30-Mar-2006 -- We succeeded to reach the 26N 16E confluence point on 30 March 2006 on our way back from observing the solar eclipse yesterday a couple of hundred kilometres further southeast.
This spectacular event obviously attracted many people from all over the world. The peak of the eclipse (where the total covering lasts the longest) happened in Libya, close to the Chadian border. Most of the observers, however, wanted to reach the stunning volcano Wāw al-Nāmūs which still was located within the core umbra (though somewhat off the central line). People trickled in caravans of 4-wheel pick-ups, trucks, buses, and some on their motorbikes. After the more than 4 minutes of total and most fascinating darkness, all these folk (some say, there where 10,000 at the volcano) tried to rush back as quickly as possible. What looked like a 'Desert Woodstock' turned rapidly into a stampede and resembled some of the scenes in the Mad Max movies.
Our 2000MOTO team - from left to right on the group photo: Giuseppe Ghiglione (Imperia/Italy), Davide Ghiglione (Imperia/Italy), `Omar (Ṣabrāta/Libya), Ivan Mariani (Modena/Italy), Ivan "Nanni" Forghieri (Modena/Italy), Enrico Ascheri (Imperia/Italy), and in the front Rolf Widmer (St. Gallen/Switzerland), Dario Ghiglione (Imperia/Italy) - had therefore all good reasons to escape this 'traffic jam' and tried to claim the nearest confluence point off the beaten track. It was easy to reach and it turned out to be a very spectacular point too - just on the top edge of a plateau which borders the vast plain we crossed for our approach from the West.
It took a while to find a little sand filled canyon which allowed for the motorbikes to climb the ridge and then to let the GPS settle for the exact reading. After the taking of the usual photos and erecting a little 'memorial stone', we continued our journey towards Tmassa.