19-Jul-2004 -- During our trip we resolved not to disclose any details of how we got to this Confluence. Instead, we wish to extend a challenge to other Confluence hunters to revisit this particular point. We furthermore undertake to present the next successful visitor with a crate of good Namibian Tafel Lager.
We left Epupa Falls at 11:00 and reached the small village Etanga at about 16:00. The Confluence is a mere 15 km as the crow flies away from Etanga. Once again it was a race against the setting sun. Reaching the Confluence in time can be attributed to a massive amount of luck! The clue: There is a small track leading to an abandoned village that is a mere 1.9 km from the Confluence.
The drive to the Confluence was one of the most beautiful drives done on this trip. Many Springbuck were seen, together with Steenbuck, Duiker and Damara Dik-Dik. The road to the Confluence contained many obstacles. Steep rocky mountain passes and deep dry river donga's threatened to prevent us from obtaining our goal, but these were all successfully conquered in good time, whilst listening to old tracks such as 'Who wants to live forever?' by Queen, and 'Forever young' by Alphaville.
We reached 18S 13E as the sun was setting in the West, following an exhausting run over rocky ground and through dense Mopane bush, to cover the remaining 1.2 km we could not reach by vehicle.
The GPS-assisted backtrack turned out to be an amazing night drive. A brief lapse in concentration resulted in a near disastrous drive into a dry river, containing lots of thick sand, most probably inhabited by many scorpions and snakes. This resulted in us getting stuck for the first time on this adventurous trip. However, quick thinking and speedy action saw us leave the riverbed without a problem.
Another very special moment followed when suddenly, in the lights of the Isuzu, the unmistakable shape of an Aardvark appeared. We were stunned at the sight of this rarely observed, nocturnal mammal. These amazing incidents are going to keep us continuously looking for new Confluences. The sighting of the Aardvark was worth enough reason to only reach the campsite at Opuwo after 21:00...