04-Aug-2008 -- This is the 22nd 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 50°N 125°E.
I had to recover from the exhausting visit to the last confluence, so I took it easy and cycled only 116 km from Dàyángshù (大杨树) to Tèkè (螣克) and stayed the night in this tiny place. When I arrived, a crowd of children followed me to the groceries, internet-café and even into my room. Tèkè didn’t have any hotel, but I found a friendly couple that provided some rooms for guests. I thought this town would be a good starting point for reaching the confluence next day – it is only 31 km beeline away. However, my hosts warned me that it is difficult to cross the river Nènjiāng (嫩江) directly from Tèkè. They suggested making a deviation southwards to Āyànqiǎn (阿彦浅) and taking a proper ferry further south.
The next morning I got up at 3:30 am and started cycling at 4:15 am. I followed the advice of my host family by making a huge deviation to the proper ferry. It was 5:30 am when I entered the ferry. Since the ferry crossing was scheduled at 7 am, I had some time to spent. The ferry-boat family invited me to have breakfast with them. It turned out to be one of the best meals on this trip – I got lavished on fresh fish with rice. I was not allowed to pay for the food and the ferry ticket. Friendliness in China is indescribable.
Now it was 7:30 am and my beeline distance had increased to 39 km. At least I was now on the right side of the Nènjiāng River. But there was no direct road towards the confluence. I took uncountable number of various county roads, coming through Qīnghé (清和), Fùyuán (富源) and finally to Dàxījiāng (大西江). The later town is 5 km from the confluence. From there, I approached further on farm tracks – but then found a road again that conveniently allowed to come within 100 m distance.
I pushed my bike into a meadow with high grass, but abandoned it at a distance of 30 m. The confluence site was in a beautiful flower meadow with bluebottles and yarrows.
I originally planed to finish my bike tour 50 km further south in the city of Nèhé (讷河) and take a train back to Běijīng, because I was running out of time. But strong winds were blowing northwards. So I spontaneously changed my mind and choose the town Nènjiāng (嫩江) – situated 30 km north-east of the confluence - as my final goal.
I reached Nènjiāng at 5 pm and took a hotel directly opposite the train station. I bought a train ticket to Běijīng for the next day 9 pm. This gave me opportunity to visit one more confluence point. But I had to realize that my trip was almost over. A sad feeling – I could have continued this great biking & confluencing trip for ever...
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 100 m
- Distance to a road: 100 m
- Distance to a track: 89 m
- Distance of parking the bike: 33 m
- Distance to houses: 1.0 km
- Time for hiking: 5 minutes
- Time at the CP: 12:26 p.m.
- Riding time (distance) that day: 8 hours (125 km)
- Measured height: 238 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: in the vicinity flat. Some hills can be seen.
- Vegetation: meadow with flowers such as bluebottles, yarrows and Thymophylla tenuiloba (golden fleece). A row of willow trees next to the road.
- Weather: hazy, 23° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the northern part of Hēilóngjiāng, in Nènjiāng (嫩江县) District, on agricultural land.
- Given Name: The Ferry Deviation Confluence
Story continues at 49°N 126°E.