04-Jun-2002 -- Although this confluence had already been successfully completed we were keen to visit one to report the UK monthly magazine Computer Shopper. One of our team members, Sue Gee, noticed the Confluence project while looking for topics to cover in its “Focus On” section which covers websites and software relevant to a specific issue – in this case Earth Study, encompassing geography and geology. The equipment we used was Garmin Etrex, described as “the world’s smallest GPS”, and Map Source software, both supplied by CPC (www.cpc.co.uk) set off to find 37ºN 2ºW. Remarkably we were able to drive to within a few metres of this confluence which, as we already knew from the previous report made by Abelarado Lopez-Palacio, is in the rambla of the Rio Alías.
The conditions in the area on Tuesday 4th June were sunny and extremely windy. Driving along the N344 motorway it was necessary to reduce speed simply to drive a straight course. We left the motorway at Venta del Pobre and proceeded east for about three kilometres, then turned north along a minor road that took us to a hamlet of a few houses. Having entered a waypoint on the GPS we could see we were getting close. Driving into the village we got to within a few yards but were deterred from leaving our vehicle by several unchained dogs, which looked as though they would make a feast of our ankles.
We returned to the road and took the next available turning into the rambla (dry river bed)of the Rio Alías. To English eyes this is a very strange place. Its deep channels must have been cut by water some 10 million years ago and its dry dusty tracks are now obviously well used by local traffic – we passed more cars on it than on the tarmac roads! We drove along the rambla until we passed the waypoint and then turned round and passed it in the other direction. It was just over a ridge and on the top of the ridge was a plastico with plenty of barking dogs. Then luck had it that we spotted a tributary of the rambler so doubling back we started to move towards the waypoint again. Eventually we got within 20m of it and pulled off the main highway. Within a couple of minutes we located the exact spot which is right in the middle of a large clump of bamboo. The wind was blowing a sand storm and so using our walking stick to mark the spot we took photos to record reaching the point.
Comparing our experience with that of Abelardo who submitted the original report, we had obviously chosen a different route and the hill in his account was just beyond the confluence when approached in this way. Having uploaded data from the Etrex with the Map Source software installed we were able to overlay the route we had taken to show how we had arrived at the point, including our false starts.
Having completed our mission we retraced our steps to the road to Carboneras and took the turning to Agua Armarga where we knew we could find an excellent lunch. We were not disappointed, although gusts of strong wind did threaten to interrupt our meal at the beach restaurant Tahiris more than once.