05-Jul-2008 -- Story continues from 33°N 113°E.
We catch a passing bus west, which takes us all the way back to Nányáng, where we collect our belongings from the hotel, just in time to make the 2:45 p.m. bus SE to Xìnyáng City (信阳市).
Central Xìnyáng is like one huge demolition zone. Buildings are being knocked down left, right and centre in order to make way for new developments. Ah Feng feels quite at home, having just done a spot of demolition herself, at the International Hotel in Nányáng!
We get a grossly overpriced room at the four-star Sunlight Hotel (阳光宾馆), opposite the railway station. From our 13th floor window, we have an excellent view of the carnage being wreaked upon the city, as well as being able to savour the accompanying cacophony, which makes for a rather sleepless night, as works continue under floodlights around the clock.
The following morning, we catch a minivan out front of the railway station, heading SW towards Tánjiāhé Township (谭家河乡), and get off at the start of a dirt side road at 32°0'27.4"N 113°59'28.7"E, which we follow as it meanders through the rolling hills in the general direction of the confluence. Along the way, we pass by a neat arrangement of logs, which we surmise are for growing mushrooms. There are also some interesting old houses worthy of photographing.
With the confluence still 445 m south, and the road appearing to continue east, we decide it's time to abandon the road and go for a beeline approach. We cross a small stream on a tiny bridge made from three logs nailed together, cross some fields, then start climbing. Unlike most of the other Hénán confluences we've done on this trip, which have largely been on dead flat terrain, this one is not so easy. We first climb a hill covered with tea bushes, then find a way down the other side, then climb another hill planted with tea, and finally, after a bit of backtracking, find our way down this second hill to the confluence point, which is also amongst some tea bushes.
After photographing the views to the north, south, east and west, we leave via a well-trodden path, only to discover that, had we continued to follow the dirt road, it would have swung around to the south, and we could have reached the confluence without having to expend any effort at all!
Story continues at 32°N 115°E.