08-Aug-2006 -- When my wife and I found that our Indian vacation had taken us to the desert near Bikaner my first thought was to see if there was a confluence near by. Luckily, 28N 74E had not been finished yet. This confluence was about 70km to the East of Bikaner. After some inquiries we found that there was a town 65km East of Bikaner called Durlagarrde.
We took a bus to Durlagarrde and this put us about 10km from the confluence. We found a local road going South towards the point, and after some convincing we got a local auto rickshaw driver to take us down this road. However, after about 4km's he thought we were lost and he refused to go any farther. It was only after a passerby who spoke some English explained how the GPS works and what we were doing (and the promise of a handsome fare) that he agreed to continue. Once I was able to show him that I could navigate where we were going and even his speed (he slammed on the brakes a couple of times to test this out) he became interested and actually helped us navigate the area. After some driving we got to a little village about 4km from the point (which I assume from looking at this site is called Punalsar). Village kids who were alternatively laughing, pointing, questioning, and touching our skin immediately surrounded us. A few of the braver ones decided to follow us into the desert. Not fully understanding the heat of the desert Sujji and I set off with only 1L of water, sunscreen and a smile. About 2km's into our 8km journey we were both very hot and thirsty, the boys were tired, confused, and the true heat and dryness of the desert was understood. However, we pressed on through the ankle deep sand, and found our point.
Returning, the majority of the village (at least 80 people) surrounded us and look questioningly, the taxi driver seem impressed, and the little cold drink vendor got some great business. The boys also managed to follow us the whole way, which is impressive, as I don't believe they knew where we were going or why we were so intrigued by a particular patch of sand in the middle of the desert.
Huge congratulations to Sujji on her first confluence. After trucking all over the jungles and dusty villages in Malaysia and Thailand we finally got one. I don't know many people who would have continued to press on through dehydration and sunstroke just to reach a goal.