11-Aug-2005 -- Story continues from 31°N 116°E.
Wed 10 Aug 2005 (Day 13, cont'd), 2:35 p.m. - We arrive back in the county capital of Yingshan, and buy tickets for the 3:30 p.m. bus to Luotian, capital of the neighbouring county. This leaves us a comfortable amount of time to return to the hotel, collect our bags and laundry (which is now dry), get changed, and generally get organised.
4:35 p.m. - We arrive in Luotian, buy tickets for tomorrow's Macheng bus, then check into a rather basic hotel a few doors down on the corner. We go out for noodles and visit an Internet bar before returning to the room to eat some fruit, wash a few more clothes, then get an early night.
Thu 11 Aug 2005 (Day 14), 6:45 a.m. - We put our bags on the bus to reserve our seats, then go across the street to eat some noodles for breakfast.
7:45 a.m. - The bus to the county capital of Macheng starts out relatively empty, with just 11 passengers, but gradually fills to overflowing. It's a hot sunny day with not a cloud in the sky. Along the way, we see a lady hanging her noodles out to dry.
9:40 a.m. - We get off the bus a few kilometres before Baiguo Township, with the confluence just 1.45 kilometres to the west. The terrain is quite flat. We walk along a vehicle track through the fields to the village of Songnian.
It's about another 300 metres west to the confluence, which is located on a narrow embankment separating two rice paddies. The rice plants in the two fields are at different stages of maturity. There are also some cotton plants nearby, as well as a prominent headstone to the east, in the direction of the village.
We take the north-south-east-west shots, then head back to the main road, once again passing through Songnian Village, where we see lüdou (mung beans) and chillies drying in the hot sun. The mung beans make sporadic popping sounds as their shells crack open from the heat.
Just past the village, we happen upon a three-wheeler, and get a ride in this back to the main road, happy that we don't have to shoulder our large backpacks any further under the blistering summer sun.
Story continues at 30°N 113°E.