22-Jan-2003 -- Even though we were residents in Saigon and are used to going hashing in the area of the confluence, it took us a long time before we could decide to set for the visit.
It took us around two hours to cover the approximate 50 kilometers between our downtown residences and the point to start our foot journey. This start had been used by our Hash group one year earlier as start for one of the runs. It is situated about 1km from the confluence point and 2 km following the existing trails. It took us less tha an hour on scenic trails to reach the Coffee, Banana, and Papaya orchard which contains the confleunce point. On the way we came across a group of three smiling local young women who were busy cutting Acacia tress branches for firewood. Further on the track, we came across a quiet little village with red hibiscus shrubs, then came a little river with irrigated fields and further a big Christ surrounded by hibiscus flowers.
Then our two GPS machines guided us along a small trail into an orchard of Coffee, Banana and Papaya trees. This is the point when this story becomes a little bit funny. The indications given by the two GPS appeared to be diverging, with my British friend insisting that the confluence was several hundred meters further to the North. He is the happy owner of the device represented on picture GPS 02. At this stage he had decided that my GPS (picture GPS 01) was wrong and decided to continue on his own clue. He continued for quite a while towards what he thought was the correct location before he could be convinced that he might not be right, that GPS accuracy limits were not such that two devices would be so far apart... when he realised that having recently come back from Britain he had left some unknown British related datum in his machine instead of WGS 84 as required.
Well then we came back to the initial point in the orchard and waited for the GPS (GPS 01) readings to stabilise; this took quite a while since the system was quite unstable at that moment and causing erratic readings some of them several kilometers away from the reality.
The journey to return to the vehicular road some 3km north of the point of departure was then a good trekking through various landscapes of paddy and cassava fields. We called up our vehicle and driver who joined us at a local fresh beer outlet. We enjoyed a few mugs of cold beer commenting on the trip and planning future hashing - runs across various confluence points to be devised in WGS 84, British datum and India 60 datum which is the datum used for topographic maps in Vietnam.