02-Jan-2008 -- This was a real spur of the moment visit. During our trip from Sydney to Adelaide, as we were driving down the B12 Mallee Highway from Balranald to Ouyen, we spotted a sign that said: "Meridian Rd -- this road lies on the 143° east meridian".
Well, to seasoned confluence hunters such as ourselves, this was like waving a red rag to a bull! We stopped the car, checked the GPS, and sure enough, there was a confluence just six kilometres north.
We headed up Meridian Road, which in the northerly direction was not much more than an overgrown sandy track. After five kilometres, we came to a T-junction, and had to choose to turn left or right. We chose right. The confluence was now off to our left, beyond an area which was signposted "Millers Tank Bushland Reserve".
A short distance further on, we found a track into this area, which eventually reconnected to the remnants of Meridian Road. A closed gate proved to be our next obstacle, but we soon let ourselves through that. Immediately after the gate the track climbed up over a small hill.
That's when disaster struck. At the crest of the hill, our little front-wheel-drive Corolla sank into the sand and bogged itself.
At a juncture such as this, it's important to keep one's priorities right. Naturally, we abandoned the car, and set out on foot towards the confluence, still some 400 metres distant.
It was incredibly hot in the sun. Even worse than the sun though, were the flies! They were just swarming around our faces constantly, and there was nothing that could be done to avoid them--just submit to the onslaught.
Along the way, Ah Feng spotted a blue-tongued lizard.
The confluence was in a field about a dozen metres from a large tree. There was a decent dirt road running east-west about 100 metres north of the confluence, which was obviously the sensible route in.
We took photos of the GPS and the views to the north, south, east and west, before beating a hasty retreat to the shade of the trees along Meridian Road at the edge of the field. On the way back to the car we discovered the remains of what may have been a previous confluence visitor, and wondered if the same fate awaited us.
I made a valiant and energy-sapping attempt to dig the car out with my bare hands under the boiling hot sun before finally giving up and heading towards the station owner's house, visible about a kilometre to the southeast, to seek assistance.
Hilary Zanker, his wife Monika, and daughter Erika, were all extremely friendly and helpful. Hilary commented: "We don't often get visitors arriving on foot!" And they were quite interested to learn that they had a confluence on their property, too.
We all piled into their Holden Rodeo, and drove back to pull the car out of the sand. Ah Feng and I are eternally grateful to the Zankers for their unbridled generosity and kindness. And Monika commented that she'll always remember this day whenever she does the rounds and passes by the confluence.