19-Jun-2006 -- Story continues from 27°N 107°E.
At 12:30 p.m. we collected our bags from the shop in Dǐngfāng (顶方) where we'd left them, changed from our hiking boots into more comfortable sandals, then sat down to wait for a bus NW back to the county capital Kāiyáng (开阳县). The bus materialised at 1:10 p.m.
Fifteen minutes later we arrived in Kāiyáng and jumped straight onto a Guìyáng (贵阳) bus that was just leaving the station as we pulled in. This bus travelled SSW, arriving in Guìyáng at 3:30 p.m., leaving us just sufficient time to dash one block to another bus station and catch the 3:40 p.m. bus NW to the county capital of Qiánxī (黔西县) in neighbouring Bìjié Prefecture (毕节地区).
This bus, just like the one we took to Kāiyáng earlier that morning, rapidly filled up with illegal passengers sitting on tiny little plastic stools in the aisle as well as over the engine. We arrived in Qiánxī just before 6 p.m., with the confluence 4.3 kilometres SW.
First priority was a toilet stop! The station's toilets proved rather difficult to find, located as they were way over in a remote corner of the parking area, but we made it without any mishaps.
We then negotiated with first one taxi driver, who wanted 20 yuan (US$ 2.50) to take us to the confluence, then another, who settled for 15 yuan (US$ 1.90). We were on our way at 6:15 p.m.
Fifteen minutes later we arrived at the school described by Rainer in his visit report. The confluence was 420 metres SE. We followed a path that meandered towards the confluence, crossing a good dirt road along the way, and soon located the point four metres into a very wet rice paddy. We settled on taking a GPS photo from the bank rather than wading in for all the zeroes.
The customary north-south-east-west photos were taken, with a couple of children and a water buffalo visible in the shot to the south. Two other locals soon appeared, intrigued by what we were doing. They told us that the nearby collection of farmhouses was known as Xīnmín Village Group Three (新民村三组). As we left, a boy came by riding another water buffalo. We passed by the locals' mud brick home, then made our way back towards the main road along the dirt road we'd crossed earlier.
Nearing the main road, we found a shortcut, and emerged on the other side of the school, between two buildings, with the confluence 470 metres SSE. The local bean curd hawker's tricycle was parked out front.
Story continues at 27°N 105°E.