20-Apr-2001 -- Nice it works! We successfully had visited our first Confluence and carried away by all that enthusiasm, we immediately decided to go for the second one on next weekend. That should be the last one for this travelling period, since summer is coming and temperatures here in Saudi Arabia raise up to 50 °C in the shadow. Under this conditions it is too much stress for car and passengers to cruise the desert (one can hardly find shadows in the sand dunes).
20-April-2001 again a Friday's trip to the Confluence of 24N and 47E. This time we were only 3 families and cars from the previous staff, the Gosewinkel family, the Loew family, my wife Elisabeth and me.
We set off Riyāḍ to the southeast in direction to al-Kharj. It is a highway with lot of traffic since al-Kharj is the main supplier for vegetables, fruits and meat for the capital. After about 80 kilometres, the new direction is straight to the south on another highway leading via Sulaymāniyya to al-Sulayyil far in the south and the gate to the huge Rub` al-Khāliy desert.
The information taken by map was very promising since it showed us a road along a wādiy (valley) which we should find in the town of al-Dab`iyya, some 20 kilometre north of al-Dilam. We found the wādī, but there was no road, only some unpaved tracks leading from one farming ground to the next. Never trust a map in the Middle east!
Since it was in general the direction we had to go, we decided to follow the wādiy and by zigzagging through the wādiy to avoid getting stuck in the dry, but very soft river bed, we finally headed for the Confluence. What a surprise! There was a brand-new tarmac just cutting our routing.
Later, after having had a nice picnic under one of the rare acacia trees, we followed the road to the east and ended up in the village of al-Dilam. That could have given us an easy approach on the way to the confluence, but...
In general the whole area from Riyāḍ to the east and south is very flat and huge farms are dominating the surroundings. The only landmarks are the escarpment in the west, cut by some very steep valleys (see our previous trip to confluence
24N 46E) and the rim of the Rub` al-Khāliy desert in the east.
So, break for the summer and looking forward to new Confluences next time...