29-Sep-2006 -- This is the 16th confluence visit on a bicycle trip from China to Central Asia. The story starts from 32°N 107°E.
After a successful visit of 43°N 77°E two days earlier, we decided to go for this confluence which is 20 km straight east of Qorday and had not been successfully visited yet.
Our goal was to reach Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan that day, but in order to visit the confluence, we made a huge deviation leaving the town Қордай (Qorday, Korday), where we had spent the night in a not quite first-class hotel (to say it nicely). We followed a road south-eastward to a village called Qarasuw instead of directly heading southwards to Kyrgyzstan’s border crossing at the Chu River. Cycling on that road was pleasant and after passing through Qarasuw we came through a smaller village called Ogegen (Өгеген). We left the road shortly after passing through Ogegen at a remaining beeline distance of 3.8 km. Here, we followed some tracks between harvested grain fields up to a point in 3km distance where biking didn’t make any sense due to the absence of proper tracks to cycle on. Elionora played the role as bike and luggage keeper, while I left her with the promise to be back within one hour. Although a deadline of one hour didn’t seem to be too tight, I ran as quickly as I could. You never know what obstacles are ahead. Secondly, Elionora would have appreciated my return to be earlier than expected.
Besides an intense attack of cockleburs, where hundreds of them kept sticking on my feet and besides a muddy river valley where I sank down deep into dark mud, the running was fine. The whole area consists of rolling hills with harvested grains – the confluence was no exception.
I just spend 2 minutes at the confluence, documenting it as well as possible and then I began my way back in order to surprise Elionora with my early return. After our unification we had a great feast in a local restaurant in Qarasuw. These little restaurants don’t even have a sign at the roadside. In order to find it we had to ask local people. There is a family atmosphere that is indeed enjoyable. While sitting on traditional beds and looking at the grape-vine above, we were served with Lagman (Chinese noodles), Borscht (beetroot soup), salads and Chay (black and green tea).
Again, this confluence visit remained picture-less for three long years. Why have the pictures come with a delay of 3 years? The memory flash card of my camera broke while touring in Kyrgyzstan. Several attempts to recover the data failed, until, I came across this website. It appeared to be professional, so I submitted the card one more time. A week later, they delivered all the pictures to me!
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 12:49 a.m.
- Distance to a track: 1 km
- Distance to a road: 3 km
- Distance of bicycle parking: 3 km
- Distance to houses: 4 km
- Topography: rolling hills, in the north mountains, to the south a huge plain.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0.94 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- GPS height: 811 m
- Vegetation: harvested grain fields – as far as one can see.
- Weather: slight rain (17° felt temperature at the CP)
- Description of the CP: In southern Kazakhstan at the edge of the wide Chu River valley. 100% farmland without any particular features.
- Given Name: The Traditional Restaurant Confluence
Story continues at 42°N 73°E