which is "Flag Day" in Liberia, a national holiday, we were travelling by car from Buchanan to Monrovia. We had noticed before that the main road passes close to the confluence 6N 10W and had made up our mind to try to visit that point.

The 1:50,000 map showed a secondary road that would lead right up to the Confluence; we located the junction of that road with the tarred main road without difficulty: coming from Buchanan, it is the last road on the right side before the bridge over the Saint John River. This is a single lane, light surface road, reportedly leading to the falls of the Saint John River.

Because the weather looked bad and we had no 4-wheel drive car, we took no risks and left the car with the driver at the main road and walked up to the Confluence from there, a distance of about 2 km. As it turned out, that was a fortunate decision: in fair weather, any car could drive up right to the Confluence, but August is right in the rainy season and this is one of the areas with the highest rainfall in Africa. Indeed, after we had walked for a short time, it started to rain and did not stop for the next hours. When the rain became even stronger, we took shelter in a "rice kitchen" close to the road. The distance to the Confluence was now only 600 m, but it was raining cats and dogs. After waiting for some time - the rain continued as before - we decided to march on. Very soon we were completely drenched in water as we followed the road (which had turned into a water course at places) until the distance to the confluence was only about 120 m.

At that location, there were some huts, and farmers living there: they were quite surprised to see three foreigners coming through the heavy rain when everybody else was looking for shelter. They were even more surprised when these foreigners - right in front of their houses - left the track and wandered off into the opening of a recently prepared field of shifting cultivation. At the far edge of the field, the distance to the Confluence was still a little more than 100 m. So we continued a few meters more into the secondary bush just to bring the distance below the 100 m mark. The farmers started shouting "No way!" and "No road!", warning us of the dangers ahead, and at the same time being curious to see what we were doing with our strange instruments. We tried to explain, but for sure they did not believe us: I suppose they were imagining that we were prospecting for oil, gold, or diamonds. All our movements were closely watched and we were not alone for a single moment; that's also the reason why people are visible in the confluence photos.

We had barely made it under the 100 m distance when we stopped and made the required photos; the quality turned out to be bad because of the heavy rain. Then we retreated to the farmhouses nearby where the family of the owner of the field was already quite excitedly waiting for us. Again we explained that we were just doing that trip for our pleasure, but I fear we could not convince them.

After some time - it was raining a little less by now, or maybe we just cared less - we returned the same way we were coming. We arrived at the main road safely; our car was still waiting there for us.


 All pictures
#1: View towards North
#2: View towards East
#3: View towards South
#4: View towards West
#5: GPS readings: 98 m distance, elevation 10 m
#6: 1:50,000 map (Confluence in upper right corner)
#7: Saint John River
#8: Road to the Confluence
#9: Rice kitchen
#10: A family we met on the road
#11: The successful visitors
#12: On the way back
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)