25-Jul-2010 -- This is the 6th out of eight confluence reports referring to a bicycle tour through Yúnnán. The trip starts from 25°N 102°E.
After dismissing 27°N 99°E, I continued cycling upwards the Salween River (怒江) until I was stopped at the Tibetan border. Without an extra permit, I was not allowed to enter Tibet, so I had to find an alternative route. Unfortunately, the Salween River has no exit in this section of the deep valley, so I had to track back 200 km to Liùkù (六库). I then took a bus to Dàlǐ (大理) and from there I continued cycling northwards again.
On my way to this confluence point, I met Lǐbō Bā (巴理波) who was also cycling in this area. We spend the night together in Shígǔ (石鼓镇), a beautiful village at the first bend of the Yangtze River. After introducing Libo into confluence hunting, he was ready to accompany me to visit this confluence.
The next morning we rode our bikes along the Yangtze River in order to find a ferry. Here we had to climb over a rockfall that had already blocked traffic for a day. We finally found a ferry that could take us across the river. The remaining distance was 5 km. From the map, we knew that a village called Zhōngliángzǐ (中梁子) was supposed to be near the confluence. So we asked for direction to this village. We parked our bicycles in the yard of a farmer’s house – only to find out later that we could have cycled two thirds of the way.
The last kilometer however turned out to be quite challenging – in particular because we opted for the wrong valley and ended up at a very steep and dangerous cliff. At least, we had a great view to the Yangtze Valley and also to the confluence, which was only 190 m away, but not accessible due to a deep canyon in-between.
We didn’t give up by climbing down another section (still dangerous but at least doable) and found the confluence 45 m from the valley ground. We managed to approach the confluence up to a distance of 7 m, but then a vertical rock face prevented us to get to the exact spot. The confluence is located about 100 m above and its visit requires probably another hour of mountain climbing.
After the visit, we run back to the Yangtze River, got the ferry quickly and would have been back in Shígǔ in no time, if the road hadn’t been blocked due to some blasting. Later that day, we commonly cycled up to Lìjiāng (丽江) and reached this ancient city after nightfall during a thunderstorm, but this is already another story.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 1.5 km (actually a road consisting of concrete slabs)
- Distance to a footpath: 45 m
- Distance of parking the bike: 4.5 km
- Distance to houses: ca. 1 km
- Time starting the hike: 10 a.m.
- Time at the CP: 12:55 p.m.
- Riding time (distance) from Shígǔ: 45 min (15 km)
- Measured height: 2545 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 7 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
- Topography: On top of a steep rock face.
- Vegetation: deep forest with a dense cover from the tree crowns. Moss and lichen on the trees.
- Weather: sunny, 26° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In Yúnnán province, 5 km from the Yangtze River, half way up a 3500 m mountain.
- Given Name: The Sudden Rock Face Confluence
Story continues at 27°N 101°E.