03-Jul-2014 -- Story continues from 41°N 121°E.
It rained very heavily as we continued our journey east on the expressway to Dàwā County (大洼县). We checked into a hotel in Dàwā, only to be turfed out ten minutes later. At least we had time to wash our muddy legs and thongs.
Peter finally ascertained why we were encountering such difficulty registering at hotels. Apparently smaller hotels, which don't have a direct link-up with the police station, have to physically deliver registration details of foreigners to the police, which can be done only during office hours. We were arriving too late in the evening for them to do this.
Anyway, this was our gain, because we ended up driving several kilometres north to a really nice, but not expensive, five-star hotel in Pánjĭn (盘锦市), replete with a pair of golden elephant statues out front, where one would normally expect to see stone lions. This was not the first time we had seen a pair of golden elephants adorning the front of a building in Liáoníng, although we never did find out why, or what the significance of them was. We found a yum cha (饮茶) restaurant nearby, and enjoyed a typical southern Chinese meal for dinner.
The next day was my birthday. We savoured the free, five-star buffet breakfast at the hotel before heading off to our next confluence. It was a windy, partly cloudy day. Along the way, we noticed a number of oil pump "horses" in operation.
We parked nearly a kilometre from the confluence, leaving us an easy walk down a long, straight, somewhat muddy track between rice paddies and the occasional patch of corn. There was a trap for catching frogs in the ditch beside the track.
At the end of the track, we turned left, and followed the west bank of an irrigation canal the final 150 metres to the confluence. A few graves were dotted along the embankment, including one rather special one consisting of a burial mound and headstone adorned with fake flowers. There were cornfields on the opposite bank of the canal.
Andy helped us zero in on the spot, where we took the GPS and north-south-east-west shots, followed by a team shot.
Story continues at 40°N 122°E.