07-Feb-2002 -- The second Confluence we tried on our Feb 2002 trip to Oman resulted in an attempted visit only. We had to return because of sunset and the end of the road.
The confluencists Martina, Josefa, Alexander and Stefan set out from Masqaṭ on 7 Feb 2002 to visit Confluence 23N 59E. We went southeast through the mountains to the fishing village of Qurayya. This is where the tarmac road ends. From there we continued south on well-maintained gravel tracks.
The closer we got to the Confluence the lower our hopes became because we could see that the Confluence must be on or near a very high and rugged mountain. The mountain is called Jabal Thanab as we later learned. After having crossed a very dry and stone covered area we arrived in Ḍibāb, another fishing community on the Indian Ocean. There we realized that the Confluence was about 10 km away straight west, right across (or on?) Jabal Thanab. We tried to go south along the coastal road for some time but we could not see any passage around the mountain. So we returned to Ḍibāb and entered a wādiy that we had noticed earlier.
This proved to be a good choice because the wādiy was very beautiful and it brought us very close to the Confluence. The wādiy is very deep and at times almost a gorge. We saw lots of water and many plantations with date palms and other fruits. Seeing water in a desert country like Oman is always a great pleasure. So we really enjoyed the ride through the wādiy. This is for sure the best place we have ever been to in Oman. But, alas, the sun was getting lower and lower. We were running out of time to reach the Confluence in daylight.
Basically the wādiy meandered around Jabal Thanab slowly approaching the confluence spot. Eventually we reached the village Wādiy al-`Arabiyyīn deep below the summit of Jabal Thanab. This is where the track ends; there was no possibility to go any further by car. From there it was just another 3.71 km south to the Confluence. The wādiy continues south and there must be footpaths that the local people use. So it is easily possible to get closer. However it would be great luck if the Confluence were on the bottom of the wādiy or otherwise easily accessible.
The road ends right in the central square of the village. There we caused quite a bit of excitement amongst the villagers. Many people came and looked at the funny westerners that came to their place for no apparent reason. They were all very friendly and asked where we were from. The women got very interested in little Alex and he was passed around between them. Then we had to return. It caused quite a laugh when we fixed Alex into his baby seat. Apparently baby seats are uncommon in this area.
We were quite disappointed not to have been able to get closer to the confluence, even though we got really near considering the terrain. But still it was a great day, and we discovered for us a new and very beautiful region of Oman.