25-Oct-2013 -- Ofer has been following this Project for years seeing others going to Confluences, so for Gilli's birthday, we decided to go to one ourselves. Starting in the morning in the north, we headed south doing various errands on the way in `Afula, picknicking for lunch at Shemurat H̠orbat Pura Nature Reserve and finally dropping Asher off at the famous Dvir restaurant in Dimona, which is closed and rumor has it, moved to `En Yahav.
As the point seemed easy enough to get to (why is there only one visit recorded?), and Ofer being an experienced navigator, we decided to use the map and not the GPS at this point. Our Škoda Fabia (aka Skodi) proved to be a true desert vehicle and Ofer proved to be a talented outback driver, driving on camel/goat/Bedouin paths. We parked Skodi and started walking but soon realized that we could get closer. Moved Skodi and started again. We met a wounded camel on the way, beautiful desert scenery, and even a little bit of shade here and there. It was a beautiful walk and the weather was wonderful (Gilli got a nice tan).
After about half an hour, we arrived near the estimated spot and checked the GPS. We were pretty close! Using the GPS we continued to the Confluence, then moved a few steps this way, a few steps that way, trying to get the 000 reading, moving the GPS a cm here and there, until the batteries died (which happens pretty fast on a car GPS). We put a skull (maybe a jackal?) on the spot that we found nearby and Gilli tried out her navigational skills and lead the way back.
We ate next to the campfire in the evening, our standard bread and tahini, with potatoes and onion in the fire. Sleeping outdoors gave us a spectacular view of the stars. Since the night was chilly and the desert dew was condensing on our gear, we got in the tent but kept our heads under the open sky. The spot is very close to the Makhtesh Gadol (the geological phenomenon of "the big crater"), so the next morning after breakfast (the essential bread and tahini, of course) we took advantage of the opportunity and hiked to the edge of it. No shade at all this time. Wounded camel still there.
Driving out via the local Bedouin "roads" proved to be challenging and fun for those who like roller coasters. All 3 of us (Ofer, Gilli, and Skodi) made it out with a big smile on our faces.
What a perfect birthday.