06-Jul-2010 -- Story continues from 34°N 120°E.
At 10:15 a.m. we caught a passing bus from Càiqiáo back to Bīnhǎi, collected our bags from the hotel, and got a taxi back to the bus station, where we bought tickets on the 12:50 p.m. bus to Liányúngǎng (连云港市), which everyone referred to as Xīnpǔ (新浦区).
With an hour and a half to kill, we went in search of an air-conditioned restaurant for lunch. We found one across the street. Like quite a number of Chinese restaurants, this one had no main dining room. Instead, each party of guests is provided with their own private room, which always comes with a TV for either watching programmes or singing karaoke.
The TV did not interest us, but we did indulge in what we had been told was the local delicacy: fresh-water lobsters ("yabbies," as we Australians would call them). They came whole, in a rich, spicy sauce, and we were provided with plastic gloves to keep our hands clean as we ripped the little crustaceans apart. They were good!
The Xīnpǔ bus was at the station when we returned after lunch, however it had broken down, and we were instructed to wait for a replacement bus, which was always going to arrive "in five minutes." Eventually, 40 minutes later, it finally did arrive, and we set off, reaching Xīnpǔ at 3:50 p.m.
At Xīnpǔ, we immediately transferred onto a Gànyú (赣榆县) bus, which was a much nicer bus by comparison. We arrived in Gànyú before 5 p.m., where we bought tickets to Wúshān (吴山) on the 7:10 a.m. bus the following morning. We then crossed the street, and checked into the Pǔtuóshān Hotel (普陀山大酒店).
Following a hair-wash at the exceptionally clean hairdressers right beside the hotel, we ordered dinner from the hotel's second-floor restaurant, which was duly delivered to our room. A thunderstorm erupted outside as we ate our dinner, and heavy rain, accompanied by lightning and thunder, persisted well into the night.
We went to bed shortly after 9 p.m., in preparation for our early start the next morning. Although we fell asleep quickly, we were later rudely awoken by the inevitable prostitutes' call. It was our own fault; we had forgotten the golden rule when staying in a Chinese hotel: always unplug the telephone before going to bed.
We went downstairs for our complimentary breakfast at 6:30 a.m., even though it wasn't officially supposed to start until 7 a.m. The hotel staff were very accommodating. After breakfast, we crossed the street to catch our bus.
The bus driver had some bad news for us. The route of the bus had been changed; it would now turn north at Lìzhuāng (厉庄镇) instead of proceeding on westwards towards Wǔshān. We decided to go anyway, and get off at Lìzhuāng, which was only 2.6 kilometres short of where we had originally planned to get off.
When we got to Lìzhuāng, we were in for a pleasant surprise. The bus driver flagged down a bus going our way, and arranged for us to switch to this other bus at no cost to us. We got off the second bus at our desired turnoff, named Jǐngmín Liánxīn Road (警民连心路), which means "close relationship between the police and the people."
Although it was still relatively early, the sun was already very strong. Despite the overnight rain, it was proving to be another hot and dusty day. Fortunately there were some shade trees planted along parts of the road, and we enjoyed a very pleasant two-kilometre walk north to the confluence.
Along the way we passed what used to be a large reservoir, but was now almost completely dry, with a mechanical digger at work excavating material which we presumed was to be used for building construction.
When the confluence was a little over 100 metres to the left of the road, we made a beeline for it through a field of peanuts. Unfortunately, it turned out to be on the opposite side of a rather large ditch, and a fair degree of scrambling was required to descend one side then ascend the other.
The confluence was right at the top edge of the ditch, next to a field of sweet potatoes. We took photos of the GPS and the views to the north, south, east and west. We left the confluence by walking north, parallel to the ditch, towards a small group of nearby houses, where we found a road and a bridge across the ditch.
Story continues at 34°N 119°E.