14-Nov-2002 -- We set out from Abū Ẓaby intent on capturing 23N 53E and 24N 53E. Our route was to be on tarred road south to the Liwā oasis area, and then to head west to 23N 53E. On reaching Liwā, we followed a good track into the dunes in order to find somewhere to camp for the night (just to the east of the satellite photo). We selected our spot, set up camp, and settled down to enjoy a night out in the desert. If you’ve never been in the desert before, it’s hard to imagine the peace and serenity as you sit round the camp fire.
At 11pm our peace was shattered as about 20 quad bikers appeared over the horizon. They spent the entire night racing over the surrounding dunes, finally heading off at 3:45am. If you can imagine trying to sleep with your head inside a hornets’ nest, you’ll get the general idea. The bikers were replaced at 4am by dozens of trucks which were involved in moving sand dunes from one part of the UAE to somewhere else. We finally set off for the Confluence just after 8am after a sleepless night. However, we did see lots of shooting stars.
We carried on along the tarred road to the SW, and then on a good track – our track is shown in blue. The road on the UAE side of the UAE – Saudi Arabia border can be seen as the straight line heading north of west in the lower half of the map. We had hoped to go along this, but were stopped at an army check point as we reached the junction of the two tracks, and there was no way we were going to be allowed through.
We then back tracked and headed off to the NW on another good graded track. We hoped to find another track heading south, but nothing exists.
Options for reaching this Confluence are either to head west from Liwā (approx. 40 km), or from the north, again about 40 km, but perhaps slightly easier driving. As we only had two cars this weekend we decided to leave it for another occasion, and headed for 24N 53E.