02-Aug-2008 -- This is the 21st out of 23 confluences that I visited on my bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The story starts from 40°N 117°E. The previous confluence was 51°N 124°E.
After staying the night in town Jiāgédáqí (加格达奇), I started for this confluence at 4:20 am. I gave my breakfast coupon to a fruit seller on the street, since I was not willing to wait 3 hours until the hotel breakfast started. Leaving town towards the west, I came through an early morning market, where they sold blueberries. The weather was fine, the confluence only 70 km beeline away and seemed to be a pleased and easy ride to the confluence, which lies nearby a village called Gǔlǐ (古里乡). I should have been warned by the fact that there was no road to Gǔlǐ marked on my map. If there is a village, there must be a road, I thought.
10 km behind Jiāgédáqí, I left the main road to Nènjiāng (嫩江) and turned into a side road towards Wòdūhé (卧都河). To my surprise, this road was in an extremely bad condition – being somewhat under construction. At a remaining distance of 30 km, an ordeal begun, since there really wasn’t any road towards Gǔlǐ. Locals told me that there is a possibility to get through, but the road would be too far and too rough. They mentioned that they had never been there themselves! Following some farming tracks and GPS pointer, I slowly came closer to the confluence. Nevertheless I asked for directions whenever I met someone. The landscape was hilly and I had to follow various tracks up- and down. Sometimes I went into dead ends that lead to single farm houses (and dogs that protected these homes very well against foreign cyclists). The road condition was indescribable. Sometimes the track was hard to recognize - just soil that was not covered with grass. Without a major break, I finally reached Gǔlǐ at 1 pm exhausted, dehydrated and hungry. Here I could have a lunch – a huge bowl of potato soup with Chinese burn style of vegetables. I learned that there is a new build road to Gǔlǐ to the south.
From Gǔlǐ, it was another 10 km to the confluence. I rode on the new road (concrete slabs) up to a distance of 6 km. Then I had to turn off again. A nice little track that I followed ended after two kilometres and soon I found myself carrying my bike through swamps, meadows and various types of waste land. Soon I was exhausted – mosquitoes enjoyed my blood, the sun burnt down on me and the wheels of my bike would not turn any more because of the mud that stuck to them.
I was released when I reached a road again. This road lead to a place called Gǔlǐnóngchǎng (古里农场) with only 1.6 km distance. Short before entering that place, I pushed my bike into a meadow and left it for a hike. I had a difficult walk that included the difficult crossing of two little rivers. The third river however was too wide and deep to be crossed. Luckily I was already within 100 m distance to the confluence. Considering my exhaustion and the time, I took the pictures at a distance of 65 m and started my return immediately (mosquitoes!). Later, I saw a man in a raft – this would have been a possibility to reach the confluence. But now there was no time for that. It was 6 pm already when I reached my bike. I had to ride another 40 km to the next town. Just with the last daylight I reached Dàyángshù (大杨树) and stayed the night there.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 6 km
- Distance to a road: 1.24 km
- Distance to a track: 1.24 m
- Distance of parking the bike: 1.06 km
- Distance to houses: 1.6 km
- Time for hiking: 65 minutes
- Time at the CP: 17:04 p.m.
- Riding time (distance): 12 hours (168 km)
- Measured height: 276 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 65 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: in the vicinity flat. Some mountains can be seen.
- Vegetation: willows, reeds and grass.
- Weather: sunny, 25° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the north-eastern part of Inner Mongolia, in the Orochon (鄂伦春) District, on an island of Duobukuer River (多布库).
- Given Name: The River Floodplain Confluence
Story continues at 49°N 125°E.