25-Jul-2008 -- This is the 15th out of 23 confluences that I visited on my bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The story starts from 40°N 117°E.
Again, it took me two days of riding bike in order to reach this confluence from the last one near the city of Yákèshí (牙克石). In the Dàxìngānlǐng Mountains (大兴安岭) I couldn’t keep a speed of averaging 1 CP/day as I did before.
On confluence day, I started from the little town Kùdùěr (库度尔), 30 km from the confluence point. I didn’t have much hope to be able to reach this confluence, because it is located 24 km beeline from the road. One out of my four maps showed a little road to the confluence – all others didn’t. And I wasn’t sure how close it would come to the point.
However, I wanted to give it a try. The area was 100% forested, mostly with a thick layer of undergrowth. In addition, most of the terrain was pretty steep. I estimated that walking through that kind of terrain would not be quicker than 1 km/h. Thus, I was anxious to know how far this little road would take me.
I was really lucky – the nearest distance was 1.7 km. From now on I had to cut my way through the undergrowth. When I just wanted to start a long hike, I remembered that I should always overshoot a little on the road in order to see, if there is a better way to the confluence. And indeed, there was a track going right to the confluence. This is luck in indeed, because there weren’t many of those tracks. At a distance of 80 m I parked the bike.
As soon as I stopped biking I was an easy prey for the mosquitoes and horseflies. It took me 20 minutes to cover those 80 m – thereby avoiding a swamp that lay in-between. Documentation of the confluence was a hassle – flying insects were swirling around me. If you have a closer look to the pictures, you will see them as diffuse dots. At that time, I didn’t know that the following confluence points would be even worse…
I left the scene as quickly as possible, hurried back to the track and to the road. As soon as I rode more than 10 km/h the mosquitoes didn’t catch up anymore. I took the same route back over a little mountain pass (900 m altitude). About 5 hours later, I was back to the turn-off at the main road. I continued the trip another 75 km further up to the little town Túlǐhé (图里河), where I stayed for the night.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 24 km
- Distance to a road: 1.7 m
- Distance to a track: 79 m
- Distance of parking the bike: 79 m
- Distance to houses: 23 km
- Time for detour: 4:45 hours
- Time at the CP: 8:15 a.m.
- Riding time (distance) from Bókètú: 2:22 hours (38.0 km)
- Measured height: 800 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 5 m
- Topography: mountainous, confluence location in a valley
- Vegetation: mixed birch & larch tree forest, at the edge of a meadow.
- Weather: sunny, 25° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the north-eastern part of Inner Mongolia, in the Dàxìngānlǐng Mountains (大兴安岭). Deep in the forest. Far from settlements
- Given Name: The Lucky Track Confluence
Story continues at 51°N 121°E.