28-Jul-2015 -- This is the 17th out of 18 reports of confluence visits while cycling from Kashgar (喀什) to Xī'ān (西安). I cycled through the Chinese provinces of Xīnjiāng, Qīnghǎi, Gānsù, and Shǎnxī, 3600 km in 25 days. The story starts from 39°N 76°E. The previous report is 34°N 106°E.
In the morning, I started cycling from the town Liǎngdāng (两当县) at 6 AM. After a big hill I reached Fēngxiàn (风县) where I had my second breakfast in the old town. It was interesting to see the difference between unhurried country side people and hectic city people. In Fēngxiàn city the guests had changed 3 times while I had my Bāozi. But I have to admit that I eat twice as much than a normal person while travelling by bicycle.
In the heat of the day, I reached the confluence area. I left the main road at a distance of 2.7 km and climbed a little road made of concrete slabs. Soon I left this road also and climbed a dirt track further up. At a farmhouse in 1.2 km distance, the track ended. I parked my bicycle at the farmhouse where an old couple lives. They are very curious about me – such a visit seems to be rare to them. But they gave me some device how to climb up the mountain nearby.
The confluence is almost at the highest point in the area, just a little bit below a ridge. It was quite a hike to get on the ridge. I partially had to find my way through the dense forest without footpath. But on the ridge I found a footpath again such that I could cover the last 200 m in almost no-time. From the ridge, it is another 45 m to the confluence. Due to the steepness of the grade and my exhaustion, I decided not to climb down to the exact location (those who know me will also know that the situation must be really severe until I give up getting all zeros).
On my way back I expected that I could walk the path on the ridge down, but it petered out and I was forced again to find my way through the jungle. In the evening, I wanted to stay in the town Taoban. Unfortunately this is a closed town. Or more precise: it is a very closed town! I got transported to the police station and interrogated for 2 hours. After the interrogation that included investigation of my camera and GPS device, I was transported to the next open place named Táochuān (桃川镇), where I stayed for the night.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 1.6 km
- Walking distance: 1.2 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 1.2 m
- Time to reach the CP from the track: 1.5 hours
- Time at the CP: 4:04 PM
- Measured height: 1636 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 38 m
- Position accuracy: 5 m
- Topography: steep grade, mountainous
- Vegetation: pine & beech forest
- Weather: clear sky, 38° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Ridge Confluence
Unfortunately, the pictures got lost. The story finishes at 34°N 108°E.
Coordinator's Note: Marked incomplete due to missing photos.