12-Dec-2019 -- This is the 4th out of 21 successful revisits and 2 unsuccessful attempts on unvisited confluences in Saudi Arabia. The story starts at 28°N 48°E and continues from 28°N 47°E.
This confluence point is one of the last unvisited confluence points in Saudi Arabia. The previous visitors approached the confluence from the south-west and were halted by a fence 6.6 km from their goal. Trying to follow the fence in the satellite image provided by Google is impossible, because the image around the confluence point is blurred. This fact should have been a warning to me.
However, we set off from Ḥafar al-Bāṭin in the morning, leaving highway 50 at Ath Thybiyah and continuing on road 6569. Our journey went so smooth that we were confident to reach the confluence point. Both, Google and OpenStreetMap were routing to the confluence, giving us the impression that our goal was reachable on public roads.
We past King Khalid Military City and continued on a public road smoothly. Suddenly at a remaining direct distance of 20.68 km (27°55'36.8"N 45°11'37.2"E), a gate appeared. This gate is not shown in any map or satellite image – but it exists in reality. A friendly guard asked us where we wanted to go. I said that we wanted to go to Hail, which is a city far behind the confluence point. The guard told us that we need to make a U-turn and find another route. I considered it as hopeless to ask for permission to visit the confluence point. As a foreigner without the knowledge of the Arabic language, we were the last ones to get entry to a military compound.
On our way back, we tried to find a way south to road 6262, but all roads ended at gates. Then we tried to get through the Military City, which turned out to be impossible as well. So we had to go all the way back to Ath Thybiyah. We counted 154 additional kilometres for this attempt.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 3 km
- Distance to a track: 3 km
- Distance of car parking: 20 km
- Time to reach the point of return from highway 50: 1 hour
- Time at the point of return: 10:45 AM
- Measured height: 414 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 20.68 km
- Position accuracy: 4 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: none
- Weather: sunny, 20° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Military City Confluence
The story continues at 27°N 44°E.
More pictures of the trip can be found here.