20-Apr-2004 -- Being the veteran of 2 previous confluence visits in the desert of the UAE, I decided to check out the potential of the area I was going to visit in Tibet.
The best map I could obtain was a 1:3,200,000 scale and showed a confluence within c. 10km of a road I was planning to travel along. On arriving in Tibet I found a smaller scaled map , but this worryingly put the confluence about 50km off the road. I decided to leave it to fate.
As I would be arriving around lunchtime I set myself the targets of hiking to the waypoint only if it was less than 10km and 2,000' from the nearest point on the road. Having recently flown in to an altitude of c. 14,000 ft I knew this would be fairly challenging given the altitude and frequent snow showers
As we bumped along the unpaved gravel track to the upper reaches of the Kyu Chui river I switched on my GPS . At 10km to run things were looking good with the way point appearing to be located within the valley. The further we drove the steeper the valley sides became. At 5km to run we turned a corner and faced a narrow gorge with valley sides towering c.3,000' above the track. I was beginning to lose hope, and thought it would be too much to expect an easy conflunce on the Tibetan plateau. At 1.5km we rounded a sharp corner and to my amazement the valley suddenly broadened out into a series of fields adjacent to the river. Luckily the GPS was putting the confluence on the same side of the river and it appeared to be in the middle of some fields that were being ploughed with primitive wooden ploughs attached to pairs of black yaks. I stopped the car when we were adjacent to the point. The GPS read 242M to walk .....across a flat field!.
I headed into the recently ploughed fields, and was met by friendly shouts of "Tashi Delak" from the farmer's and their children. I must have appeared quite alien walking around in circles following the arrow on a little black box, and carrying a large camera and tripod. The people were increadibly friendly and I tried to explain to them what I was doing, but am sure nothing got through. After finding the exact point people wanted to take turns in handling my GPS and looking through the camera viewfinder. After I had taken my photos, the farmer insisted I take some of his Yak, I obliged, and was helped back to the car by his 2 children, Jantzo and Dumdimso. My driver Jampa asked the name of the nearest village and confirmed it was called Drigung Zarizn, very close to the famous sky burial site of Drigung Gompa where I was heading later that day.
This must definately be the easiest confluence on the Tibetan Plateau, a 3 hour drive from Lhasa, and approachable to within 242m by 4X wheel drive!