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the Degree Confluence Project
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United Arab Emir.

70.4 km (43.7 miles) E of Mahdar Bin `Usayyān, Abū Zaby, U. A. E.
Approx. altitude: 123 m (403 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 23°S 125°W

Accuracy: 10 m (32 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: North view across sabkha #3: The evidence #4: Sunset at the camp

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  23°N 55°E (visit #2)  

#1: West view

(visited by Dom, Janice, Hakan, Ann, Tim and Funda)

14-Nov-2002 -- We set out at 8:00am from al-`Ayn and headed South for 23°00'00"N 55°00'00"E. We passed through the farming areas of the Abū Ẓaby Emirate, such as al-`Arād and al-Wijan. After filling up with petrol, we then went further south passing through al-Quwa`, and followed the road for about another 40 kilometres. Once you pass al-Quwa`, you really feel as though you are out in the desert, being surrounded by dunes and sabkhas, with no other vehicles on the road. On the left-hand side is the border fence (Oman) and on right-hand side of the road, the dunes have been fenced off. Although there are gates located at approximately every 3-4 km where you can turn into the desert. At each gate is a small hut with a gatekeeper.

We entered the desert through gate 12 and drove about 15 km along a mud flat (sabkha). The driving was easy to negotiate, as there was a well-defined track. After about 5 km the track divided into two and we took the right track and continued for a further 10 km or so.

Having arrived very near to our destination, we had to drive up into the dunes. For us, the Looney Duners - dune driving is what we do every weekend for pleasure, so the real fun was just about to start. We followed the GPS into the dunes to locate the Confluence, which did not take long.

By this time it was about 2pm, so our next plan was to try and find our home for the night! As a result, we headed across the sabkha and drove up into the dunes for about another hour or so and picked a good camping spot. After pitching our tents, we utilised the remaining daylight time by playing in the dunes with our 4x4s, naturally.

The next day we headed slowly back north east across the dunes to the main road. We followed the GPS and went back through gate 12 to the main road. We took the main road home to al-`Ayn and arrived back early afternoon.


 All pictures
#1: West view
#2: North view across sabkha
#3: The evidence
#4: Sunset at the camp
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)