04-Sep-2006 -- This is the second confluence visit on a bicycle trip from China to Central Asia. The story starts at 32°N 107°E.
Actually, I was determined to visit this confluence. When I came in the area of the CP after three days of cycling from Bāzhōng (Sichuan Province), I investigated quite some time how to access the confluence.
The point is located on a mountain near the northward flowing Wǔkù River. Since the terrain is extremely mountainous, the only way is to access the valley is from the North, coming from the district town Wǔdū (武都).
I was coming from the South and had to pass the confluence in a parallel valley first, via Yaodu, Luotan and Piba. This is a gravel road that leads to a mountain pass (2042 m) from where the road to the confluence (via Yuèzhào (月照)and Wǔkù (五库)) intersects. When I arrived at the intersection, I hesitated to go for the 50-km deviation into the dead end. The road conditions were everything but perfect. It is a minor road with a clay surface that becomes extremely bad to ride on after heavy rains. 2 times 50 km and a hike to a mountain would take 2–3 days until I would be back were I was now. A truck driver confirmed that these road conditions would last all the way and they would need half a day with their truck. After half an hour of thinking about it, I decided to skip this confluence and continued to the town Wudu.
Later, I learned that the road is not a dead end. There is a road that connects Luòtáng (洛塘) and Zhaoyue, but was not on any of my maps. I also found out that there is a daily bus from Wǔdū to Wǔkù. Another option to visit the point would be directly from the main road in Línjiāng (临江). Local people told me that there is a footpath between Línjiāng and Wǔkù, but they didn’t recommend taking a bicycle.
CP visit details:
- Time at the intersection to the CP: 10:00 a.m.
- General topography: extreme mountainous terrain..
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 22 km
- Weather: overcast, chilly on top of the pass
- Given Name: The Muddy Dead End Confluence
Story continues at 34°N 104°E.